Smart50 Awards 2016

42 SponsoredLinX

Revenue

$12.4 million

Growth

64.9%

Founders

Ben Bradshaw, 33 and Shannah Bradshaw, 31

Head office

Queensland

Year founded

2006

Employees

102

Industry

Communications and marketing

Website

www.sponsoredlinx.com.au

SponsoredlinxCorporate magician Ben Bradshaw was facing a “sink or swim” moment, desperately needing to book jobs in order to support a young family, when he discovered the magic of Google AdWords.

Digital marketing agency SponsoredLinX was born from the tricks of the trade he learned while advertising his own business online – and over the last decade it has grown into a $12 million company that provides SEO and web development advice for more than 3000 clients.

“What I had found was an enormous knowledge gap that many small to medium business owners still face today,” Bradshaw explains.

The online marketing space also changes on an almost hourly basis, and Bradshaw saw scope to expand the company off the back of this fact.

“It still seems as though the rate at which digital marketing is growing is outpacing the rate at which it is being picked up by businesses – particularly when they try to tackle it alone,” he says.

SponsoredLinX has recently expanded to New Zealand, which is just one step in a series of growth plans to maximise the value of the business going forward. With each step Bradshaw has had to come to terms with his changing role in the company, and his number one piece of advice to other business owners is to develop the ability to adapt.

“As we have grown, it has been a real challenge for me to realise that my role is to work on the business, as opposed to within the business,” he says.

Now that there is a hundred-strong team around getting the job done, Bradshaw has had to transition out of wearing all hats in the business, and make sure the basics get done right.

“I also have to constantly prioritise and focus on core competencies, which can be hard when all I want to do is run with a new and exciting idea.”

After a decade spent observing platforms like Google AdWords in action, SponsoredLinX has rolled out its very own digital marketing tools, including a free health check for clients’ Adwords accounts, called AdAdvisor.

“This innovation drastically improves on what came before, reducing the amount of time needed for assessing an account,” he says.

Bradshaw, who runs the business with his partner Shannah, says the team has surrounded itself with the right people to make a major go of expansion – and is not holding back on the possibilities.

“There is literally no limit to what we can achieve,” he says.

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