Read, Learn and Grow

Venture Stream Blog

Blog Main 1 1

A Year of Business Development

February 23, 2016

The end of February marks a year since I was given the privilege of stepping up to become Business Development Director at Venture Stream.

To say this past year has been the best of my working life doesn’t quite do the past 12 months’ justice. Corny? Maybe. True? Definitely.

To reminisce I thought I would take a look back over the past 12 months and single out specific highlights that have made this year so significant, not just for me but for Venture Stream as a whole.

February 2015 – The one with the heritage brand.

Pre new office, I will always remember this month for one business related reason. Venture Stream, after months of hard work, entered a partnership with one of the most iconic and prestigious English heritage brands, Barbour.

Working with this brand over the past year has been such an honour for all involved and knowing that we are adding value to their business still gives me the buzz I felt when we were told they had agreed to work with us.


March 2015 – The one with the Noodles.

I have to mention a personal high point for this month, which was my eldest son’s first game playing for Newcastle v Sunderland. They called it the ‘Building Bridges Game’ and it might just be the proudest single ‘Dad’ moment I’ve had to date.

Business-wise however, this was a huge defining moment for Venture Stream as a company. On Monday the 9th March we moved into our new offices here on Pink Lane. After a weekend of building desks, touching up paint work and a ridiculous amount of cleaning we walked into the new office at 8.30am on the Monday morning feeling like our hearts had been poured into making this office our first real home.

Almost a year on it still has the new home feel to me.

Screenshot 2016-02-23 13.29.50

March was a busy time for countless reasons for us here – new business, office move, interviews. The list goes on but one of the stand-out moments came near the end of the month when we received a packet of Noodles in the post (yep you read that right) and a postcard to say ‘You’re Hired!’

It could only be from the team at Ringtons. By far the best way to find out you’ll be working with someone that I’ve ever received.


April 2015 – The one where we talk about charity.

Along with agreeing more new partnerships with some exciting companies such as House Buyer Bureau and Harley Gallery to name just two, April was the month I was able to support a charity so close to my heart through my position with Venture Stream.

Tiny Lives provides much needed support to prematurely born babies and their families. I know first-hand how much this charity cares and how much support they provide and through my directorship at Venture Stream I agreed to take the charity on as our chosen charity and provide any support we could. Long may this continue.


May 2015 – The one where Marty expresses his feelings on sales people.

May ushered in more fantastic new business for Venture Stream, working on a project with a new company on their crowd funding campaign and agreeing a partnership with The Luxury Restaurant Guide, a company with amazing people and an amazing offering.

May also gave the team here a chance to visit the MD’s house in Nottingham and attempt to drink and eat him out of house and home… We failed!

The one thing that sticks with me however, that happened in this month, is a blog post wrote by our very own Digital Director Marty Hayes on ‘Dodgy Dealings, Snake Oil Salesmen and Bad Business – What’s Wrong With The Online Marketing Industry‘ I’ve been assured many times that he didn’t have me in mind when he wrote this!

Screenshot 2016-02-23 13.31.42

June 2015 – The one that proves the Pen is mightier than the sword.

I feel like I should say this was my 10-year wedding anniversary month and spent that weekend in London watching Take That @ The O2. I have to admit……..I loved it!

Business-wise however, June 2015 was probably one of the most defining months on the year for us as a business, as June saw Venture Stream launch joint partnerships with two other Northeast businesses.
Firstly, Venture Stream become a shareholder of CommVia, a leading e-commerce technology company whose expertise we rely on every day. And secondly, Venture Stream become part of the ownership team following the management buyout of The Pen Shop, the leading national retailer of luxury pens and gifts.


July 2015 – The one where Venture Stream became a DADI!

No we didn’t sprout a smaller agency, begin wearing cardigans or take to reminiscing about how things were different back when we were young.

We received our first nomination for The Drum DADI Awards for ‘Best Use of Paid Search’! This was a huge achievement for us last year, not only because it was our first nomination for such an award but because it was a nod of appreciation to the full team for the great work carried out on Barbour’s campaign.

The fact we didn’t win didn’t lessen the importance of the nomination in my eyes, it did however increase my belief, if that was possible, that the team here will move mountains for the clients that choose to work with us.


August 2015 – The one where everyone took holidays.

Yes, it happens, we have time off!

I remembered thinking that in the first 2 weeks of August all I seem to do was sit in initial meetings with countless potential clients. This isn’t a bad thing by any stretch but when I was caught by my wife emailing follow up questions to these companies while sitting by the pool in Spain, well let’s just say the temperature suddenly dropped.


September 2015 – The one with the new starters.

September seemed to bring the rewards for the hard work through August.

We welcomed 2 new partnerships with 2 local heavyweights. The first being Cleveland College of Art & Design, the only specialists Art & Design college within the North East and Bond Dickinson, a UK Top 50 Law firm whose expertise reaches out nationally but whose roots are firmly within the Northeast.
Two fantastic companies to work with.

As well as welcoming two new partnerships, we also welcomed two new members of staff into the Venture Stream offices. Sean Anderson and Paula Bowron, who both have established themselves as integral members within the business, and to date still say they enjoy the fact that they have joined one of the North East’s top digital agencies.


October 2015 – The one with the anniversary.

October the 13th 2015, my work anniversary.

One year with this company and it felt like 10 minutes. Everything had just flown by so quick, I was so engrossed with doing the best job possible that days, weeks, months and then a year had just vanished.
Starting as the Business Development Manager and making that step to Director, as I’ve mentioned, is still one of the biggest privileges I’ve been given. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

Here’s to many more years.


November 2015 – The one with a bit of R&R.

Again we welcomed a new partnership into the portfolio of businesses we work with. Express Trainers based in Sunderland, chose Venture Steam to consult on all things digital. One of those clients that just seems to work perfectly with you and makes every day a treat. With this summer’s big sporting events happening I’m expecting a great summer of business for them.

November also brought us the honour of being recommended by our clients as a great partner agency for the second year and allowed us to be listed on the Recommended Agency Register.


December 2015 – The one where the jolly old fellow visits.

What an end to 2015, we grew as an agency, we grew as a team and we did it all together with hard work and a ridiculous amount of laughs!

That being said the festive break was enjoyed by all and I might have turned a year older! Can’t believe I’m no longer in my twenties, plus a few years!

Screenshot 2016-02-23 13.38.36

January 2016 – The one with a flashback

For the first time in my working life I returned to work after a Christmas break with a smile on my face, sounds corny I know but if you don’t love what you do and the people you do it with then you are fighting a losing battle.

In January our MD Vic published his blog post Route 50: Flashbacks of a Digital Entrepreneur, an inspiration to put this review together to highlight what a year it has been for all involved here at Venture Stream.

With so much more to be achieved over the coming months and years I can’t see anything but an amazing 2016 for Venture Stream.

Written by James

James is Venture Stream’s Chief Commercial Officer, with 15 years’ account management and business development experience in digital.

See more posts by