Business duo keen to give others a launchpad after ‘awesome.’ growth

A Barnsley-based creative agency which sought to showcase the artistic talent within its home town intends to use its skills to support new entrepreneurs in the region.

Graphic designer Dan Rose launched creative agency We Are Awesome in 2016 when the marketing agency he worked for closed its doors.

During his time at the agency, Rose met his future business partner Chris Endcliffe. As Rose embarked upon his new business venture, the friends kept in touch and by 2018 they decided to join forces.

As Rose concentrated upon helping their growing client base to stand out from the crowd, Endcliffe began pioneering a custom-built content management system, helping people with limited IT skills to manage their own websites and marketing campaigns.

With plans to build the business further, Rose approached the Launchpad business support programme to help them look at ways of scaling their idea.

Working alongside business adviser Ben Hawley, the programme provided the entrepreneurial duo with access to workshops and masterclasses, helping them understand their new roles as business owners and the steps needed to build and grow their business.

We Are Awesome, which is headquartered Barnsley’s DMC01, has now built an impressive client base which includes clients in the entertainment, healthcare and education sectors including Warner Music, the University of Sheffield and the Barnsley Hospital Charitable Trust as well as supporting new entrepreneurs taking the first steps on their own business journey.

When the first national lockdown hit in March, Rose and Endcliffe returned to the plans they made with Launchpad.

Recognising many more people had chosen to turn to self-employment as a result of redundancy, they began reviewing the start-up services offered by the business and developed a dedicated support package, helping new business owners build their own enterprises.

Rose said: “From the outset it way my vision to build a business capable of offering a full range of marketing services.

“As my freelance business grew, Chris and I decided to join forces. We both had a clear idea what we wanted to achieve with our business, but we weren’t really sure how to realise the full potential in the business idea.

“Working with Ben really opened our eyes and see the potential in our business model. He understood the sector and the sessions helped us to try and find answers to the questions we were asking without his advice being prescriptive.

“It made us question many parts of the way we ran the business and over time we revisited the changes to understand the impact they had on the business.

“Working with Launchpad helped us build a much stronger business and even during a particularly challenging time for many, we’ve continued to enjoy organic growth.”

Hawley said: “Coming from an agency background both Dan and Chris knew it was vital to get the fundamentals right, particularly when it came to managing projects and members of staff.

“They spent time putting every aspect of their business under the microscope, regularly reviewing the decisions they made, the impact it had upon the business, and how they could adapt and improve.

“This willingness to adapt and respond has helped their company adapt so effectively to a changing business environment.”