Q&A: InTouch Marketing Consultancy
Following the most recent intake of Town Square’s fully funded non-equity business acceleration programme we caught up with Hannah Warden and Rebecca Maddocks, Co-Founders of InTouch Marketing Consultancy. During our conversation we heard about their fast-tracked entrepreneurial journey from graduate to co-founders and how taking part in the acceleration helped equip them to launch.
Firstly, congratulations on the recent launch of InTouch Marketing Consultancy – can you share with us a bit of background on your ‘why’ behind the company?
InTouch Marketing provides social media services to small businesses to increase their social media presence and engagement. Our services include analysis and recommendations, content creation and social media management. We are both passionate marketers with experience from both learnings in university and through own use of social media platforms. We wanted to create a business doing something we enjoyed but also something we are skilled in so that we could provide a high quality service to our clients.
We came up with the idea for InTouch Marketing Consultancy during the first few weeks of the Covid-19 lockdown. We wanted to ensure that we used the time productively and used the time to increase our commercial awareness, experience and skills. We also wanted to help small businesses recover from Covid-19 with a stronger marketing presence. Throughout our business management degrees we have undertaken a range of marketing related studies which therefore led to us understanding the importance of social media for small businesses. The combined idea of bettering ourselves plus providing support to those who need it during this awful pandemic, we decided that starting up a business in social media would be a fantastic option for us!
Tell us a little about yourselves?
Both of us have just completed our studies at Swansea University. Hannah studied Business Management with Marketing and Rebecca studied Business Management. We became friends after realising that we both had a passion for marketing and we’re both hard working and motivated. We worked very closely during group work this academic year and therefore decided that going into business together would be a great opportunity to boost our marketing experience.
We know that you recently participated in Town Square’s business accelerator – why did you decide to apply and what did you hope to achieve from the programme?
We applied for the accelerator program because we wanted to boost our skills, learn and ensure that we were ready to launch the business. We launched the business on the 1stJune, during the program and every single session provided us with support and ideas which increased our confidence in the days leading up to the launch and the days after we launched. When we applied we hoped that it would enhance our launch and provide us with an opportunity to really be successful.
Before the accelerator we didn’t know exactly what to expect, we were nervous about whether it would make us feel like we weren’t ready to start our own business. However, it was the total opposite! From the minute we started on the program we were given advice and knowledge and had the opportunity to meet other people in a similar position to us with the same drive and motivation. Our nerves were settled and we felt ready to start the business because we knew that we had a team behind us providing support if we needed it as we began to work with clients.
What have been the key areas of knowledge and support you have received that have helped amplify InTouch Marketing from idea to launch?
The accelerator was great because every day was a different focused topic. This meant that every day we were provided with different, interesting knowledge. Lucky for us, being Business Management students we had covered a lot of the knowledge during our degrees but consolidating this knowledge in the program made us feel confident about the skills and knowledge we already had increasing our confidence for the success of our business.
The legal side of business was an area both of us were worried about so when the legal session finished, we took the opportunity to speak privately to the key speaker. For us this was extremely valuable and we were so grateful that every speaker on the programme was friendly, approachable and was keen to help us.
The world of entrepreneurship is packed full of challenges and equally as many opportunities, how has your journey been so far and what are your aspirations for the next 6 months?
Our journey so far has been better than we ever imagined. The response we received on social media when we launched the business was overwhelming. We received over 400 website views in our first 2 days of trading and for us this was remarkable because people were interested in what we were doing. Since then, we have had 3 clients all of which have required a different service which tested different areas of our skills and expertise.
In the next 6 months our aspirations are to continue growing our social media presence so that our platforms have a large reach to share tips, tricks and knowledge. We also want to continue growing through speaking to new potential clients and taking on a range of social media tasks based on what our clients require. We want to use the next 6 months to try new things to see what works and what doesn’t and as an opportunity to get our name out there and show people what we are capable of.
What is your top advice for people who are in a similar position and looking to turn their business idea into reality?
There is no better time to start a business and path the way to a future that you desire. For us there was nothing to lose, once our University exams were complete, we could focus 100% of our efforts into our business. We were proactive in finding a route to gain additional income and work experience to enhance the start of our marketing careers.
We advise everyone who are considering starting a business to go for it! Take the plunge and step out of your comfort zone! Not only does it look extremely impressive to future employers, friends and family but it gives you a feeling of self-achievement and really allows you to prove what you are capable of. Starting this business has enabled us to meet some truly inspiring people and make great connections through networking, experiences which we will be able to reflect on and be proud of for the rest of our lives.
What two valuable business lessons have you learned so far in your entrepreneurial journey?
A key lesson we have learnt so far is the importance of believing in yourself and that you can do it! We have had a few knock backs which have been frustrating but we’ve also had some amazing achievements so a lesson we have learnt is to focus on the positives and not the negatives and really believing that we can achieve our goals with hard work and determination.
Where can we find out more about your company?
We have a website (www.intouchmarketingconsultancy.co.uk) where people can get in touch with us and read our blogs which we upload every week about different social media related topics. We have a LinkedIn and Facebook presence where we share updates, information and showcase what we do & we have an Instagram presence (@theintouchgirls) which we use to share tips and tricks about social media. We use it as a learning platform for our followers so that we can showcase our skills and knowledge whilst providing support to small businesses.