The entrepreneur advises businesses to invest from the start and explains why you – and your staff  need to genuinely care about the client…


About your business

Founder name: Steve Brennan 
Company name: Bespoke | Web Specialists 
Company age: 14 
Company location: Preston 
Staff numbers: 14
Date started: 2001

Tell us what your business does:

Bespoke are a leading digital marketing agency. We are web specialists and build responsive websites that are optimised for conversion and search. We also offer one-to-one and group workshops for businesses.

Over the last 14 years we’ve generated over £250 million in turnover for our clients. We know what we’re doing and we’ve been doing it for a long time.

Where did the idea for your business come from? What motivated you to start it?

The internet was a new thing when we started. It seemed like it was going to take off over the next few years, so we got in early and set the business up.

What did you do before?

I was working in print design.

What did you have to overcome (if anything) to start it and get it off the ground?

It was a new industry so nobody really knew yet what a digital agency should do or should look like. We had to work it out from the ground up and it took a few years to get the offering just right.

What makes your business stand out from others like it?

Not only are we technically focused but we are also creative. And we have a proven track record for delivering on time, on budget and on vision.

Our team of web specialists work in partnership with businesses to help plan, launch, and optimise a new website and then offer continuous digital marketing strategies to get clients more results. We’ve been finalists at the BIBA’s for two consecutive years in a row!

What was your first big breakthrough?

We won one contract in particular that was large enough to pay for another member of staff, which started the ball rolling, and now we have 14 experts in the team.

Your business tips

You’re prime minister for a day. What would you change for small businesses?

Business support often seems to be focused on start-ups. There should be more for small and medium firms who are on a growth journey.

What’s your best customer service tip?

It works if you genuinely care about your customers doing well. If you have people in your team who don’t have that mentality it needs to change quickly or they need to go. The customers are everything.

What would you do differently? What have you learnt?

If we started another business we would invest more at the offset, and grow more quickly at the beginning.

What one piece of advice would you give to people who want to start their own business?

Work out how yours will be different from everybody else’s. Don’t start your business until you have done that.