Telling the truth about SME life today

“London isn’t the be all and end all,” says music entrepreneur

Hurst and Andrew Sunnucks started the firm with only a few thousand pounds of savings between them. Hurst worked out of his attic office and Sunnucks commandeered his kitchen table.

“On our first day on the business, we went shopping,” says Hurst. “We bought a couple of PCs and the equipment and I remember saying to Andrew: ‘If we carry on this way, we ll be bust by tea-time!'”

The pair knew they couldn’t afford swanky offices in the capital, so when a tenant moved out of an outbuilding on Sunnuck’s property, Audio Network moved in.

“We were based on the Essex/Suffolk borders,” says Hurst. “We never thought we’d be able to attract good staff. But in fact, plenty of people in the creative industries were happy to move out of London.”

Chris Blakeston, head of music sales, was one such bright spark.

“It was the first time that, within my first week of work, I’ve been gifted fresh duck eggs,” he laughs. “We have sheep and the horses, and all that. You look out the window and there are just fields.”

Seven years on, the company is turning over £3m. Audio Network provides music and sound for a whole host of TV shows, adverts and productions from Stephen Fry’s QI to Supernanny. The pair finally have their head office in London. But the old outbuilding still functions as their back office.

“We work between the two,” says Hurst. “It’s great to escape from London and get out into the countryside to work. It’s a wonderful environment.”

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