Launching a technology business is hard work, but well worth the effort, according to entrepreneur Becky Campbell.
Campbell, founder and managing director at Reflect Digital, spoke to Computer Weekly about the challenges of launching a business, and her journey in creating a successful digital agency.
Campbell launched the Kent-based digital agency four years ago at the age of 24, and said that she always knew she wanted to run her own business.
“My dad ran a security computer business, so I saw him running his business while I grew up,” she said.
“I started my career by working in marketing and then worked at an agency to run their digital media. That’s where I fell in love with the internet – how you can view the stats of a campaign and really see the benefits. I decided I could do this myself and made the choice to start my own business,” she added.
Despite starting the business with just £3,000 and growing it to a company turning over more than £500,000, Campbell said looking back she was not ready for how much work it takes to get a business off the ground.
“I taught myself how to build a website and thought I had prepared myself, but I had not prepared myself enough for how hard it would be to start a business. I had no story to back up my company yet, so I had no story to sell my websites,” she said.
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She acknowledges the technology industry has a lack of female staff, noting that Reflect Digital has struggled to recruit any female developers, something which Campbell hopes will change.
Campbell is used to working in a male-dominated industry, having previously worked at the TMS Group, where she managed the client relationship with a number of key automotive accounts, supported dealerships in their local site marketing activities and acted as marketing executive at a Vauxhall dealership.
“In a male-dominated industry it helps to be knowledgable. With computing now part of the curriculum, it will hopefully make the developer role more feminine as more girls start to take the subject,” she said.
She admitted that finding the right talent has not been easy, so she had to outsource some of the work in the beginning.
“Now I have 21 staff in-house. Hiring was tough, as I’m not a developer myself, but I wanted to find and hire the right people,” said Campbell.
Now boasting clients such as Tottenham Football Club, she said the company will continue to grow by “ensuring we have a happy and healthy workforce to move forward”.
Reflect Digital has also worked on the software development side of its business and has recently released its own content management system.
Campbell placed as a runner-up in the 2015 Kent Business Woman of the Year awards.