Land Digital's founders, Tom Volpe and Jon Leighton have been working with Scaleup Partner, Angelina Bell to grow their business.
Tom Volpe, Co-founder, Land Digital (TV): Land Digital is a full-service digital agency, we were formed around 18 months ago after the merger of two businesses, one was a design and build firm, the other was a digital marketing agency. So I think the most interesting thing for me over the last 18 months has been bringing two businesses with quite diverse experiences together into a single entity and I think something I enjoyed in the Scaleup programme is the work that we’ve done on values that have help us unify two groups of people with very different backgrounds into one coherent business.
Angelina Bell, Scaleup Partner, Scaleup North East (AB): So, I was first introduced to Land Digital in September of last year and had an initial suitability meeting with them just to get know a little bit about their background, about their business and felt that we were a really good fit and that I could help them. Since then we’ve met on a monthly basis, usually for a couple of hours at a time and done some really in-depth action plan meetings.
TV: For us, we were really keen to join the Scaleup programme because we understood that having brought two businesses together with very different customer bases and very different service offerings that we needed some strong processes and procedures and systems essentially to sit around the work that we do. We were really keen to create a coherent service offering and wanted to be clear exactly what we offer and who we offer it to, and we felt that Scaleup North East could help us with that.
AB: I think that one of the most visible changes I’ve seen from the very first meeting as we’ve progressed through is much more structure and organisation to the meetings and what they are coming back and telling me. We, along the way, have recommended quite a lot of books for them to go away and read and the great thing about this business is that the two directors have a great growth mindset, so they’ve gone away and read the books and by the time I’ve come back they’ve actioned and implemented things and seen the benefits in the business and that to me is what this is all about. So, it’s been great to work with them on that basis.
So it’s really easy in business if you’ve been doing it for a while to think that I know the ropes I know what I’m doing, but you know how to run the business but you don’t necessarily know how to run the business that you want to have so taking support, being open and trying things that may at first seem counterintuitive I think is really useful and being open to reading and getting different ideas. So, something I’ve found really useful is that you’ve shared a lot of recommendations of books to Jon and me to read and that actually some great ideas have come out and you can see them working in a live environment. I mean in the time that we’ve been working with you we have recruited three or four new staff and it’s a relatively short period of time and for a business of our size that’s fairly decent growth.
AB: We’ve worked really, really well together on setting some clarity on the objectives and what the goals should be, and I know now that there are weekly meetings held to set clarity on what those goals should be, and staff are just going away and getting the stuff done.
TV: So, our plans, for the future are to look to double our revenue over the next 12-18 months as part of a longer programme of growth. We’re expecting to increase our headcount quite substantially in that as well and something we’re quite committed too is investing in young North East talent so we’re looking to build a more structured graduate programme so we can bring people in and help them enter this industry.
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