How and Why I Started The Bright Click

March 27, 2023 Matt Archer-Davis

I'm writing this blog post as we approach the end of my tenth year of running The Bright Click, a fact that seems extraordinary to me even as I type the words! 

To commemorate our tenth anniversary I started writing a book as I thought it would make some sense to document the journey that I've been on to date, as something to look back on in years to come, and also perhaps a helpful guide to anyone who's looking to start their own business at any point in the future. 

Having never attempted to write a book before, it's of course taking me a lot longer to write than I thought it would, but it's getting there and when it launches it will be called 'I Accidentally Started An Agency'. 

Which is essentially exactly what I did - and here's a condensed version of what happened in those very early stages of the business. 

I had worked at Brentford FC for six years from 2004, starting off as an assistant to the Commercial Manager before becoming the Commercial Manager myself in 2006. As a fan of the club for my whole life, it was a dream job - I got to know many of the players and made some friends for life while I was there. 

For a few reasons, the time came for me to leave and I spent a year working for one of the club's sponsors in Business Development. I initially accepted the role with a view to working from home, however the business grew quickly and they took some office space in London Bridge where I was then expected to work from with immediate effect. 

My son Tom was born during this period, and I began to find the commute from Sunbury into Central London every day extremely arduous - culminating in an extraordinary week where I didn't see Tom while he was awake for five consecutive days. He'd be asleep when I left home in the morning, and asleep again when I got home. 

It was no fun as a new Dad - in particular as the role wasn't really working out for me either. 

I started to get seriously frustrated but had no idea what to do next or which way to turn. 

One Friday afternoon, exhausted and walking home from the station, I phoned my Mum to vent for a few minutes. 

She listened intently as I complained about my commute, my job, my regret at leaving Brentford, not being able to see Tom properly, not having any options and basically being stuck in a rut, I didn't hold back and Mum was an incredible listener. 

At the end of the call, I asked her about her day and she said she hadn't been home very long, having spent the day in hospital receiving her chemotherapy - she had battled ovarian cancer for a few years up until that point and was on her fourth course of treatment at the time. 

I felt awful, there I was complaining about my day to my Mum, who was going through a much worse ordeal than me and who had no choice at all but to do so. 

It dawned on me that I had a choice. I had the situation in my control. It was an epiphany that would literally change the course of my life forever. 

And then, having woken up the next day with a fresh outlook and spring in my step - I hit a bit of a lucky break. 

My boss in London Bridge had asked me to sign him up to a local networking event and in doing so, the organiser of the event had also added me to the mailing list for similar events. And thank god that he did! 

A couple of days later, I received an email inviting me to sign up for a course on how to become a social media manager. I thought it would be a useful string to my bow, but I was skint and asked my Dad if he'd go halves with me. 

He did, and at the end of the course there was an upsell which showed you how you could use your new-found Social Media Marketing knowledge to start your own business. Dad came to the rescue again, I took the course and once completed I took the plunge and started the fledgling, 'Matt Davis Media' - to the surprise / shock / despair of pretty much everyone I knew. 

I then raided my little black book of contacts from my Brentford days and managed to find myself three initial clients (one of which we're still working with today - thank you Aston Mead :-) ) at which point I handed in my notice to my employer and decided I would never look back. 

Of course, it wasn't quite that simple. 

I had been taught how to start a business, but not how to run one. My laptop broke and I had to find the money to buy a new one, with Tom still under a year old and his mum on maternity leave. I struggled to win new clients as I had such little experience and know-how. I lost one of the clients I had taken on initially, as their plans changed and they didn't have the budget to continue.

And then in March 2011, my wonderful Mum, my inspiration, passed away. 

And once again, I have my Mum to thank for what happened next, as I had promised her that I wouldn't let her or Tom down, and on the Monday following her funeral, I sat down at my desk, took a very deep breath, and set about building a business that we could all be proud of. 

I started to work with more clients and win referrals from those clients, I only had a one-page website at the time when my good friend Mark told me all about Wordpress, and another good friend Trevor allowed me to use some space on a server he leased to host our first website. 

Dan, my brother, was living with me at the time and was around during the day. He took a keen interest in what I was doing and started to learn a little about Wordpress as we tried to figure out how to make our site look better. 

A friend then asked me to build him a website. I said it wasn't a service that we offered. He asked me who had built our site and I said I had. He asked if I could just replicate that but for his business instead. Dan got involved and suddenly we were building websites and Dan has overseen the building of over 220 of them since! 

Then in April 2012, just a year after the 'proper' birth of the business, we were offered the opportunity of some investment from a client we'd been working with, which we could only accept by incorporating Matt Davis Media into a Limited Company. 

And as a result, The Bright Click was born, and eleven years later, here we are! 

You can read a summary of this on our business timeline.

And I'm aiming to get the book out in some capacity by Summer 2023 - watch this space..! 

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