Monday 25 May 2015

2inspire Inspirational Woman: Becky Campbell, MD of Reflect Digital

Becky Campbell, Managing Director of digital marketing agency Reflect Digital. At just 28, Becky scooped the runner up prize at the Kent Business Woman of the Year awards. She's young and dynamic, with lots to say about the industry, and started her own business at just 24.

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
There is no typical day really, my role is so varied every day is different. As the MD of the business I currently do everything; from attending sales pitches, holding training talks for businesses, running internal team meetings and all HR, finance and administration functions, all the way through to helping come up with creative campaigns and strategic plans for clients.
I am in the office quite a bit, but I am also out and about with clients and networking as much as possible too. The internet does make doing business so much simpler in that it is possible to communicate effectively with clients without needing to always be face to face, although we do always love getting in front of clients.

What made you start the business and how did you get started?
I had always wanted to run my own business from being a little girl. My dad was my inspiration, he had his own business and I always dreamt of doing the same. I didn’t ever really know what the business would look like, I just knew my own business was the end goal. Then about 7 years ago I started working for a digital agency where I found the Internet! I had never considered how everything worked and suddenly everything changed.
Overnight I transformed into this geek that needed to know everything there was to know about digital marketing, I had found my passion and just wanted to learn everything! I spent the next few years learning everything I could, building up to the point where I thought I could do it.
Then one day, I quit my job and, with a £3k investment from my mum and dad, I started out. I had been building my company’s website whilst still employed, so that was ready to go. After that, it was all about finding ways to get our name out there and to start selling. I attended lots of networking groups and hit the phones.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?  I guess being 4 years in with a team of 21 people is an amazing achievement in itself! I was also awarded runner-up for the Kent Women in Business Awards, Business Woman of the Year which was a fantastic achievement.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
There are many challenges when starting a business but I think our biggest challenge has been finding the right people, who share the business ethos and are prepared for the hard work needed to make a start-up be successful. I am proud to say we have a fantastic team at the moment, but we have learnt a lot about interviewing potential employees and now tend to have a more rigorous interview process.

What are your future plans for the business?
The plan for the business is to continue our growth. We have a target from this financial year (April 2015 – Mar 2016) to achieve a turnover of £1million, which will be a 100% increase on 2014-15. We anticipate the team reaching 30 by the end of this year and expect to need a second premises to meet this growth.

Our long term the goal is to continue ensuring that we are employing experts, as well as training fresh talent up to be experts. We want to continue diversifying the markets we work in: one of our most exciting clients at the moment is a London Premiership Football Club which has been a huge opportunity, relished by the team. It is case studies like that and experiencing the growth that makes it more achievable to win bigger clients. As exciting working with as larger brands is, nothing can truly match the reward of delivering results to a small business that genuinely can show a return on investment and growth for that business.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I guess I would have started the business knowing what I know now – it wouldn’t have necessarily changed too much, but instead prepared us for the challenges. The biggest lessons being cash-flow planning – this is always a struggle for small businesses, but one I did not realise would be so challenging.

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
It sounds cheesy, but having achieved what I have in such a short space of time it has made me realise anything is possible when you put your mind to it. It is so important that women understand that too. I did not follow the conventional route of getting a degree, but instead got myself out into the wider world and held a few jobs that in time made me realise what I wanted – all the while teaching me skills that you only get from being out in the working world.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Know your stuff. I have seen many people who know a little and are able to be a success but, to really go for it, I think you need to truly understand the marketplace. It is important to work out your USP too, as there are so many agencies out there.

What or who inspires you in business and why?
Watching from a young age see what my dad was able to achieve was a huge inspiration to me. I saw the hard work that was required and the effect it did have on family life…I was still inspired to go ahead and start the same path myself.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
My favourite motto in business is ‘under promise and over deliver’. It is so important that you do not make promises you cannot deliver on: we are a nation of impatient people and, in this digital age, when we are let down we tend to just move on and find someone who can deliver instead.

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