Meet The Woman Who Used Social Media And Branding To Increase Turnover By 43%


Kimberley-Jane set up her award winning web design agency Squibble, as a response to the tough graduate jobs market. After hundreds of applications she decided to take matters into her own hands and bring the work to her.

As the winner of our Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award she’s clearly doing something right. We grabbed her for a quick chat about her experiences so far.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

Initially, I never intended to set up a business. I was merely looking to grow my design portfolio. I was a young graduate with little experience and I felt that potential employers wanted to see more. University projects were very subjective and I wanted to show something that had been commissioned and paid for.

It was 2008 when I graduated and fierce competition for each graphic design job meant they were hard to come by. I found myself at crossroads – do I continue on this path of relentless job searching or do I take matters into my own hands and work for myself?

When I first started my little business it was named Kimberley-Jane Design Ltd and it did what it said on the tin. It was just me, in my office, designing. Six years later it’s grown much bigger.

In March 2016 I realised that the business had become something more than myself. To reflect this we became Squibble Ltd. It’s been really well received and has resulted in a 30% increase in enquiries (our turnover grows by 43% on average each year). Now we regularly receive requests from far bigger clients than we’ve previously worked with.

What were some of the initial challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?

Probably the same as most business – attracting customers!

I overcame these challenges through a whirlwind romance with social media and it has been very rewarding. We owe a lot of our success and high growth to it, which is why I have focused my efforts on harnessing the power of social media.

Squibble has grown alongside the explosion of social media marketing and I‘ve been able to use this to generate a global brand, find new customers around the world and nurture existing relationships. We are continually offering our latest top tips, support and advice, as well as sharing fellow members news.

How did you fund your business?

I didn’t, it’s grown organically. When I first started I secured a contract to build a website. The fees I charged guaranteed that I could pay the rent on my new office for the next 6 months, so I took a leap of faith and trusted that I would generate more sales. I had 6 months to make it work and if it didn’t I’d go back to my day job.

What is your top tip for growing your business?

Get out there and meet people! Go networking and get out of your comfort zone. You never know who you might meet. And remember, the person you’re talking to may not be your customer – but they have a whole network they could introduce you to. For us it’s all about the referrals.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

From the very beginning I didn’t want to be known as a cheap designer. So from the start I set my price to reflect the quality and service I offered. One piece of advice that always stuck with me was that if you start off cheap now, you will always be known as cheap.

These higher prices are important because it means that I can focus on less projects but dedicate more time to doing the best job ever. The benefit of this is I’m not a busy fool and still have time to enjoy family life. I have a 12 month old daughter so family time is especially important to me.

How has mentorship made a difference in your business?

It gave me the opportunity to bounce ideas around in a safe environment and helped steer me in the right direction. Sometimes all you need is an objective pair of eyes to spot the things you miss. The right mentor will help build your confidence while challenging your thought process.

As Kimberley-Jane has said, networking is essential to your business success, especially in the early years. Forward Ladies helps connect women in business through informal networking events across the country. Why not sign up for our free membership today and give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose!