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The journey from Freelancer to Agency

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Tthe challenges of taking my business from an individual setup as a sole trader to a limited company responsible for employing full-time, office based staff.

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The journey from Freelancer to Agency

  1. 1. From freelancer to agency by Louise Towler Louise Towler E/ louise@indigotree.co.uk W/ indigotree.co.uk @indigotreesays @louisetowler
  2. 2. From Louise Towler to Indigo Tree Digital Ltd 1. My background 2. My approach 3. Why change 4. What and who helped 5. How it works now
  3. 3. 1. My background (bit of a geek)
  4. 4. Working for other people Oil refinery simulations (FORTRAN + OS/2) Managing the Customer Support GIS system for mapping postcodes Quality System and BS5750 Staff Training Total Quality Management Business Process Improvement
  5. 5. …career break…
  6. 6. 2002: Back from America + Family first + No overheads, working from home - Waiting for the work, no sick pay, no holidays - Customers are demanding (even little ones)
  7. 7. 2. My approach (focus on the customer) How can I provide great customer service? Limiting beliefs No network No structure
  8. 8. 2011: Become an Agency + Staff = customer support + Resources = do more interesting work for customers + Office = more professional when meeting customers + Network = not waiting for the phone to ring to get new customers + Limited = financial security and confidence for our customers 3. Why change (to improve customer service)
  9. 9. 4. What and who helped? + Thinking & NLP + Business coaching + Business plan (vision, targets, structure) + Financial plan (metrics, p&l, balance sheet, cashflow) + Employing people better at coding than me!
  10. 10. We’ve grown up 2016: LT Consulting Solutions becomes Indigo Tree Not just LT any more… The business has a value… Can the business work without me?
  11. 11. Our services for customers
  12. 12. 5. How it works – process & tools Customer care Communication Project management Time management Project documentation Business processes and templates Accounts & metrics Lead management and pipeline
  13. 13. More process & tools Team communication Website monitoring Our tools SSL, domain expiry, robots.txt, Google page speed propagated.io Security
  14. 14. And the technical… File management Hosting Design Development
  15. 15. Our theme ‘Origin’ An object oriented starter theme (framework) - CLI code generation - autowiring through dependency injection - PSR-4 autoloading - frontend build scripts Includes a "Fields API" which powers the creation of custom metaboxes, widgets & settings pages. Combined with installation scripts & other tools it can save hours, and in some cases days, off development times.
  16. 16. Our theme ‘Origin’ Adding the slick item carousel component. It includes base styling out-of-the-box and the readme file has usage instructions.
  17. 17. Building the team Daily stand-up Monthly team meetings Annual appraisals Training and conferences Developer time (2 hours)
  18. 18. Company benefits Non-contributory pension Perkbox Tea, coffee, biscuits Monthly ‘Costa Friday’ and occasional pizza
  19. 19. We are Indigo Tree
  20. 20. Louise Towler E/ louise@indigotree.co.uk W/ indigotree.co.uk @indigotreesays @louisetowler