Born from humble means, it is a testament to the hard work founder Marc Shelkin and his employees have poured into their business, filling a niche that few realised existed. Marc noticed a marketing niche between business and social media, “We noticed a gap in the market for new and established businesses that have no Digital or Social footprint.” He told me.
Utilising his previous experience in marketing and business, he set out to be the digital voice of hundreds of businesses, working within a variety of platforms on social media and beyond to build their branding and forge long lasting communities around their clients. Their first client was the restaurant Shaka Zulu and it was from the proceeds of that first ever client that Marc grew his business. Hiring his first ever members of staff that would allow The Social Shop to handle greater and greater clients.
Now dealing with 30 clients paying a monthly retainer, Marc attracted several buyers for his business at the beginning of the year but was not initially looking to sell. When I asked what finally changed his mind he replied, “It’s difficult being on your own and managing a company, having all of the responsibilities and burdens and no one to share it with. It’s fun, free and engaging to be your own boss and run your own company but it can often be quite an isolating experience. Pooling our talent and resources together with Fusion will not only allow us to expand in ways we couldn’t before and focus my attention on more direct issues.”
We asked Marc what were some of the thing he missed the most about Launch22. “Thecommunity here is amazing, everyone is very friendly and supportive of one another. It creates a perfect working environment for entrepreneurs. Pizza day is officially now my most favourite day of the month!” Well we have to agree with Marc there, nothing brings people together like pizza!
We asked Marc if he had any tips based upon his experience managing The Social Shop for all these years these were some of them:
One of the key points Marc made to me is the need for entrepreneurs to think outside of the box. “The last thing you want to do when building a company is join an already oversaturated industry. Going toe to toe with big name brands that have been around far longer than you and with far more resources than you possess is suicidal.” Sometimes, the best but trickiest thing to do is instead creating your own niches and industries. “Just because it doesn’t exist now doesn’t mean it won’t ever. Industries only arise because they fill a need people have, sometimes they might not even recognise that this need isn’t being filled. It requires creativity and vision to recognise the potential for a new niche to fill.”
Whenever you build your own startup you take a massive risk. Risk taking is integral to being an entrepreneur but it can often require a great deal of bravery. “You have to be brave and you have to believe in yourself, even when no one else will.” Marc claimed. Starting out from nothing, even with experience in business like Marc has, is nearly always challenging as you attempt to find investors and customers. “Communities like Launch22 and other incubators can be great like that as it allows you to interact with other entrepreneurs. To see the challenges that they face and to know you’re not alone. Knowing that it isn’t just you, that others feel the same way and go through the same situations is uplifting and can give you the courage you need to push forward.”
With those wise words, we wish Marc and the rest of the gang from the Social Shop all the best as they look to the future and leave our incubator. For ourselves, it has been a privilege working with the team and watching the business continue to grow from strength to strength with us.
If you’re curious to find out more information on The Social Shop and how they could aid your companies branding then you can find more information on this link.
Or if you’re curious to find out more about how Launch22 can help your business then follow the link to apply for one of our viewings.