Tech hubs are sprouting up all over the UK - they're certainly not limited to London. One significant hub is in Bournemouth, where tech companies enjoy great connections, beaches, and lower rents. It's not surprising then that many of the most exciting businesses are coming from this area, including Inferno Media - a cutting-edge social media agency. Let's find out more!

1. Explain your business in 30 seconds or less

We’re social media marketing specialists, ranked as the number one social media agency in Bournemouth and Dorset by Google. We specialise solely in all things social, growing and developing powerful social profiles for a number of clients in various industries, providing social media marketing solutions for B2B and B2C clients on a monthly retainer. These clients span across a variety of different industries, such as hospitality and retail, but our business model is very flexible and useful for all markets. We provide a range of social media services including content creation, community management and network building.

2. Where are you based and why is it a good location for your business?

Our head office is based in Bournemouth, however we also have a sales office in London. These are both great locations for our industry - the digital economy is booming in Bournemouth right now and there are a ton of exciting networking opportunities in London. Not to mention, our Bournemouth office is a four minute stroll from the beach… amazing!

3. How did you come up with the idea?

When I was 17 I became really interested in the ever-growing world of social media. My social media marketing career really began when I created a parody account on Twitter, which I then developed and grew the network to a substantial six-digit following. After the success of this account I decided I needed to put my knowledge and skill to good use and start a social media company. I haven’t looked back since!

4. What stage was your business at when you applied for the loan?

We only applied for the loan a few months ago, so the business was already established with two years of trading. I think receiving the loan at this point in time has been really beneficial for the business, as we know as a company where we are going, what we are doing and what we need to spend the money on.

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5. How have you used it to grow your business?

The loan has been used for sales and marketing campaigns. We are consulting with two individuals who are leading SEO and Google PPC specialists. Advertising funds must be allocated to google and social media platforms in addition to the consultancy management fees. We have also invested in customer relationship management software to ensure that leads produced from our marketing efforts are effectively converted into sales.

6. Who is your regional business partner and how did they help you get a Virgin Startup loan?

Our regional business partner, Alex, has been pivotal in helping us. He understands the goals and objectives of the business and has provided help and advice throughout the process.

7. Biggest achievement so far?

One of my biggest personal achievements has been winning the Entrepreneur Star award at the Rock Awards in 2015. As an entrepreneur it really was an honour to win such a prestigious award! But I have to say, in my eyes, the biggest achievement so far has been starting up and continuing to grow a company that has gone on to be a crucial part of the puzzle in helping various businesses succeed...  there really is no better feeling!

8. What’s next for your business?

We’re continuing to expand every day, with a number of new and exciting clients in the pipeline and discussions of opening a new office up north. Long term I’d love to see the business go global, perhaps opening an office up somewhere in the US. For now, we have a lot of exciting things to come and we’re more than ready!

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