I’ve been dreaming of this day for over ten years. To have a business that gets past the two year mark and avoids the pitfalls that many businesses fall into before they have had their chance to flourish. Now we’re here it feels a bit surreal if I’m honest. Could it be the fact that it’s still lockdown? Could it be I’m still feeling a bit drunk from the news that it’s only 1 week until the children go back to school? Who knows!

On our first Birthday, we completely forgot to celebrate, everything was kicking off with COVID and it was a scary time. One year on and Ground Up Digital is in an incredibly strong position, and so I’m writing this blog post with an immense feeling of pride, not just for what we’ve achieved, but because we can now look to the future. Having grown through the pandemic, we feel we are incredibly well equipped to continue our growth trajectory well into the next decade.

I warn you now, this post is not cliché light, because the last two years have been a roller coaster of emotions, hard work and excitement, as with any business we are not alone in this especially considering we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. Yet it’s precisely for these reasons I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved in hitting this milestone.

It’s rare that you get to sit back in business and think about what you have achieved so far, so this blog post is a lovely opportunity. I was at this point going to list all our many achievements, from our first client to our first award. Our first staff member to the latest in our team of now eight people, but if I’m honest these achievements are too many in number and for the most part nobody will really care about that level of detail. Instead, I wanted to focus on the people who have helped us along the way, because people buy from people, not businesses.

Although this is a celebration of everything that we’ve done, I can’t claim that I’ve done it all by myself, so I wanted to use this opportunity to thank some truly special people that have inspired us, helped us, contributed to our growth in ways that I would consider above and beyond the call of duty. As a digital marketing professional, it feels uncomfortable to suggest you leave our website, but I highly recommend you check out some of these people below because if you connect with them, your 2021 is likely to be a good one.

Bill SquiresBill Squires is my business coach, and he is fantastic. The level of support, guidance and direction he has provided to this business in the past year is invaluable. We are not the same business anymore and we have stepped up so many rungs on the ladder thanks to Bill’s tutelage, but what is the icing on the cake is you can tell Bill thrives on solving problems, connecting people and ensuring you’re a success. We’re incredibly lucky to have him.

Sarah Greenwood and the Whiteside’s team – Sarah and I have become good friends over the past few years, and she has been an incredible soundboard on our long dog walks through Roundhay Park after work. She is also a fabulous accountant, who I’m pleased to say represents us each month and does a fantastic job. The Whiteside’s team are always there for us and nothing is ever too much trouble. Huge shout out to Leo, Tanis and Adam too because they are awesome and ever helpful. Sarah for the walks, for the friendship and for the excellent service thank you.

Caren Launus-Gamble KreativeInc Agency are our accessibility partners and we say that with a huge sense of pride because they are an amazing company. Created by Caren and her son Callum, they specialise in making websites accessible for a huge variety of people who otherwise may struggle to navigate the rich array of content on the internet. Karen has supported us by referring work our way, encouraging us to keep fulfilling our social mission and introducing us to a whole host of fascinating people. Caren and Callum have relentless optimism and enthusiasm and I can’t wait to continue working with them in the future.

BNI Acclaim – Some people hate BNI but I am not one of them. I’m not a fan of the early mornings but then again who is, but I’m delighted I joined BNI Acclaim in September 2019. It meant that I spent 2020 rubbing shoulders with some of the nicest, kindest, hardest working business men and women who really go out of their way to support each other. Thank you to everyone, you have helped me personally grow so much over the past year and a half and I’m eternally grateful to you for that.

Jenna Cooper – “Some people are just ace”, is a direct quote from Jenna and one that can so easily be placed at her door. Jenna has always been there for me in the past two years, for a chat, for a shoulder to cry on and always she has been supportive and incredible. She is also the Sales Director at an incredible IT company called Singularitee.

Tiggi Pickard – Tiggi was the first member of staff through the door in 2019 and although things didn’t work out, and Tiggi is no longer with us, he will forever be the first person hired by Ground Up Digital, an honour that I will never forget.

Matt Maltby – Matt owns the fantastic web design company Four90 Designs. Matt and I go a long way back and he helped design the Ground Up Digital logo and was the person who created our current website (what was design 2 if you’re using the way back machine in the future). Matt has also provided subcontracted services for Ground Up and has been a constant support and fantastic companion over the last two years. Thank you, Matt, for everything.

My staff – At one point I wanted to write a blog post about each member of staff because I honestly feel like I start to tear up when I talk about how proud I am of the team. I watch each day as they grow stronger, better, more confident, more agile, they make me so proud and I can’t tell them enough. Together it’s an incredible journey we’re on and I’m so pleased that it’s them I’m sharing the voyage with. I have debated not doing specific shoutouts because everyone has done such an amazing job, but I feel two people need a particular mention. Ryan Blue our Head of Digital and Richard Makin our Head Of Web Development. Both have shown a level of dedication, commitment and work ethic that has provided such an incredible amount of value to Ground Up. It is my hope that in 2021 we can repay our staff tenfold with exciting projects, new growth and innovative business practices that will keep them here for years to come.

Our Clients –None of this would be possible without our clients. For identifying a problem and trusting us to have the solution to fix that problem. It’s been a pleasure to work for each and every one of them. We have enjoyed a great 2020, but now we have shoots of optimism from lockdown ending, we are looking forward to the results we generate together.

So with that, we end another year and start a new one. It’s nice to look back and give yourselves a pat on the back, but what I enjoy most is looking forward and we’ve been looking way beyond this day for a while now. Tonight we will have a few beers and celebrate, but tomorrow we’ll be ready for the next part of the adventure.