With a business showcasing an impressive net worth of roughly £255,000, it is no surprise that 27-year-old Mark Wright soon plans to expand his company to the far reaches of South Africa, Dubai and Australia.
Climb Online, the UK’s ‘leading SEO and PPC Agency’, has secured profitable success. Wright’s win on The Apprentice now seems like a distant memory, especially when overshadowed by his status as a prosperous businessman in his own right. Yet the 2014 winner insists that his time on the show was integral to his success.
He tells Palatinate that The Apprentice “has completely transformed my life for the better. Before applying for the show, I took my business plan to several UK banks but was rejected for a business loan, as I didn’t hold a British passport.” However, today Wright features on ‘Forbes 30 under 30’ list for Media in Europe, proving that entrepreneurial talent from across the globe deserves a chance to grow here.
This is the invaluable opportunity Lord Sugar provided him with when the banks did not. “I have now learnt that it’s not the investment I needed, but rather the support…from a successful businessman. If I had the choice to either take the business investment or take the business mentorship, I would take the mentorship with Lord Sugar every time, hands down.” Much like when Lord Sugar supplied the important advice in the early stages of his company, he too encourages “every young entrepreneur to secure [a business mentor] when thinking about starting a business.”
So which qualities are key to ensuring success? Simply the conviction to be successful in such a cut-throat industry as digital marketing has been as vital as the company concept and investment itself. Wright confesses that “I knew from a very, very young age that I wanted to succeed in business…I worked very hard to ensure the winner was me. I had an excellent business plan, and promised Lord Sugar…that we would turn over a million in the first year. I have exceeded this goal and couldn’t be more proud.” Indeed, Climb Online now looks set to turn over a sizeable £5 million by the conclusion of its second year. There is no doubt that a drive to do well is a significant contributing factor towards Wright’s achievements.
This is something he urges young people to understand; commitment and “hard graft” without fear of disappointment, are paramount to success. “I think more often than not, people…underestimate how hard it is to run a business, they don’t take risks and as a result they often fail.” He desires more young people to “take the plunge and dive in head first.” Age means very little in business; “if you have the genuine drive and passion to succeed, whether 18 or 81 you will do it and you will do it well.”
It is no secret that the political changes of Brexit in Europe threaten to destabilise the status quo of the business world. However, Wright insists that the doubts it will, and have already caused, should not deter young entrepreneurs from taking necessary ventures. “Right now, young…business start-ups need to remember that Brexit hasn’t officially happened yet, so there is no point in waiting around to see what unfolds. We can’t predict the future, but we can regret not taking the risk.”
In an increasingly digitalised world where “starting a business is a lot easier than it was before,” as Wright states, it is no wonder that very few companies succeed past the timeline of a mere couple of years. However, with such fierce competition within an ever expanding sector, there is no doubt as to why Wright has achieved what very few have managed to do. Unlike numerous failed start-ups, his business is powered by ambition, commitment and calculated risk-taking. For that reason, he is fast becoming one of the faces of his industry.§
Photograph: Climb Online
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