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Most 16 year olds would have their time spent on exams, computer games and parties but Young Entrepreneur Ben Towers spends most of his time working on his award winning business, Towers Design. This lead to him being awarded the NatWest Special Merit Young Entrepreneur Of The Year at this years Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
When Ben was 11 years old he aspired to ‘break the mould’ of childhood and do something different. A local friend wanted a website created and Ben used his passion for computers to complete the task using online tutorials. After being paid £50 he was quickly motivated to replicate his success; ultimately leading to the school boy joining multiple freelancing websites. In just 3 months Towers managed to build a client base of 20 worldwide businesses. The youngster’s work began to get noticed and he quickly learned the new skills he could offer his clients (including graphic design and SEO) and eventually earn more money.
On the 21st September 2011 Ben decided to combine all of the skills he had gained from freelancing to form a successful business, Towers Design. Most young people in year 8 in school would not have even considered it possible for someone of such a young age. Towers located and hunted down a gap in the industry for a low cost digital media business providing: website and graphic design, printing, website hosting, SEO and video production for business start-ups.
As time passed Towers’ skills increased dramatically and this lead to rapidly increasing demand. After a very short space of time Ben had 3 freelancers working for him on a job-by-job basis.
After a long time of development and progress in early 2013 Towers took the leap into becoming an employer and hired his first full time employee due to stability in sales. When asked Towers said, “Choosing and hiring my first employee must have been one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make”. The entrepreneurial spirit proved too strong and swiftly the hobby had been transformed into a business.
In 2014 after a sudden surge in growth Towers took the next step forward and completed his full time staff to 15 professionals. When asked the award-winning entrepreneur replied, “I can’t believe how fast things have happened. My hobby is now a successful business!”
All of Towers’ work has been self-taught including his business skills, unlike most other entrepreneurs the schoolboy has not had any form mentoring or practical lessons in business and everything he has learnt has been off his own back. Towers was quick to add, “I think self learning is the way forward and you learn a lot more from this method because you are answering your own questions”.
More recently Towers has become an ambassador for the Federation Of Small Businesses (FSB) in their new initiative aiming to encourage young people into business and join the Federation. He represents young business entrepreneurs, highlighting their particular strengths and weaknesses and fighting for equality in business. In addition to the FSB, he is the South East Ambassador for the social enterprise YENA - Young Entrepreneur Networking Association. He is passionate about supporting young people in business and is currently planning a large summit for business study students for 2015.
When asked what have been the main challenges of starting your business Ben said:
“Starting a business when under the age of 18 is like a minefield. Not only are you developing as a person but also learning practical skills in business. As a minor there are so many laws limiting what you can do.” One of the most problematic issues in his business career has been banking and payments, this is because both require you to be 18 years old.
On the 19th November 2014 Towers attended the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in which he had been shortlisted for the Young Entrepreneur Of The Year title. The prestigious event included entrepreneurs with multi million pound turnovers and some who had even been knighted, but Towers managed to secure the NatWest Special Merit Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award. When asked the award winner said, “I came to the awards not knowing how well I was going to do, and after reading the entry list my confidence quickly dropped but to my surprise I still won an award!”
The young entrepreneur gave the following advice for budding youngsters, “you need to understand that there are various challenges to starting up but as a young business owner your job is to overcome this and prove that your business acumen and abilities can match that of entrepreneurs older than you.”
Towers has great plans for the future including franchising out Towers Design whilst starting up a number of other business and a call centre. One thing does remain the same with his business plans and that is to provide services for other businesses, when asked why Ben said, “I have had the chance to network with so many other entrepreneurs and I am constantly hearing about new challenges businesses are facing in modern day. I love being able to see businesses progress and mature over time.”
To find out more about Towers Design go to: www.towersdesign.co.uk
For Ben’s personal website see: www.bentowers.co.uk
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Tel: 0207 043 8847
About Ben Towers
Ben Towers has been named by Richard Branson as “one of the UKs most exciting entrepreneurs” and at only 18 years old he runs a successful marketing agency (Towers Design) working with leading brands all over the world to engage them with the next generation via social media and effective campaigns. Ben was named by The Times at the top of their Super Teen Power List in the world and is an experienced public speaker and regularly on TV promoting young people in business.
About Towers Design
Started by Ben Towers when he was just 11 years old, Towers Design is a thriving, multi-award winning Kent based full service digital agency offering design, printing, website development and hosting services to clients in Kent and London.
About Social Marley
Social Marley the latest company to be created by leading young entrepreneur Ben Towers. Launching soon, the platform is set to change how social media can be managed for small and medium sized businesses of all kinds.
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