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PAYG Agency: Tom Rosier

PAYG Agency offers digital marketing services aimed at startups and small-medium sized businesses specifically

Name of founder: Tom Rosier

Location: South West London

Date launched: August 2020

Number of employees: 1

Age of founder: 32

Website: https://paygagency.com/

Instagram: @paygagency

What university, if any, did you attend? Solent University

With ten years experience of working in marketing, Tom Rosier founded PAYG Agency, which offers cost-effective digital marketing services to the small business market.

Tell us what your business does:

PAYG is an affordable marketing agency focused on offering marketing services to startups and small to medium-sized businesses. From PPC and SEO, to email marketing and paid social, PAYG covers all digital channels, offering big business experience at small business prices.

Where did the idea of your business come from?

I've worked in marketing agencies and corporate marketing teams for the last 10 years. And a lot of the work they do is great. But I became somewhat disillusioned with the smoke and mirrors of corporate marketing life: the tired pitches, the pushy up-sell, the day charges for hourly jobs, the huge retainer fees.

I wanted to find a new way of doing things: an upfront, honest way, a way with no barriers of entry to small business. So I looked at the market and wondered if there could be a way of offering marketing services to small businesses with no barriers of entry.

Traditionally, agencies have always relied on over-charging and under-servicing their clients. The more retainers they have and the less work they do, the more money they’re able to make. 

That never sat well with me. So the pay-as-you-go model not only lets me sleep well at night knowing that I'm not ripping anyone off, but also taps into a level of business that most agencies wouldn't even consider working with due to their lower budgets.

How did you know there was a market for it?

I think you just need to look around at everything that is happening with Covid-19 right now. Many larger firms are in-housing a lot of their marketing output – and businesses will need to market now more than ever in order to acquire new customers off the back of a quiet spring/summer.

Plus, when speaking with clients and handling agencies myself over the past ten or so years, flexibility and price are the two main barriers of entry to working with any agency. The PAYG marketing model that my business is employing removes that barrier – which I'm sure will only heed positive results.

What were you doing before starting up?

Before I started PAYG I've worked both in-house and agency side in a number of marketing disciplines, covering SEO, PPC, paid social, content, branding, email marketing… the list goes on. I'm definitely what you would consider a ‘jack of all trades' in the marketing sense.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

I certainly haven't always wanted to start my own business, but as I've gotten older I've found that the desire to do things my way has become more and more strong. 

I'm also at an age now where I feel like I have worked in enough businesses to appreciate the good and the bad – and I now have the tools and confidence to be able to go and do it on my own, on my terms.

How did you raise the money?

Luckily, because the business is based completely online, the startup costs have been minimal. I built the website myself, so that has managed to save me a huge amount of money. 

That allows me to pump money into marketing the business and finding new customers who require my services.

Describe your business model and how you make money.

The business model is quite simple: I'll price jobs based on how many hours they will take me to complete. 

As I can do the majority of the work myself and also have access to a team of freelancers who can help me through busier periods, there aren't really any fears about making money, so long as I don't overspend on marketing the business.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

The main challenges for me have been actually setting up the business. There are so many hoops to jump through, barriers of entry, accounting considerations; red tape. That's quite a lot to handle as a single employee business. 

And the only way to overcome such challenges is to read – a lot. I've read just about every new business blog, article, and website that I could find. There really are some great ones out there and the advice of fellow small business owners has been priceless in my efforts so far.

What was your first big breakthrough?

Getting my first client. I was very fortunate that they were looking for a full digital launch: everything from branding to a website, PPC management and SEO consultancy. 

As this was such a big job, this has afforded me the opportunity to invest in the business without fear of worrying where the next paying customer will come from, in the immediate future anyway.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Don't be put off by your own big ideas. Some business ideas sound far too big and complex to even try – and some might be. But if you have a great idea that you think will work, you should try and build a micro version of the idea first as a proof of concept. You can then grow and evolve into the big idea that you had in the first place.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

In five years’ time, I would love for the business to be a living and breathing agency with bricks and mortar premises. 

The whole idea of the agency is to give small businesses a chance to grow and succeed with professional marketing services, and my ultimate goal is to offer free drop-in consultancy to any small business that needs our help. If they need us to do the work too – great. If not, I will have been happy to just give a small business owner the information they need to grow their business.

Keen to read more about more new businesses?

See more Just Started profiles here!

Scarlett Cook
Scarlett Cook

Scarlett writes about a wide range of topics on the site, from business security to digital marketing and EPOS systems. She can also be found writing about diversity and sustainability in business, as well as managing the Just Started profiles.