October 28, 2019 @ 12:30 by Steven Hugill
An e-commerce and digital marketing agency boss has revealed plans to double his firm’s market share.
Visualsoft founder and chief executive Dean Benson says the company has drawn up a five-year plan to bolster sales figures.
Speaking at an Entrepreneurs’ Forum event, Dean revealed the Stockton-based company expects to reach £820 million in terms of the value of goods passing through its e-commerce platform by the end of the year.
In 2018, it processed £750 million worth of goods – or 1.2 per cent of the UK’s B2C e-commerce sales – through its sites, and last year recorded a turnover just short of £13 million while doubling operating profit to £2.1 million.
Speaking to an audience of almost 50 entrepreneurs from across the North East, Dean said one of the biggest challenges facing the region’s digital economy is securing the necessary skills.
The sector employs 7000 people in the Tees Valley and is growing at a rate of 17 per cent per year, compared with a national average of eight per cent.
He called upon those within the digital sector to collaborate with education providers, training organisations and universities to ensure businesses have access to a well-trained and agile workforce.
Dean, pictured far left, who sits on the board of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum and is a Governor of Teesside University, said: “The digital landscape is constantly changing and there is more that can be achieved here in the North of England.
“I was born and brought up in the Tees Valley and I want to make it a place where people move to, rather than from – and that means creating the necessary skills and mindset.”
Founded in 1998, Visualsoft currently employs around 300 people across its sites in Stockton, Newcastle, Manchester and Dubai.
Jonathan Lamb, chief executive of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, added: “I’d like to thank Dean for hosting this member event and for giving entrepreneurs an inspirational insight into what is possible with drive, enthusiasm and a creative approach to business.”