In little over three years Pixel Media Design Ltd business has grown since engaging with the Durham Business Opportunities Programme* (DBOP).
Pixel Media Design Ltd began life in 2017 in the conservatory of one of its founding partners Ian Proctor. Ian, a former teacher, and youth worker Graham saw a need and a real opportunity to put the North East on the business map of the UK. Keen to do something different, they set about developing their idea to deliver high value digital design through creativity and collaboration. In the Spring of 2017, the business moved from the conservatory to a unit on Aycliffe Business Park and continues to see year on year growth.
Support from the Durham Business Opportunities Programme (DBOP)
The team at Pixel Media found out about DBOP after attending a regular free networking event at Aycliffe Business Park. Pixel Media Director Ian Proctor commented: “We were a fledgling business and basically we thought ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’. We had nothing to lose and a lot to gain from meeting people who worked near us and potentially we could make some new contacts.”
The event introduced them to DBOP business engagement officer Lisa Wall. Lisa helped Pixel Media access some useful business courses and further networking opportunities with like-minded business people. As a result, Ian and Graham took up the opportunity to exhibit at EMCON, an annual exhibition organised by the Engineering and Manufacturing Network. A small financial contribution gave them access to a suite of marketing materials, in addition to workshops on the do’s and don’ts of effective exhibiting. Ian described this as a “great experience and good value for money from a learning perspective”.
Outcomes and impacts
The business grew its client base from three to 200 in two years and increased turnover by around 50% per annum. Therefore they decided to employ a Digital Media Apprentice to help them manage the increasing workload. This is a decision they describe as a win-win. That is to say they are supporting the development of young talent at the same time as enabling the company to grow.
Commenting on the help from DBOP Ian said: “Networking is fantastic! We’ve made some great connections and not just in terms of customers. There is great value in learning from others; people who have been through the same experiences when starting up their companies, we’ve learnt a lot from them. Being involved in the networking events has increased our standing in the local business community. Attending the business courses has given us increased confidence and given us the tools to work out what to do.”
Looking to the future
Pixel Media Design has plans for a bright future, which includes continued growth. This includes working with their current client base as well as extending their offer to larger businesses across a wider geographical footprint in the North East and beyond.
As a final comment on his experience with Business Durham, Ian said: “If you are a business in County Durham and you are looking to expand or to do things differently, then get in touch with the guys at Business Durham. You’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain.
*The Durham Business Opportunities Programme is a six-year programme for SMEs running up until November 2022, helping County Durham businesses spot opportunities for sustainable growth. It is funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Business Durham, the business support service for Durham County Council, helping to deliver more and better jobs and a strong competitive economy.