In this 'Owner Insights' series we will be taking a look at SMEs around the UK from different industries that all have one thing in common - seasonality in their businesses. We will be looking at the challenges they face and the methods they use to overcome disruptions to their cash flow.
About Complete Digital
Complete Digital are a London-based digital marketing agency that specialise in performance marketing and conversion-focused web design.
How Complete Digital are affected by seasonality
In every company there are peaks and troughs throughout the year and Complete Digital aren’t exempt from this. As a marketing agency, they rely on their clients getting budgets signed off and getting the green light to do their marketing activity. One of the ways that founder and CEO Brian Cross deals with seasonal cash flow fluctuations is by being smart with when the company hires new staff members as well as making sure that during the down periods there is reduced spending and he has a clear view of the company’s cash flow.
Full Interview: Complete Digital
Question: In a nutshell, what does your company do?
A: Complete Digital helps companies and brands build audience online and drive better conversion through all of their digital platforms.
Question: What do you do for the company?
A: My role is mainly to focus on business development, client services, looking after key clients as well as marketing and scaling the business.
Question: Who are your typical customers?
A: The type of companies that we work with vary from things like consumer products, beauty etc… right up to specialist B2B services, software and Fintech - it’s a weird and wonderful business.
Question: What’s different about Complete Digital?
A: We started Complete Digital to try and have a different focus that myself and a lot of the team had experienced in other agencies. Really, to look after a small number of clients really, really well. Clients know that if they give us a call then we will pick up the phone and they will know us on a first name basis. That can be a really appealing proposition to clients and we are, in effect, an extension of their in-house team.
Question: How have you addressed seasonality in your business?
A: So I guess the way that we have addressed seasonality at Complete Digital is to think about when the quiet periods are throughout the year. They happen each year, without fail. We get a bit of a downturn in January waiting for budgets to be signed off in the early periods of the year. So we avoid making key hires, we make sure that we are reducing spend during that period and that we have a really clear view on our cash flow.
Question: What would you say is the hardest part about running a business?
A: I think the hardest thing about running a business is finding the time to do everything that you would like to be doing. I think anyone who is running their own business is likely to be ambitious, but wears a lot of hats and probably spreads themselves quite thinly and doesn’t always get the opportunity to do everything that they would like to get their teeth into.