Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us……Pick & Mix Marketing is this week celebrating its fifth birthday! What a fantastic journey it’s been since Sally, the founder and boss, started out on her own. Now there are five of us, and a whole host of clients!
Just 40% of new UK businesses make it to the age of five, we recently read, and apparently that’s despite 91 % making it through the all-important first year of trading. This really does highlight how challenging setting up and running a small business is.
We work with many clients who are also small businesses and we really relish seeing them succeed and achieve all their ambitions, including the ones they hadn’t even thought of before they met us!
The idea for Pick & Mix Marketing first came when Sally worked in sales for the Hull Daily Mail. “I often went to see clients and spotted marketing opportunities they were not pursuing, mainly down to time and resources,” she said. “The idea of providing marketing solutions for them was born. The name Pick & Mix Marketing came from the idea of providing a full range of marketing services with unique, tailored solutions for each client to fit their own specific needs, requirements and budgets.”
This idea remained in the back of Sally’s mind as day-to-day life took over and she continued her career, including a stint at the York Press. “There I developed my leadership skills whilst managing a team of wonderful and talented sales people, and after four years I made a leap to a digital marketing company. But the idea of Pick & Mix Marketing kept popping back in my mind until I finally decided it was time to make the BIG leap into self-employment.”
2011 to 2012:
Sally set up the business and her first client was Adrian Smith Electrical Contractors; soon she had eight customers. Of course, it has not been easy. She said: “Setting up a business on your own can be daunting but I truly believe that if you have a dream, a can-do attitude and support from family and friends, you can do anything.”
“The can-do attitude is vital as being self-employed often means long hours, attending networking events, doing your accounts and marketing and picking up the phone to potential customers who have not heard about you before. Plus, loads more things in the mix!”
At first Sally worked from home. “Often people asked if I got distracted by the TV or cleaning, but I didn’t. For some people working on their own is challenging and they find it hard to be motivated but I would be out and about seeing clients and needed the time on my own to transform my ideas into actions.”
The business grew and in 2013 Louisa joined Pick & Mix Marketing. Said Sally, “Employing the first member of staff can be a worrying time but Louisa brought so many quality skills, experience and such a brilliant can- do attitude that it was a real pleasure in taking her on. Shortly afterwards we moved to an office, just off Fulford Road. This was a brilliant experience but, like many things, you don’t learn all of this stuff at school. Employing someone and renting an office brought lots more things to think about, learn and understand. Having a brilliant accountant is vital and Donald Inglis, from Inglis Chartered Accountants, has really helped us.”
The list of clients grew longer and one of our major successes was supporting Bishy Road with their social media campaign – in 2015 the street was crowned Britain’s High Street of the Year, something we are very proud of.
Other client successes include:
- Supporting businesses to go ‘digital’ with their marketing – social media, websites and online marketing.
- Reaching over 1,000,000 customers on behalf of our clients through Facebook & Instagram advertising
- Training more than 1,000 business owners in social media marketing – some had never used social media before.
- Creating over 20,000 words for blog posts enabling our clients to shout about their successes
- Project-managing 12 new websites
- Generating a 21% increase in sales year-on-year for a client
- Increasing traffic to one client’s website by 350%
- PLUS SO MUCH MORE!
One of our core values is to create long-term relationships with all stakeholders (clients, suppliers, employees, employer and colleagues) through mutual trust and respect – this runs through everything we do.
After being awarded a contract to provide social media training for East Riding Council it was time to grow again and in 2015 Jess joined the team.
“She brought many skills with her to the role and is a true star in the making,” said Sally. “Her dedication to the business and client work is undoubtable and with both Jess and Louisa on board it enabled me to take Pick & Mix Marketing to the next level.”
The team has developed its skills by attending courses. Sally and Jess have completed CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) qualifications which add a rubber stamp to our CVs and enable us to stand out from many other agencies or marketing consultants in the area. Staff development is high on the agenda and we have signed up to do a team development programme with the fantastic Diane Moisley-Mason.
In 2016 we rented a second office next door to the first so we can run training workshops for up to four people in marketing, social media and digital marketing, and brainstorm for PR opportunities.
Former BBC journalist Helen also joined the team this year as our PR expert and copywriter, bringing a wealth of experience and an amazing drive to find a story. Helen has already generated a lot of coverage for clients, including on TV, not to mention all the social media content she’s written that has reached 1,000’s of users.
Our client base continues to grow but so do other things – overheads, HR responsibilities, VAT- registration, business strategy; we are basically juggling every aspect of running a business, even down to making tea!
Rebecca joined the team in the summer this year, after working as an intern for one of our clients. She has a bright future ahead of her and is currently in her third year of a marketing degree. She works for us part time enabling her to gain work experience so she can apply for jobs when she graduates. She has brought a new aspect to our social media content and as she’s 20, gives a real insight into a ‘young person’s’ social media world.
There is no ‘I’ in team – one of our company values is to work collaboratively, inspire and challenge each other to be the best we can be, and create a working environment of which we are proud of. Our combined skills (more than 50 years of experience between us) sets us apart.
So, here we are, on October 17th, 2016, celebrating our 5th Birthday! A final word from Sally.
“I couldn’t have done it without fantastic support from family and friends, a brilliant team who really are too cool for school and work so hard each day, and great clients who allow us the opportunity to become part of their business! Raise a glass, here’s to the next five years!”