Space Between - the benefits of Scale Up Ashford

Posted on 11 October 2019

Following a year-long programme with the Scale Up Ashford programme, Shelley Grierson, Director of Marketing at Space Between, looks back at how taking part in the local programme has helped the company grow to national and international levels.

The initial focus of Scale Up Ashford

When Space Between joined the Scale Up Ashford programme in April 2018, their initial goals were to focus on their company culture and streamlining their processes [Link to second interview with Luke Frake].

Now at the end of their Scale Up Ashford journey, the company has built a positive and empowering company culture, ensuring that their employees are not only productive, but also happy to come to work every day.

Culture is at the forefront of what they do, from creating a positive environment to offering flexible working hours and “investment time”, during which employees can focus on their personal growth.

Shelley Grierson explains: “Culture is reflected day-to-day in our office in a number of different ways. We have a really enjoyable work environment as a whole and we also have investment time. One day a month, employees can participate in upskilling themselves in a way that’s interesting to them to keep them really motivated in their roles.”

As part of the investment time initiative, employees can, for example, attend a conference or choose to focus on a training opportunity, all aimed to help them grow in their role.

On top of this, the senior management team at Space Between ensures everyone is aware of everything happening within the business and feels involved in company wins. Monthly team meetings and social gathering all contribute to creating this positive environment.

Shelley comments: “We have very clear communication, no matter what is going on in the business, whether it is an award win to be announced or a wider business update, we make sure everybody gathers at least once a month. This is really at the heart of our company culture that everybody feels well informed and excited about what is going on within the business.”

From these initial goals, Space Between has also implemented other actions, which have all helped them grow substantially over the last few months.

Becoming a national and international UX leader

During the course of the programme, the team at Space Between have shifted their focus towards becoming a UX agency, rather than web-development, offering their clients unique insights on how to increase customer retention and conversions. A move made possible thanks to their unique portable biometrics lab.

Shelley gives more detail on this USP: “We have quite a unique selling point, our portable biometrics laboratory of which there are only a handful of them on the market. We use our portable lab with mainstream businesses and this is really exciting in the e-commerce world. It’s about really understanding digital customers, not only by self-reporting and customers telling you what their experience was but putting them in this testing lab and measuring their physiological responses to the user journeys they are experiencing.”

Their portable lab allows them to gather unique insights on customer behaviours, which can then be used to optimise e-commerce sites to provide a better experience and in turn increase conversions. This unique selling point has now allowed them to win new clients and move from being a regional player, to become a national and international UX leader.

They now work with prominent national and international brands, including the Post Office, GHD and P&O Cruises, and they are building a strong profile across the Atlantic, gaining attention from brands such as Walmart and Guess.

Shelley Grierson and Marcus Cooke, Technology Director at Space Between, have also enjoyed a number of international speaking opportunities since last year. Delivering keynotes and leading panels at DigMarCon, the world’s largest digital marketing conference held in Los Angeles, have allowed them to step onto the international stage and gain recognition from other leading brands.

Participating in the Scale Up Ashford programme has really helped us in terms of our business growth.

Shelley Grierson, Director of Marketing, Space Between

How Scale Up Ashford has helped Space Between kickstart their growth

Taking part in Scale Up Ashford has been a key factor in activating this exceptional growth.

Shelley comments: “Participating in the Scale Up Ashford programme has really helped us in terms of our business growth. Where we are now compared to where we were last year before we starting the programme is virtually incomparable. The scale of the projects we are winning and competing at, the levels of clients, speaking opportunities and awards that we have been winning are all at the national and international level.

The accountability that comes with joining the programme has allowed the senior management team at Space Between to take the time they need to focus on the bigger picture and where they want to see the business grow.

“A key takeaway from the programme includes the ability to put time aside as a smaller business during this growth period, to stop and refocus on what we’re doing, step back and look a little bit more objectively.

“Having a mentor to guide you through the bigger picture really helped as well,” explains Shelley.

The recognition has also come in the form of industry awards, with Space Between winning the Company Culture Award at the Lotus Awards 2019, a clear recognition of the work they have carried out on building a positive work environment through the Scale Up Ashford programme.

They have also been selected as one of the Top 150 business in the UK by Lloyds Bank and were nominated for the Duke of York Award at the Lloyds Business Awards.

The results of the programme are clear for Space Between, with key takeaways and actions that they can keep rolling out to continue their business growth. New clients, new recruits, awards won, and bigger speaking opportunities are all indicators of the growth they have experienced since joining the programme a year ago.

If you are interested in kickstarting your business growth and benefiting from expert business advice, visit our Scale Up Ashford page and register your interest with our team.