VIDEO: Berwick firm on a fast track to success

A Berwick website firm has continued its rapid expansion by opening two new offices and taking on another six 

First4Websites, based at Workspace in the town centre, has opened offices in Durham and Ashington and also has plans to expand its customer base in the Edinburgh area.

Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams

The business is less than three years old, but has grown far faster than owners Sarah and David Williams could ever have hoped for when they set it up.

“This year is going phenomenal for us,” said Sarah, who runs the company on a day-to-day basis. “We ramped up the heat on sales and IT and it has grown arms and legs.”

They have already made moves to the south, and a new sales rep will start at the end of the month to target new customers north of the border. In the long term, Sarah has very ambitious plans to make a footprint in every city in the UK.

Unaffected by the recession, her award-winning business has doubled in size over the past year by cashing in on the continuing internet boom.

“We have never actually suffered from the state of the economy out there,” she said.

First4Websites specialises in designing bespoke websites for local businesses and providing additional online marketing support for all industries.

The company, which sponsored the recent What’s on Where Awards, also runs social-media courses to help businesses understand how to promote themselves in the digital age.

Sarah explained: “More and more business people are realising that they have to invest in their website. That’s how their customers will find them these days.

“If you can’t find your website on the first page of a Google search you are wasting your money.”

Her own strategy is to invest money in the business and look after her staff, which she says are key components of the success. Being based in Berwick helps too, keeping rental costs and wages lower than would be demanded in a city like Newcastle or Edinburgh.

Sarah has also learned lessons from her first website firm, which made inroads into Singapore and New York before she sold it.

“I learned a lot,” she said. “One of the key things is networking. I didn’t do enough of it last time. Customer relations is key as well. We touch base with our customers once a month because, like us, no company stands still.”