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It's funny. When I visit websites of other companies I often have a browse around and will inevitably come across something about that company's history. I'll skim read it, half-interested perhaps, but to be honest I think their history is something that they are likely very proud of but probably has little bearing on a customer's research in to them.
And yet here I am writing a blog on our history. I guess there's something quite irresistible, having been given the opportunity to write about oneself. It goes against all the teaching of not making your website 'shouty' and all about you. I suppose it's a bit like walking past a mirror; you can't help adjusting your hair.
So I should thank you for stopping by and thanks for asking. In case you really are interested and not just clicking around looking for something better, here is a potted history.
Back in the noughties, Richard and I worked for a brilliant little accounting firm here in Shrewsbury, running the Consulting side of the business. They still operate very successfully today and we are very fond of many of our memories from those times. After the crash in 2008 though, we dallied with the idea of doing something on our own, where we could have more control over the direction we wanted to take our business in. To be fair, this is much more about wanting our own show than any reflection on what we were walking away from.
So we took the leap, and formed a company in 2010. You are always faced with having to come up with a name and we followed the advice we had given several times before for other Start Ups; that if you spend too long worrying about the name then you will never get started - so just pick something and move on. Of course it has to have an available domain name and company name at Companies House, be easy to spell and so on. If you're relying on your name for success though, you probably haven't thought through the product market match.
Wellmeadow was the name of the road I lived on at the time, so that was it. Wellmeadow Limited was incorporated. We had no desk, no website, no insurance. Typical start up conditions.
One by one, the pieces fell into place. Insurance was sorted first (risk averse? Us?) and by chance the broker had some spare desks so we set up camp in his office and paid him desk rental. We recruited a graduate and he sorted out the website and logo and we even ordered some branded mugs. Sometimes it's the silly little things.
Clients started signing up and we grew. In 2014 we were too many to stay in the corner of someone else's office so found our own place, which happened to be in the middle of town rather than on a business park where we had been until then. It was bigger than we needed though, so we decided to rent out the spare space (where did we get that idea from?). We fitted it out with the furniture we needed for 14 people, built a meeting room and kitchen and put a big logo on the wall in reception.
More clients signed up, mainly thanks to all the wonderful referrals we were getting. Our existing clients were still with us and even enjoyed coming in to our new offices to use the meeting room to 'get away from interruptions'. It helps that we have some very good craft ale bars nearby. Funny how several meetings got organised on Friday afternoons.
In 2017 we started developing a software solution to help us manage all of our board meetings, and then decided to make it commercially available. Now we had a software company in the group as well. Who would have thought that was going to happen. Magic Minutes now has passionate users all over the world.
Then in 2020, after identifying a common and critical gap at many clients, we decided to develop a new offering around Digital Marketing - driven specifically to drive leads rather than focus on vanity metrics. Our new found interest in using Marketing Automation software and HubSpot in particular made this an even more exciting prospect.
So that's just about up to date for now, with lots of gory details missed out in the middle. I'll need to remember to come back to this and add another chapter as it evolves.
I can't believe you've made it all the way to the end of my indulgent trip down memory lane and I have to thank you for your stamina. Maybe it's left you thinking you'd like to a company like this to work with you?
or perhaps even work for a company like this.
You might even want to set up your own company a bit like this. Or maybe you'd just like to hear more of the gory details. Whatever your reasons, if you feel moved to reach out, then we're always up for a chat. And remember, that craft ale bar is just round the corner.