We sat down and asked our founder a few questions. Jamie has a wealth of knowledge in design and running a business, so we wanted to find out a bit more about him.
What made you start Bold and how did it all begin?
When I was 11 years old, I started my first web hosting & design company which was called Jazang Hosting. Terrible name, I know. Then when I turned 16, I rebranded it as Cloud Nine Media. As long as I can remember, I have always had a strong passion for design. Growing up I would often visit a website and straight away have loads of ideas of changes I’d like to make and things that I thought would look better.
Facebook started offering advertising options when I was 18 years old, and I used this as an opportunity. Me and 3 of my friends started a call centre in my bedroom where we would phone local businesses and tell them how we could help with their Facebook advertising. This grew quite quickly, and we were able to upsell web design as well.
A year later, I wanted to get involved in something different, so I created a company consulting in I.T in the fine wine industry and then moved to Dubai. In Dubai, I continued freelancing and when moving back to the UK I started SE1 Creative. A few years later, I decided to put SE1 Creative on the shelf and began mapping out a new company, something bigger and something bolder. I started BOLD in 2019 and it has grown so much this year. I started Bold because I wanted to offer web design and digital marketing at a fair cost and stop people from overpaying or being left with a website that doesn’t work properly and is only half-finished.
What would you say is the most important element of a website every design agency should focus on when building a new client’s site?
I think simplicity & creativeness is key. You need to keep it simple for users, but eye catching at the same time. A website also needs to draw attention to convert the prospect into a customer.
I also think that communicating and guiding the client is a very important element, as a lot of the time web design and technology is alien to most clients, so being able to offer guidance and structure is something that clients appreciate.
Describe what skills and traits have made you successful.
I’ve always been quite entrepreneurial, I am an ideas man. Growing up I was always chasing the next big thing. I’ve always been quite creative and have never been able to work for someone else. I can be quite stubborn sometimes, but ultimately it’s for the best. I am a bit of a risk-taker as well, I think that’s what life is about – taking risks and getting the best outcome. And if you don’t get a good outcome, creating a solution that takes it from bad to good.
Additionally, I am a good people person. I want everyone to be on the same level and I ensure that everyone in the workplace feels equal.
Now that your company is growing, what’s your biggest challenge when it comes to people management?
I think the hardest thing is getting used to a proper structure. I have been so used to working on my own. I was originally doing everything from admin, marketing, design and development. That has all changed now and I have had to learn how and when to delegate tasks and give deadlines. However, I think that the biggest challenge is asking for someone to make me a coffee. I still have to make that myself!
How does Bold ensure diversity and inclusion?
In secondary school, my school motto was ‘All different, all equal’, which is something I still stand by today. I like to make sure everyone around me is on the same page and never feels left out. At Bold, we all have equal pay, and I always include everyone in a project, even if they don’t need to be involved. A lot of the skills I have myself, but it’s nice to not be left out, isn’t’ it?
What is Bold doing well, and where is there an opportunity to grow?
We’re working great as a team. We all have roles and we are clear about what we are achieving. We are constantly pushing one another and helping each other to be the best that we can be.
We’re also building great content and websites for clients with a very good turnaround time. We’re also advising clients on best practices for expanding and we’re very good at communicating and managing our projects. We’re also very creative and a friendly bunch of people who like to be a bit informal but professional at the same time!
What is your long term vision for Bold?
My long term vision for bold is to create a full-service agency, one where we can help companies with all their creative needs, whether it be creating content, web design, consulting, or digital marketing. Whether it’s an established company or a new start-up, I aim to give all companies an equal stepping stone to the digital world and help them on their journey.
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