Directors Alex, Lousie and Rob (right) with Alex (left) from RNS
Photograph: Nick Hill, NM Design
Confidence-boosting support from RNS encouraged a marketing firm to acquire a design agency.
Knapton Wright's deal with Bazzoo comes a year after the Brigg firm's shift in focus to brands that put the planet first. The acquisition has enabled it to push that switch to a wider audience.
Managing Director Alex Wright thanked RNS partner Alex Douglas for the part he played.
“The acquisition of Bazzoo has allowed us to grow off the back of it,” said Alex, who started the firm nine years ago.
“We have a clear direction of travel in a location where there are no other agencies of our size, with one team working across multiple channels.
“We've been working with Alex for a year now. The opportunity with Bazzoo came along and I asked if he could give us a feel for it.
“I've worked with accountants in the past and thought he may exercise caution. He looked at the figures and asked if we thought the transition of clients to ourselves would work.
“He thought it was an opportunity. It was his positivity and his wider view that gave us a lot of confidence in the direction of travel.
“He was also incredibly helpful on the technical side.”
Alex first met Bazzoo owner James Fountain at Newark Business Club when he moved to the area nine years ago.
Subsequently, they collaborated on workshops and other projects.
“He and his team did design work and we have done marketing for his clients.
“James was at a stage in his career where he wanted to keep going with his creativity but wanted to reduce his workload. He asked if we'd be interested in buying his firm.
“We had been talking about how we both had clients who are interested in looking after the planet. Clean energy and renewables were common themes.
“We had shared values too.”
Alex discussed the potential deal with his wife Louise, with whom he had set up the business, and director Rob Jefferson, who joined the firm four years ago.
“It has been a very amicable process over two to three months. James has stayed on as a consultant, committing to six months, and it has been going really well.
“We knew we had the team here to take on the Bazzoo clients and set this business up for the future.”
Alex grew up in Lancashire before moving to London to study a degree in architecture, planning and the built environment.
He met his future wife through playing hockey; her family own a farm between Caistor and Brigg.
The couple lived in the south for seven years and by the time their daughter was born in 2011 they had already spoken about moving to Lincolnshire.
At the time, he worked for Facebook and Louise was employed by Cancer Research. She has subsequently established self-catering accommodation and silver jewellery-making businesses.
Knapton Wright's focus had been on social media but, particularly with the Bazzoo acquisition, its emphasis has switched to creating websites and being a marketing agency.
Alex's experience of the built environment and Louise's background in farming meant the green sector was an obvious area on which to focus.
The firm's rebranding has transformed its website.
“It is vibrant with planet-positive messages rather than being another firm just building websites,” he said.
The Humber region is responsible for 25% of the nation's industrial carbon emissions and is set to capitalise on huge investment by industry giants to decarbonise, creating thousands of jobs.
Alex said: “We talk about sustainability to a lot of our clients. We're passionate about it.
“We're working on some exciting projects, including Projekt Renewable in Grimsby, an educational resource highlighting the sector to school children, whether in person or virtually.
“The A180 corridor between Scunthorpe and Grimsby will be a different place in five years and we're positioning ourselves to capitalise on this growth sector.
“It is a really exciting time, for the region and for our business.”
Alex Douglas congratulated Alex, Louise, Rob and the team on its success.
“While I liked the opportunity the acquisition of Bazzoo created, they had the vision to turn it into reality,” said Alex.
“We were pleased to help support with financial projections, planning and other accountancy needs and wish them well in the future.”
For more details, go to www.knaptonwright.co.uk