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Fatherhood: How Bolton-based Statuo went from start-up to thriving digital agency

Father of 3, Rick Hope, tells us how he grew Statuo from start-up to success.

These days, Statuo is one of Bolton’s leading SEO agencies, and one of an elite group of companies to have been awarded Google’s Premier Partner Status, which is only available to a very select group of agencies. However, just a few years ago, Statuo founder and father of three, Rick Hope, was still working in a secure job in digital marketing and dreaming of starting up a business for himself.

Rick, who has three boys; two seven week old twins and a two year old, eventually decided to take the plunge and go freelance, initially imagining that his start-up business would simply consist of him working from home. However, once he’d gained his first few clients, word spread quickly and soon Rick was getting so many referrals that he realised he couldn’t fulfil all of the work he was being offered without recruiting a team.


Photo: Rick Hope

Rick explained: “I’ve always believed in under-promising and over-delivering, and that has led to keeping loyal clients and building my business much faster than I’d imagined.” Also, although you might imagine that successful digital agencies are built in silicon-valley-like environs behind closed doors and in front of walls of computers, somewhat refreshingly, Rick added that good old fashioned networking played a big part in his success, adding: “Networking is one of the most important things you can do when you need to spread the word about your fledgling business, even if it’s just telling your friends and family what you’re doing in the early days!”

Today, Statuo is based in a sleek but quirkily designed office in Bolton with a team of five. With a steadily growing stable of clients seeking support with SEO, PPC, social media and web design, Rick confessed that it would be tempting to grow his team more rapidly. However, creating a fun office environment with a team with a perfectly matched skill set was always Rick’s primary goal, which he has achieved effortlessly. He says he’s happy to take longer recruiting new staff in order to ensure that he finds the perfect candidates who’ll bring not only creativity and productivity but who will enhance the fun office atmosphere and of course get on well with the existing team and clients.

 Gaining Google’s Premier Partner Status has added further momentum to Statuo’s growth, with Rick saying: “It’s given clients extra confidence, showing that we really are experts when it comes to helping our clients to get the best out of Google Adwords.”

There was further cause for celebration when Google ran their quarterly competition (which is open to all agencies in the UK) in the second quarter of 2016 and Statuo finished eighth in the whole country.

Statuo is poised for a year of gradual, sustainable growth, with Rick focusing on putting the right processes in place to ensure that the team continues to deliver and retains its fun, friendly approach as its client list grows. 

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