Last week was one of the most exciting in hedgehog lab’s journey to date.
Alas, we can’t tell you more just yet - but watch this space and keep an eye on the local and national tech press; all will be revealed next week. What we can say is that, in the midst of all, we received two major pats on the back, reinforcing what we knew already: that we’re headed in the right direction.
Firstly, I was honoured to be shortlisted in the Scale-Up category of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, sponsored by NatWest.
At the risk of blowing my own trumpet - oh, go on then! - this is a major achievement in itself, since not only do the awards attract the best of UK business, but this year, entry quality was of a particularly high standard.
Of course, I couldn’t have done it without a great team behind me.
Hence, I’m delighted to say that just one day later we received the news that the business had reached the final of the Digital Entrepreneur Awards.
This is another tremendous initiative, which aims to celebrate the very best of the UK’s digital talent, from start-ups to major corporates.
We’re up against six other cracking companies from the North, all competing for the title of Digital Agency of the Year, which will be announced at a black tie dinner in Manchester in November.
Of course, it’s easy to be cynical about awards - I’m cynical every time I lose! But shortlistings of this calibre surely speak volumes and cause one to reflect on the hard work that led to them.
A decade ago, when Mark and I established hedgehog lab, we knew little about running a business and had to pick up skills in everything from sales to marketing on the job.
What we did know - or at least correctly guessed - was that giving talented people an environment in which they could thrive would lead to long-term growth.
Last year, we increased revenues 130% while boosting staff headcount from 46 to 98. Now, we have more than 120 people on our team and six thriving offices in the UK, India, the US and Denmark.
Scaling up, as Abba (nearly) pointed out, is never easy.
One’s got to innovate, yet can’t take too many risks. Resources must be carefully balanced with growing volumes of work. And with increased responsibility comes a need for tighter strategy.
In our case, we’re shifting away from one-off projects to strategic partnerships that help our clients get the most from our services in the long-term.
To help us, we’ve taken on a Product Director, Aidan Dunphy, who has years of experience in the field. We’ve also strengthened our board and are embracing the cutting-edge with our Immersive Technologies division.
There is one final piece in the jigsaw that will bring it all together. But - you guessed it - we’re going to leaving you hanging on that one...