We talked to Adam Haworth of Lakewood media on how they help businesses make the most of their digital resources and marketing budgets and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Adam Haworth: We have all been very careful and avoided the virus so far. I actually welcomed my son into the world back in December 2020 so it was a pretty good end to a rather challenging year.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Lakewood media.
Adam Haworth: I founded Lakewood media back in 2013. We originally started working in print design but quickly took a digital path. Since the company has flourished and we are now a recognized digital marketing agency in the UK. My role in the company hasn’t changed too much since day one. Although, I no longer have to be the accountant, customer support, design, and developer I still like to keep close tabs on everything that is happening.
How does Lakewood media innovate?
Adam Haworth: Over the years we have focused on expanding our services, we created a secondary business, WP Helper, that provides on-going support and maintenance for customers websites. This has helped us establish a diverse source of income and importantly increased reoccurring revenue. Our core services have also expanded and become more specialized. SEO and WordPress development and managed hosting environments are what we are known for now.
Since 2017 we have also been targeting emerging markets, especially in South East Asia. Although our primary customer base is still the UK having a presence in other countries has also helped during the pandemic.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Adam Haworth: Coronavirus has caused a drop in revenue in 2020-2021 but thanks to our diversified services we have been able to weather the pandemic so far. SEO services make up the bulk of our revenue and as a marketing service, it was affected by the coronavirus more than any other service. Many of our clients had to pause SEO contracts as their own businesses were greatly affected.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Adam Haworth: Unfortunately, we did have to put a lot of our freelance staff on hold. Fortunately, many of them are now back working with us but as 2021 has already gotten off to a shaky start we are hoping the economy will recover quickly and business can get back to a normal pace. We learnt that a lot of our primary clients actually help directly employ numerous staff for their projects alone. We realized that having specialized staff does have its drawbacks when they can’t operate in other areas of our business. Our aim is to train some of our SEO staff to be able to work with customer service and our support services.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Adam Haworth: As a digital agency we don’t often meet many of our clients in person anyway so reducing face-to-face meetings wasn’t that hard. It has proved to be rather difficult to get some quiet time for phone calls with clients while working from home with four dogs and a newborn baby in the house. Our company uses Google Meet, FreshDesk, and Google Suite for communications, this hasn’t changed much with coronavirus. We did get a lot of clients asking for Zoom calls which never happened until 2020, we always got by on Google Meet with no issues.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Adam Haworth: Yes, we have been very fortunate in the UK to have the government furlough scheme which really helped us with cash flow through the worst of the pandemic.
Your final thoughts?
Adam Haworth: We have learned a lot from the Coronavirus pandemic, it has made us take extra steps to be better prepared for disasters. We have been very lucky to have good health and no contact with covid. Keep safe everyone and we will get through this.