• NameBarry Gear
  • TitleCo-Founder / Director
  • CompanyMarkup Digital Ltd
  • HubAyrshire
  • Twitter@tartangear
Barry Gear Image

Founded in early 2012, Markup set out to develop an eCommerce software platform tailored to the needs of fashion retailers. We were lucky enough to have a client before we had a product, meaning that in the first year it was all about building the product to allow for our first website launch.

What encouraged you to join Entrepreneurial Spark’s people accelerator programme?
We started the business in February of 2012 and after a couple of months of working out of my garage it was clear that we needed some support, both practically and in terms of business skills. At the same time, I read an article in the local paper about Entrepreneurial Spark opening a new facility in Ayrshire.

The timing was perfect. We promptly applied and were lucky enough to be accepted on the first intake.

Since joining Entrepreneurial Spark how have you seen your business change?
I’ve seen a lot of change in the business since joining Entrepreneurial Spark, we have grown in every area. For example, we have embedded repeatable processes which allow us to manage the business day to day. This was a big change from the early days when things we did were mainly ad-hoc and reactive. We’ve separated the team into Client Services and Platform Development which allows us to have more focus on serving our existing clients and continuing product development. We have also built on our initial values, especially around people in the business, to encourage a flexible fun culture.

As an entrepreneur how have you changed since joining Entrepreneurial Spark?
I’ve certainly grown in confidence as I practice the skills of business leadership. I see this as a continual learning process, mainly, I recognise that a successful business is all about the people within the business. I have also recognised that as an entrepreneur in a new company you need to wear many hats and, from experience, this can very quickly become overwhelming. You need to learn to delegate as you simply can’t (and shouldn’t) try to be involved in everything.

Looking to the year ahead what are you hoping to achieve?
This year we’ve set out an ambition roadmap for the product which will allow us to start scaling our client base. This will be our main objective however at the same time we need to make sure that we serve our current clients with the same quality they expect.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from your mentor?
The best advice I received was the concept of defining your end goal. This may seem obvious but it wasn’t something I initially thought about. Defining your end goal helps you build your vision and stay motivated.

If you were to describe Entrepreneurial Spark in three words, what would they be?
Inspiring, practical, hard-working.

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