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Category: Business

There are SO many things that you could be doing to grow your business, but only 24 hours in a day. So how do you decide which ideas will make the most difference to your bottom line? And how do you get results – fast? Tune in to Idea Time for tools, tips and interviews to find out how

Dr. Jo North’s Idea Time - with Andy Firth from Ascensor

August 21, 2019

Andy joins Dr. Jo North on her Idea Time podcast to discuss; his business, his BHAG and his experience with Idea Time.

The danger of not changing your updating your strategy in an ever-changing, unpredictable world

Businesses need to be agile and dynamic to move forward, whether it be with consumer demand, technological advances or Industry 4.0. 

At the start of Andy’s career after leaving university with a degree in Product Design Management, he started working for an engineering firm in Leeds. The firm paid for Andy to invest in his management training, where he completed an MBA over 3.5 years. Even though the company paid for his training, they weren’t ready to take his advice and make changes, throughout management and lower level parts of the organisation. Andy had all this new knowledge and they just weren’t ready to listen to him. He had so much energy, enthusiasm and drive and wanted to make use of it, so Andy left to work for his friend who owned a design and print business. 

The engineering business that Andy used to work for has since been reduced in size, and doing the opposite of growing – this is what can and will happen if businesses don’t keep up to date with new innovations and change their strategy with the ever-changing, unpredictable world.

Starting his own business

Whilst working for design and print business, Andy and his friend noticed a gap in an expanding and fast developing market – website development. Andy worked for this business for 7 years before deciding to break free and start something of his own – Ascensor. 

Andy started Ascensor nearly 12 years ago. Today, as Andy says, “they build everything, as long as it’s online”, such as bespoke software development, all aspects of digital marketing, driving traffic towards websites etc. – Andy is a strong believer it doesn’t matter how good your website is, if nobody finds it then it is of no benefit. 

Keeping up with change and development

Ascensor are at the forefront of change. As a digital marketing agency, they are always being asked for the latest things and this is so exciting. They get to work with different types of businesses across different sectors and are learning something new every day. 

Turning your side hustle into your full-time job

Andy talks about how doing something you love is important. You need to be passionate enough about a topic to constantly want to learn new advances and get ahead of the game. Making your side hustle your full-time job requires time, effort and dedication. Andy then goes on to explain how Ascensor have recently reached a new peak of expansion. 

Idea Time – Andy’s BHAG

This is where Idea Time comes in. Andy’s big, hairy, audacious goal was to move into new office building by September 2019 – something that they are on track with, as they are currently working on the legal contracts for the big move. 

Andy explains that working with Jo helped him to make the leap, as when he mapped out the pros and cons of the move, it made him realise that standing still was more of a risk to the business than making the move. He said that “just by having the confidence, everything has just fallen into place.” Andy is now having the “best months, month after month” and says it is all because Idea Time made him realise that “it is so important to take the time out to focus on the business and yourself”. It’s essential to “really thinking about the things that matter, and, by doing that, often doors open that you didn’t expect”.

How businesses can get the most out of working with a digital marketing agency

Andy explains how it is important that customers understand the time that it takes to develop software that works with the expanding list of appliances that use the internet, from the obvious ones such as computers and mobiles to the probably less expected, fridges and washing machines. 

Customers have to understand that time is money and if we are designing software that is specifically unique to both their business and an appliance that we haven’t worked with before, it is going to cost more than designing an app for a phone or tablet. Personally, I love the complex jobs as it gets me thinking and learning new things! 

The other thing that businesses need to understand is that we need quality images to work with. Images are really important on websites as they create the first impression. Andy explains the issue with slow loading websites, which have poor quality images, that are not accessible on a phone, and how these types of websites will do more harm than good for a business. 

A website is like a shop window for a business – it’s somewhere where customers will do due diligence on you. For a small investment on some good quality photography and getting the content and copyrighting right, and also having one of our websites (which is extremely cost effective from a bill perspective) and some sort of digital marketing to go with it, is the way for a business to get, certainly on a smaller level, a really good quality, but cost effective website. 

Free starter guide

Andy has created a free starter guides which you can download from www.airwebsites.co.uk. The guides are on there as well as range of various packages at different price points. 

The guides are as below:

  • Essentials Guide: covers everything about Air Websites; what they are, the benefits, and how the process works
  • Google Ads Guide: provides you with tips and hints for setting up ad campaigns, and how to get optimal return on your budget
  • Local SEO Guide: explains how you can grow your business, by optimising your website for local search results.

There are over 100 case studies on the website for you to have a look through, so you can see different types of templates that are available. 

If you have any questions and want to get in touch with Andy, you can email him at andrew@ascensor.co.uk

Andy tells us lots more in the podcast, but I don’t want to give too much away. Have a listen for yourself and let me know what you think at jo@ideatime.co.uk

What a great podcast – thanks Andy!