IT has been a record year of growth for SponsoredLinX with the recent release of new products.
SponsoredLinX founder Ben Bradshaw (pictured) has expansion plans in the works for 2012.
“We just released an internal product that is about to go worldwide called KRO, which stands for Keyword Research Optimisation. KRO takes the guess work away for businesses as it allows them to test the popularity of keywords like their company name or product,” explains Bradshaw.
“We’ve also released an email marketing software program as well as six new websites. We have 1100 domains in total – we like to launch kites into the air and see which ones take off.”
At just 10, Bradshaw began hosting magic shows. By the time he was in his early 20’s, he was looking to increase bookings as a ‘corporate magician’ and found that traditional advertising wasn’t working, so he started researching Google adwords.
“Through trial and error I was able to figure out how to best increase my web traffic and maintain a steady stream of bookings, which meant enormous growth for my magic business,” he says.
“Then a lot of my friends, who are also entrepreneurs, started asking me for assistance in fuelling online traffic and growth for their businesses as well. I would set up their Google adwords accounts and noticed a clear gap between a well managed account and one that was simply set up and left.
“When their businesses started experiencing measurable success as a result of online marketing, I thought the next logical step was to offer other businesses Google adwords management services and SponsoredLinX was born.”
Bradshaw started the business from home with $20,000 in savings and says there was no roadmap for him to follow.
“If you’re a plumber your business is straightforward, but with online marketing and SEO’s, Google has only been around for 12 years and although we had an idea of how we wanted the business to be, there was no right or wrong way of approaching it, so we committed to making our business model profitable and went from there,” he says.
“Our biggest challenge to date has been finding the right staff and putting the right people in the right seats on the bus.
“Technology is also constantly changing, which is simply the nature of the industry in which we work. We also need to focus on maintaining strong leadership internally due to continued client growth.”
Bradshaw says online marketing accounts for up to 80 per cent of some businesses as customers increase their online spend and research.
“Recessions are good for business because it means companies need sales leads,” he says.
“But we’re having to re-educate businesses to invest in online marketing because they are so concerned about costs that they don’t want to invest in it.
“A lot of business owners are also used to the traditional marketing tools like putting an ad in the Yellow Pages, whereas Google is different. It changes every day and it needs maintaining every day if companies are going to stay competitive.”
International expansion will be a focus for the company in the next 12 months.
“We want to double our business in the next 12 months, which is an aggressive plan and we’re currently looking to purchase bigger offices. We’ve set aside a budget of $1.4 million so we can have our new office set up by Christmas,” says Bradshaw.
YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR FINALIST
Business Est: 2006
Growth: 194 per cent
Turnover: $3.7 million
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