Business

From one to four staff (and one more on the way) in two months – it’s Simple!

Maidstone businessman transforms from solopreneur to thriving team amid pandemic

A local businessman has defied the challenges of lockdown to go from solopreneur to moving into his first office and recruiting his fifth team member in just two months after taking an office on the Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) Business Terrace.

Since moving there, Matthew Dorrington (pictured), managing director of Simple Advertising, says not only has his head count grown, but client numbers have tripled during the latest Covid restrictions. What’s more, he recently made the leap from sole trader to incorporated company. The catalyst for the business’s growth, he says, was when after five years spent ‘ticking over’ while working alone from home, coffee shops and hot-desking, he decided to take the plunge and rent an office at The Business Terrace last December. Within the same month, he had recruited his first employee. Two more hires quickly followed and Simple Advertising is now on the hunt for a Search Engine Optimisation Lead.

Simple Advertising’s rapid expansion also meant a move to a bigger office in the building, a mere few weeks after taking up residence. Although currently based there alone while his employees work from home during restrictions, Matthew looks forward to welcoming them back when lockdown ends.

He puts his digital marketing agency’s success down to a combination of adapting his services and taking on an office at the co-working space. He explains how The Business Terrace helped to give him not only the physical, but also the mental room to grow and flourish:

“Moving from homeworking to the Business Terrace has made such a big difference. Being here, I can really focus without distraction, but I always feel there’s support available if I need it – even if it’s just someone to bounce ideas off over a coffee,” says Matthew.

“Taking on my first employee was a big step so it’s amazing to think we’re about to become a team of five. If this is how far we’ve come in just two months, I can’t wait to see where we’ll be by the end of the year.”

The Business Terrace is Maidstone Borough Council’s Growth Accelerator, providing a new generation of flexible workspace to help businesses to start, grow and thrive.

John Foster, MBC’s head of regeneration and economic development added: “It’s fantastic to see how well Simple Advertising is doing, particularly during such a challenging time. This is exactly what The Business Terrace is designed for – to help small businesses make the leap from their kitchen table, grow and prosper.

“There’s a real sense of community and collaboration among the different businesses in the building. Many tenants tell us that they find it invaluable to have such a supportive, friendly environment in which to debate ideas and solve problems. They also have access to business advisers for professional help and advice with all aspects of running their business.

“We hope Simple Advertising’s success will encourage more entrepreneurs to consider joining The Business Terrace and making the most of the fantastic facilities.”

The Business Terrace offers hot desks, meeting and seminar room hire, virtual offices and ongoing office rental options. To find out more, visit www.businessinmaidstone.co.uk

To find out more about Simple Advertising, visit: www.simpleadvertising.co.uk

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past local weekly publications he has worked for include: the South-East London Mercury* covering the Borough of Greenwich as a junior reporter; Orpington-based News Shopper as a sub-editor; and the Kent Messenger when based in Larkfield, Maidstone, as deputy chief sub-editor. He has also worked for the following dailies/nationals: Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor on a car fleet magazine. His first foray into property ownership saw him move from London to Rainham (the Gillingham, Kent, variety). He has subsequently lived in Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Orpington in the Borough of Bromley (which he still regards as being in Kent). In more recent years he owned three different properties on the Kings Hill (West Malling) development.

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