Young entrepreneur Kyle Raffo has seen the creative agency he set up as a teenager reach a landmark 10,000 customers.
Expand Digital was founded by Tamworth businessman Kyle at the tender age of 17.
Kyle, who says he was born to be an entrepreneur, and is still only 22, now employs 12 people from offices on the Tame Valley Industrial Estate, Tamworth.
Yet despite being a graduate of TV Dragon Peter Jones’ business academy, Kyle has engaged the support of the Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce’s Let’s Do Mentoring scheme to support further growth at Expand Digital which provides services including web development, graphic design, printing and embroidered work wear.
“I have always been entrepreneurial and first turned a profit by selling sweets and confectionery to pupils and teachers while still at school,” said Kyle.
“At 16, I was given the chance to join Peter Jones’ enterprise academy and it was not only incredibly useful but taught me that it is always beneficial to get expert, independent advice on your business,
“This led me to ask about support from Let’s Do Mentoring and I started working with Richard Lloyd in 2015.
“The business was growing rapidly and I wanted an adviser who could support me as a business owner and also cast a fresh eye over how we work.”
“Richard has a marketing background and has an understanding of what we do.
“But he has offered support in many other ways, including encouraging me to delegate more key work to staff which has given me time to go out and generate even more business.”
This has helped Expand Digital to smash its targets during the past 12 months and to treble turnover. Richard said: “It is essential in successful businesses to set clear and achievable objectives, Kyle had these for himself but had not laid any out for the rest of his team. We put some simple measures in place and shared the success with all. “Kyle had the ability and the energy to be even more successful.
“He needed to control, and channel that, into developing others. We assessed the roles that only Kyle could perform in the business and any other of his activities were delegated to others, this increased Kyle’s time with clients by 100 per cent. “I believe good mentoring requires time and commitment and that the mentor must be willing to continually share information and give ongoing support to a mentee.”
For more information on Let’s Do Mentoring, please contact Mentor Brokers, John Thompson and Leila Green at Staffordshire Chambers on 01782 213929.
Jobs: Five new jobs in 12 months.
Business Practice: Support for the business owner in delegation and staff development.
Growth: All targets exceeded and turnover trebled