FIVE years ago Peter Aland and I were working for different web design businesses.
Being good friends and knowing each other’s strengths and dedication, we felt the time was right to combine our experience and contacts to start our own new media agency.
We based ourselves in Liverpool’s commercial district and set about building the firm through networking.
These days we are nestled into the top floor of The Plaza in Old Hall Street, where we are learning to live with the effects of vertigo.
We recently built the itsliverpool.com, Liverpool Cruise terminal, Liverpool Business Growth and Epstein Theatre websites and the scale of projects we handle continues to grow.
One recent website we produced had more than 2,000 pages.
From day one networking helped us secure some great partnerships with clients, some of whom we retain to this day.
Our web presence (www.iprogress.co.uk) was also of utmost importance as one of our main services is the hosting, design and build of bespoke company websites.
We wanted our web presence to encourage each visitor to become a new customer.
We were quite proud when our website had started to feature on other design-related sites for its features and layout, which in turn attracted clients that wanted something new.
We continually updated the website’s news, portfolio, blog and used search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques to feature in top search results for iprogress.
That approach helped get the phone ringing with people in need of our advice or services.
As an independent company, we could be very flexible and we continue to be committed to giving a high level of service to our customers and focus on quality and detail.
Our week starts with a Monday morning team meeting, covering updates on project stages, with goals agreed and allocated.
Managers cover direct reports’ action steps and assess performance based on individuals’ roles in contributing to completing shared objectives.
The week will consist of project management meetings and good old fashioned focused hard work, backed-up with networking to generate leads.
Friday afternoon team meetings can become more casual affairs, with the week recapped and upcoming projects discussed over a beer or two. I might badger the team to write a new blog post.
As a service provider we accept the constant pressure to perform and deliver the highest standards of work and service.
It’s a good discipline to live by but we are also a work hard, play hard organisation.
Once a project is finished Liverpool is a great playground to enjoy.
Given the tough economic climate, the fact we’ve been able to establish ourselves and grow our turnover consistently over the last five years seems like a solid achievement.
We run a tight ship.
Low overheads have enabled us to be extremely competitive in terms of price while still producing quality work and a sustainable margin.
The core team continues to grow in number (we currently have a position available) and we occasionally require the expert services of a few hand-picked freelancers that we can trust.
Darren Walker, managing director, iprogess