Enterprise! Spotlight features Jordan Bucknell, one of KU’s most successful tech-savvy entrepreneurs, who speaks for the value of perseverance, having started out with just a laptop and some homemade business cards.
Since graduating from Kingston University in 2009, Jordan has been recognised for his well-deserved success and was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011! He has also been awarded Enterprise Graduate and Enterprise Business awards, and has even been a judge for KU’s own Bright Ideas competition. When he’s not engrossed in his budding business, Jordan pursues his passion for sharing his experiences and knowledge with others, and frequently speaks at events across London, as well as working as a transformational coach and mentor!
Motivated by his belief in Upbeat Agency’s potential, Jordan worked hard to get his business off the ground, hitting the streets of Kingston upon Thames to dabble in door-to-door sales and attend local networking events in an effort to seek-out his first few clients. Eventually, Jordan’s humble endeavors paid off, and what began as a simple web design service has now expanded, providing a range of digital marketing services for various businesses; from driving traffic through Facebook Ads and providing leads through PPC to helping businesses climb the Google rankings ladder, Upbeat Agency has proven its worth in the business industry.
How do you describe Upbeat Agency?
My company is a digital marketing agency that helps business owners, entrepreneurs, and key decision makers to sell more of their products and services online. We help businesses set up paid advertising, ensure they have fresh content for their social media channels, and ultimately, reach the top of Google search results.
Additionally, I run my own workshops that help business owners understand more about digital marketing, and I’ve also set up a networking event in Waterloo that connects business owners.
Is there a market for your business?
Absolutely. We are at the dawn of a digital age that boasts an incredible amount of opportunities to create and market new products. My company aims to help new businesses to make the most of digital resources, in order to boost their visibility and their sales.
What prompted your venture into business?
I went on a placement year whilst I was at university and I felt I could do a better job than the manager who was running the business. I felt passionate about creating something and helping others so I decided to start my own business.
“We need more innovators, creators and dare devils in order to push forward as a society and reach new heights in our human evolution.”
How have you used marketing to promote your business?
There are several areas that I focus my time on in order to market my business and generate work, such as securing paid ads on Facebook and Google, and embarking upon a new SEO campaign to get my website a good ranking on Google. However, I think it’s important to remain personally involved in business marketing, so I regularly attend business networking events to promote my agency face-to-face and meet fellow entrepreneurs.
What has been your biggest challenge being in business so far?
There have been many challenges over the years, and the main challenge has been having to deal with all the challenges! It’s exciting at first, but unless you are truly passionate about what you are doing you may find it difficult to sustain the energy to constantly tackle problems. I was lucky enough to be mentored as soon as I left university and was taught how to deal with the various business obstacles that would inevitably come my way.
How did you raise funds for your business?
I didn’t have any available funds when I started my business and I have never taken investment off anyone. In fact, when I started my business my overdraft was maxed out and I was broke student. My lack of funding actually became a blessing, as I learnt how to be resourceful – you don’t need any money to go door-to-door canvassing!
Looking back, what would you have done differently with your business?
I would have taken the time to understand more about business principles and my industry. I was in a rush to get started when I first set off and, looking back, taking my time over the past few years has been a much better strategy.
“We are at the dawn of a digital age and there are an incredible amount of opportunities out there right now.”
Can you share something that you are most proud of?
I’ve had coffee with billionaires and dinner with CEOs worth hundreds of millions of pounds. All this was done off my own back and I’m proud I was offered the opportunity to meet such people, it was incredibly inspiring.
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
In five years’ time I aim to have over fifty staff members, a Central London office, be working with some incredible clients and planning to globalise my business.
How did the Enterprise Programme at Kingston University help you or support you in growing your business?
Kingston University was amazing; I was given an Apple MacBook, some useful software, a bit of sponsorship money, and plenty of guidance on how to launch myself off the ground. I owe a lot to the Enterprise Programme, and have regularly been back over the years to give talks to students as a way of saying thank you.
Jordan, you have clearly worked hard to get to where you are now, and your enterprising story will inspire so many of our students! Why do you believe enterprise skills are important?
Enterprise is what drives the economy. We need more innovators, creators, and dare devils in order to push forward as a society and reach new heights in our human evolution.
Thanks for sharing your story with our KU community , Jordan!
Follow Jordan on Twitter to keep up with his progress (@JordanBucknell @tweetsbyupbeat) and check out his LinkedIn profile! For more information about Upbeat Agency, make sure to visit Jordan’s website!