A FORMER president of Weymouth Chamber has co-founded a business which aims to make small and medium sized firms a higher profile.

Copywriter and social media coach Andrew Knowles has gone into business with fellow Weymouth resident Zack Fowler to set up digital marketing agency Sprida.

Mr Knowles, who finished a two-year stint as president of Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce this year, was an accountant before turning to writing and marketing for a living.

His business partner was excluded from school at 16 but became a company director at 18 and founded an e-commerce business. He became adept at search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising.

“What appealed to me particularly was Zack’s experiences of the pay per click and SEO world. He had built up some previous business very quickly in terms of mastering these skills,” said Mr Knowles.

“We explored this idea of having this marketing agency here. There are some areas that I find other marketing agencies aren’t reaching. Andrew was keen to do it with me. After a discussion, we decided to collaborate to found the company.”

Mr Fowler recently spoke about marketing at the Business Show in London.

“Business is marketing,” he said.

“I touched on the subject that really you need to be spending more time on marketing. Whether you hire someone to do it for you or do it yourself, you need to be spending more time with it.”

Mr Knowles added: “Anyone can learn how to do it. Some people are naturally more inclined to do it. Anyone can learn but it’s whether to put the time in or whether it’s better or more cost efficient to pay someone else to do it.”

Dorset has a high concentration of marketing and digital businesses in the Bournemouth-Poole conurbation, but the partners in Sprida believe Weymouth can be just as good a location.

“Location now is mostly irrelevant,” said Mr Knowles. He said he had worked for major brands such as Deloitte without meeting them.

“Why shouldn’t people want to work here when they can serve clients globally? In their downtime, they’ve got all the fantastic facilities, the coast and the countryside right on their doorstep. It’s one of the nicest places in the UK,” he said.

“We’re both from Weymouth and we both have an interest in investing in Weymouth and part of doing this business is about investing in Weymouth as well.”


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