This week’s Business Focus is with Lee Kenny, founder of Snowflake Media, a social media company helping small business owners leverage the internet.
Why did you start/become involved your business in the first place?
My business Snowflake Media had spent £100,000’s on our clients and own website over the past 12 years and I became increasingly frustrated at the whole experience. Communication was often poor, sites were built in such a way that other developers would find it difficult to fix later and of course cost were astronomical due to the amount of staff time needed when sites take months to build. I decided there had to be a better way, and Digital Renovators was conceived solving the issues.
What advice would you give to anyone starting their own business?
When taking advice, take it from someone who has been where you are now and is where you want to be. Too many people take advice from people who have never launched their own business, yet have lots of pearls of wisdom. Yes, it can be hard, but it can also be incredibly empowering and rewarding.
What was the biggest challenge you faced starting/in your business?
In the early days it was working on the wrong things. Making sure the product, business cards, logo’s etc were perfect. I should have spent that time selling. Procrastination is a form of self-sabotage that affects a lot of people and whatever your actions are, they’ll gain momentum. Either in avoiding or embracing sales and customers.
Other than that, cashflow is always key. Like a lot of start-ups, It’s easy to love doing what you do, but invoices need raising and more importantly chasing to ensure you stay in business.
What achievement in your career are you most proud of?
Paying the mortgage while not holding down a “real” job!
Seriously though, as a bit of a sports nut one of my proudest moments was launching The Golf Channel on Sky TV in 2004 with Andrew Malcher (another Haligonian).
We took the idea to The Golf Channel in the UK and soon found ourselves having to compete against Sky Sports & IMG.
Against all odds we won which in turn led to a series of opportunities including becoming the head of online sales at JJB Sports and allowing us to acquire Naturalcures.com
Which business figure do you most admire and why?
This is such a hard question to answer as there are so many people who have inspired me along the way.
On a local level Roger Harvey (and Tracy) have shown it’s possible to have terrific business acumen while also being very active in civil and charitable causes.
On an international scale Elon Musk or Richard Branson would be a close-run thing and it’s great to see them both combining forces on the new hyperloop technology.
If it comes to the UK, we could go from Halifax to London in about 30 minutes!
Where do you see your business going in the next five years?
Growth, growth & more growth. I am looking forward to our businesses, Snowflake Media, Digital Renovators, Skircoat Green Directory & Calderweb Marketing providing incredible value to their respective local, national and international audiences and growing exponentially.
While remaining nimble, I’d like to see us grow our workforce from its current number of 25 to over 100 strong right here in Halifax.