Major international success for Plymouth web design company
A web design agency run by a Plymouth couple has gained a host of international clients as the Covid pandemic breaks down traditional borders.
Made with maturity, set up in 2015 by husband and wife Ben and Clare Stirling, had only one non-UK customer before the coronavirus crisis hit in early 2020.
But with the signing of an agreement with a software development company operating in the United States and Russia, in May 2021, that brings the number of international customers to eight.
Made with Maturity now also works with companies in Germany, Spain, Thailand, Portugal, Finland and Poland. Customers are in a variety of industries, including television and media, health and medical, and manufacturing.
Mr Stirling attributes the success to several factors, but mainly to the fact that the pandemic has led companies to seek services further afield, if they can be delivered remotely. This means that quality and price trumps locality for businesses looking for web designers and similar tech companies.
The low value of the British pound may also be a factor, Mr Stirling said, as the exchange rate of the pound against other major currencies has declined significantly since the 2016 Brexit vote.
However, Mr Stirling stressed that price is not everything and that quality of service is also essential for potential clients, with almost all new victories coming after strong referrals and recommendations from satisfied clients of Made with Maturity.
âBefore Covid, we had a good national / local customer base with only one international customer, in France,â he said. âSince the lockdown, we have seen massive growth in our international customers. We won our most recent from Russia and have now worked with eight international nations since the lockdown began.
âBecause we’re a digital-based company, international barriers haven’t been a problem, and with the world working from home, it’s been easier to work with great people, wherever they live. So it’s interesting to see how a global foreclosure saw increased sales for us. “
He said pre-pandemic clients wanted face-to-face contact, so Made with Maturity primarily worked with clients in the South West and London.
But the Covid situation seems to have eliminated that and of the international victories only one came from the company having to pitch.
Business Live’s South West Business Reporter is William Telford. William has over a decade of business experience in Plymouth and the South West. It is based in Plymouth but covers the entire region.
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âA lot of things come from referrals, relationships and recommendations,â Mr. Stirling said. “Our recent victory in Russia and the United States was a recommendation on our part. We were against 10 agencies, five from the United States and five from Europe.”
Made with Maturity operates out of the Plymouth Science Park offices, returning from working from home in Easter 2021 when restrictions were relaxed.
The company provides web design and digital marketing and focuses on UX (user experience) design, which means it stays on board to continually improve the websites it creates and increase their efficiency, which is what she calls âcreating an environmentâ.
Mr Stirling said: âWe design and build it (the website), but once it goes live we do user testing to see that end users and customers are using it as intended. It’s before and after, we create environments. Where we can test it, modify it and refine it. “
During the lockdown, the company hired two permanent employees, to double its full-time total, but it also works with around 20 partner and freelance companies.