Interviews

General election 2015: Quill CEO Ed Bussey – I'm voting as...

7 min read

28 April 2015

Former editor

As someone who now has three successful businesses under his belt, Ed Bussey is an example of an entrepreneur who has built companies under a number of different governments – so is perfectly placed to share his thoughts on the next administration.

As the general election approaches, and our “I’m voting as…” series begins to wind down, we move back to the technology space for our latest interview.

Who are you and what does your business do?

I am Ed Bussey, serial entrepreneur and founder and CEO of global content marketing specialists Quill. We are purpose-built to deliver high performance content across an unparalleled number of topics, formats and languages. Quill is my third successful internet startup, and is uniquely configured to provide a more efficient, cost-effective and scalable alternative to in-house or agency models for content creation.

How has your business changed over the last five years?

In an increasingly crowded and competitive online marketplace, where consumers are becoming less brand-loyal and harder to reach, it’s becoming more difficult for brands to differentiate themselves via advertising alone. This trend has driven the rapid emergence of content marketing – now the fastest growing area of digital marketing – as brands look to engage consumers more effectively with content.

However, content marketing is a new discipline, and many agencies are repositioning and rebadging themselves as content businesses in order to capitalise on the content explosion. These agencies ultimately lack the skills and expertise, technology and processes needed to deliver quality content at scale, and brands are getting their fingers burned.

Over the last five years, we have focused on configuring Quill to deliver high performance, quality content at scale, creating compelling content experiences for brands and consumers. Since 2011 we have grown our internal team from three to 30, expanding our service and software offering significantly.

As brands increasingly recognise the opportunities afforded by a global presence, we have also recruited hundreds of screened writers who are located around the world. This has helped us substantially grow our multilingual capabilities, producing 1.3m words of content in 22 languages in 2014 alone, with over 25 per cent of our revenues now coming from outside the UK.

What are your growth plans for the next five years?

Our key objective is to accelerate our current rate of revenue growth, expanding our client base and creating ten times more content in 2015. We will expand our international presence, capitalising on our unique, multilingual capabilities and continuing to build out our global network of content creators to match the increasing demand for quality content across an even broader range of topics, formats and languages.

Last year we launched a beta trial of our proprietary software on a software-as-a-service basis. Our software has been custom-built from our own experiences managing of writers, languages and tone of voice guidelines for hundreds of clients around the world. Over the next five years we will expand our software offering further, including to support those looking to manage their own in-house content creation more efficiently.

What kind of government would you like to see elected?

I would welcome a government that continues to promote the UK as a strong and globally competitive economy, sending out a positive message that encourages investment and continued growth, and recognises the key role that entrepreneurs and in particular, the technology sector, plays in driving innovation.

Policies such as the EIS scheme, the entrepreneurs visa and entrepreneurs tax relief have worked in conjunction with initiatives such as Tech City UK, to make the UK a globally competitive hub for tech development. I would like to see a government that continues to actively support new entrepreneurs in this sector, encouraging the risk takers and wealth creators who are generating the high value jobs of tomorrow. We need to continue to embrace new technologies and business models to ensure we maintain our ability to build globally competitive businesses and attract the best talent from around the world.

Read other “I’m voting as…” features:

Do you think government in general is doing enough to support businesses of your size?

The current government can be commended for its efforts to support business –particularly early-stage businesses – with a record 586,785 new companies having been registered in the UK last year. The UK economy is now growing faster and there are more opportunities for entrepreneurs than in any other developed economy. This fantastic achievement is largely down to entrepreneurs, but is also in part due to a positive environment created by the current government, that is conducive to new enterprise.

Has the impending general election caused any uncertainty regarding how you run your company?

I’m concerned that organisations like Quill could be negatively affected by increases in corporation tax or changes to tax on non UK nationals. The success of the UK tech sector is dependent on our ability to attract international talent and investment and I would not want to see Britain sending out a negative message that discourages growth in entrepreneurialism or talent from outside the UK.

In particular, I would not want to see Britain deterring potential international investors; an increasing number of entrepreneurs who have successfully exited their businesses are now hunting out new, innovative ventures to finance and support. We should be setting a positive tone to encourage them to invest in UK businesses, helping us create world class companies.

In one sentence, please finish this line: “I’m voting as…”

I’m voting as an entrepreneur who wants to see the continued development of the UK as a global leader for technology and digital innovation, and as an originator of the global “winners” of tomorrow.

Do you agree with Ed Bussey? Is there anything you’d like to add? Please let us know in the comments box below.