When Ben Richardson, director of Acuity Training, purchased the business in 2011, it was unloved, to put it politely. He needed to give the company a serious push to get it growing, avoiding any additional financial strains. Now, that’s a tricky mission.
Fast forward to 2016, Acuity Training is in a better shape than ever before, reaping the benefits of smart, strategic planning. So we chat to Ben about his 5-year adventure of leading a struggling brand to a booming business, and what decisions he had to make.
“When I purchased the business, the website hadn’t been promoted at all. Large agencies were charging significant amounts for SEO work and also - very slow and unresponsive! So my first task was SEO work for our website.
That worked well and so I started looking at other services. Since then, I have used PPH (PeoplePerHour) for a wide variety of tasks. These range from completing Acuity’s annual accounts and tax return, to getting images and content produced for our website and then building links to that content,” explains Ben Richardson.
Acuity focuses on providing classroom training on Microsoft, Adobe and AutoCAD products either at their centres in London and Guildford or at their clients’ sites. Strong online presence is the linchpin of their success.
When asked to recount the most noteworthy projects completed through PeoplePerHour, Ben doesn’t hesitate:
“Getting my annual accounts completed in a matter of days because the deadline was looming! Creating a series of articles around Adobe InDesign and Photoshop to promote our classes in that area. These helped to double the occupancy in our classes. Finally, getting a fantastic image produced for an Excel article that I wrote, which helped a great deal with promoting it. PPH has become an integral part of marketing the business. My website’s ranking has improved a great deal, in part because of the work carried out by the freelancers.”
“The platform makes working with freelancers much simpler, taking away many of the concerns and issues. So, for example, “how do I find and contact a relevant freelancer?”, “when I find one, what track record do they have of carrying out this sort of work?”, and finally, “how do both sides get confident around payment?”. So, from my side, I don’t want to pay until I’m happy that the work is completed; from their side, they want to be confident that they will get paid once the work is completed.”
“Generally, the freelancers are high quality and very responsive, and so I find it much easier than working with larger companies,” admits Richardson.