When I was 14 I started my first business.
A web design and development business. A proper business, with real clients. This was a big step up from the 20p magazines I sold to my family.
From my bedroom in the attic of my parents' house, I built websites for other people. To build my skillset, I also built a few websites of my own.
One website gained a bit of interest.
A website about camping, caravanning, and the outdoors. It also gained traffic. I grew the site, won a couple of awards, and grew the site some more.
That website led to me working with the two largest players in the industry.
It was an incredible experience. I'm pretty sure I was the only kid on my school bus with a company mobile phone.
In 2007, age 21, I started Reserve Apartments.
I spent 10 years building the business I co-founded into the largest holiday apartment agency in Scotland. I’d done a bit of CRO (conversion rate optimisation) before, but a redesign that nearly killed our business within a week was my first real dive into why conversion rates matter.
I'm still a shareholder at Reserve. Today, we manage the marketing for hundreds of apartments, handling millions of pounds in bookings each year.
I watched the London 2012 Olympics.
In particular, the story of the volunteers captured my interest. I caught a Radio 4 program that discussed the story of the volunteers who made the games what they were. I got out of my car and made a phone call. The next day I began volunteering with children.
I knew instantly that my life would change.
I just didn't quite expect that it would result in me leaving the business I had built over 10 years to become a foster carer. And I certainly didn't expect there to be a day where I would wake up a foster dad to three incredible, amazing, gorgeous children.
And now, Clarified.
Today, I'm still as passionate about business as I've ever been.
Clarified allows me to bring everything I've gained along the way (the skills, the experience, the passion, the reputation, the expertise) to you.
How does all of this help you?
When I started my web design company, I taught myself everything. I learnt how to design a website (from mock-up/wireframe to final design), how to code (HTML, CSS, then later PHP & MySQL), and communicate with clients.
As the websites I built grew, I taught myself the principles of marketing, search engine optimisation, and conversion rate optimisation.
With Reserve Apartments, paid marketing (Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, re-targeting) became an essential part of our business. I put in the time to become really good.
I have a deep understanding of branding + marketing, because I studied it, and used it, to build my own businesses.
I'm no stranger to working with a budget, and the creative thinking that's required to get great results.
As the business grew, we hired experts to manage some aspects of the business for us.
We worked with some incredibly talented experts. My understanding of how everything works, and fits together, allowed me to work well with these professionals.
I’ll make your website work.
I make sure we're clear about what job your website should be doing. I ensure it's doing that job. I think about how it builds into your marketing strategy. I think about how we grow your business, through your website and beyond.
I bring all of this understanding, expertise and experience with me to each project I work on, and each one-person business I work with.
Ready to work together?