Growing Bristol business Noughts & Ones are coders with character.

Find out how Tom Locke went from sole trader to successful owner of a growing digital agency in just two years.

Tom Locke comes from a digital agency background, but he never intended to be a 9-5 guy forever. “I’ve always known that I wanted to run my own business, so once I’d built up my skills and knowledge I started working as a freelancer, trading under the name Hive Social”.

After 4 years of establishing Hive Social's reputation as a Squarespace Specialist, Tom decided it was time to step up his game. In 2016, he joined Business West’s Start & Grow programme and a year later he said goodbye to the freelance life to incorporate Hive Social. Earlier this year he rebranded his company to Noughts & Ones to help align the company’s service offering brand identity and messaging. Fast-forward to day, Tom has now employed two full-time developers and plans to continue growing his business and his team of ‘coders with character’.

As well as specializing in custom Squarespace websites, Noughts & Ones offer Shopify design and development. Their mission is to collaborate closely with their clients to deliver ‘innovative design and development in a way that’s approachable and empowering.’

Tom first heard about the Start & Grow Programme from a Business West adviser when he was looking for support to grow his business. During the programme Tom received 18 hours of support in the form of workshops and one-to-one meetings with a scale-up adviser.

Alongside general business support, Tom’s business adviser provided information about the HMRC employment allowance available to him as a first time employer, connected him with Skills West and helped him access the Export for Growth programme and the opportunity to work with a digital marketing for export specialist. Tom also benefitted from Business West’s connections to University of West of England which helped him to identify the potential for a offering a graduate internship at Noughts & Ones.

Looking ahead, Tom’s goal is to continue growing the Noughts & Ones team and hopes to have employed at least one more team member by the end of 2018. He also has plans to strengthen their eCommerce offering and build partnerships with other creative agencies.

Find out more about Noughts & Ones on their website.

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