Leading creative and digital marketing agency 'AIM Sales and Marketing Solutions' engages with clients and works with them to get to the heart of their business and develop successful marketing activities that deliver significant targeted traffic, lead generation, and business growth."AIM
Award-winner CEO, Hannah Rees founded AIM back in 2015 after working in numerous roles across a variety of industries and sectors. Overseeing contracts worth anything from thousands to millions of pounds, hiring and training an expert team of staff along the way.
The idea for the business came bout after the opportunity presented itself whilst Hannah was working client-side, hiring marketing agencies and paying them a small fortune when it was work that she knew she could have done herself in a more strategic and technological way, keeping up to date with the ever-evolving, 24/7 digital age of marketing. She gained the masters and accreditations she needed by studying in the evenings and at weekends.
I gained a mix of PRINCE2 project manager accreditations as I was dealing with multi projects of large-scale value plus, an MCMI in Business Management and marketing qualifications. I felt that I had gained plenty of experience in working for companies and knew one day I wanted my own business."Hannah Rees, AIM
Hannah was motivated by the feeling that the industry was missing the gel between creativity and technology, noting that creative individuals needed to be approached creatively as there is no 'one-size-fits-all' approach. Different skills and roles require different styles, plans, processes, and analytics. The marketing world was seeing an increased demand for SEO, fancy websites and click-bait opportunities, opening doors for a new generation of marketers with multi-discipline and specialist skillsets. Having worked client-side previously Hannah had hired many agencies and fully understands the wants, needs, and expectations clients have when doing projects and/or campaigns. She teamed this with her expert know-how, finding new ways to advertise and gain leads.
Wenta was recommended to Hannah by a friend who told her about the incubator for start-up business at The Business Technology Centre (btc) in Stevenage, (Managed by Wenta), with access to Business Advisers and other business services.
I wanted to work in an entrepreneurial environment and like-minded people and had access to business expertise. The btc has amazing from the state-of-the-art facilities, conference rooms, and a cafe, a manned reception, and business support services. There is a real sense of wanting every business to succeed!"Hannah Rees, AIM
Hannah met other company directors in the incubator collaborating in various ways with other small businesses she has met in the incubator and helping them with recruitment! As her business has grown, Hannah wanted to support her fellow business owners with their business growth too. Hannah mentioned that the clients always recommend one another after using each other's services. She described the btc working environment as being like "a natural and organic business growth engine, that's clearly proven to work!"
She believes working in this type of collaborative environment encourages entrepreneurial winning. As her business keeps grows, the btc staff have given AIM the opportunity to move into larger offices. In her first year, there was just Hannah and her first employee, by 2018 she had 5 staff and 3 sub-contractors and her business continues to expand. With this growth comes business and financial planning and the Wenta Business Advisors have been on hand help and provide insights from their previous experiences of working with high-growth companies... and the challenges that can sometimes come with it – mainly the expense, more staff resource equipment. Hannah has also attended training workshops, made good use of the conference rooms for meetings and clients pitches, organising catering by booking through the reception team and means more time for Hannah and her team to be focused on their work.
The AIM business was started with zero investment, no bank loans and no family or friend loans, yet Hannah still managed to build a business and a brand, an achievement she is understandably incredibly proud of. Her business hires people and gives them an opportunity to develop their skillset in a forward, fun and creative environment, winning contracts with companies that can be anything from a charity to a leading brand name!
We won the SME Herts Business Awards in 2018 and in 2019 we have won the Content Creator Awards for Best Digital Services and Marketing Agency, AcQ5 Awards for Promotional Marketing Agency of the Year Award and myself I have won the Global CEO Excellence Awards for Marketing MD of the Year – home counties."Hannah Rees, AIM
For Hannah, the hardest part of starting and growing a business has actually been the unexpected rate of business growth and the costs attributed to that. She also mentioned that being her own boss at times can feel lonely when she could really do with a sounding board/business partner to go through the pros and cons of development. However, at the same time, she loves that she can make her own decisions, as well as any necessary changes and plans without having to wait for sign off from someone else or report to anyone. Hannah noted that it can take a long time to get an idea or a change off the ground when you work for a company and a lot of meetings, so she's glad to be rid of those frustrations and her time is her own to spend as she likes!
Wenta asked Hannah what Advice she ould give somebody starting up their own business? Here's what she told us:
- Cash is king - ensure you have a business bank account and the right software to track all of your spending and income. In the first few years of business spending can be higher to promote your brand or services but ensure your business operations and your financial systems is in place.
- Hire wisely – we used two recruitment firms to find us the right people!
- Be prepared:
- ...to fail, some aspects of your business plan and ideas may not take off and may not work well, don’t give up just change direction.
- ...for someone to copy all your website, branding, promo and all your services and package offerings!
- ...to say no to a new contract, when you start your business the rule is never to turn work down, however always calculate the success delivery.
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