The Way We Work
BSpark has worked with many different types of business owner. Some have larger businesses selling a range of products and services internationally while juggling a network of suppliers and contractors. Some run start-ups or fast growth micro-businesses seeking to create new markets or disrupt existing ones. Yet others might be in professional partnerships or niche lifestyle businesses selling very locally but needing a wider reach to keep growing. Still others might head traditional family-run businesses that struggle to compete in a rapidly-changing marketplace.
Invariably, each business owner sees their business as unique. With unique issues and challenges. It’s just the quantity and quality of the leads their website used to attract aren’t enough any more. So, it’s time for a new website, right?
We’ll let you into a secret. We come across very few business owners that truly understand modern marketing. Increasingly, where we find those that do and run successful marketing operations, they have generally grasped the opportunities presented by inbound marketing techniques.
BSpark doesn't just build good-looking websites. We build websites with inbound principles in mind often working with in-house or third party Marketing Directors or Consultants as part of an inbound strategy. When you choose to work with BSpark, you can expect the best in modern marketing practice as standard.
BSpark’s main technical specialist, independent consultant and occasional speaker on all things WordPress, Brian is currently focused on running our web operations, producing bespoke themed sites based on the WordPress and Grav CMS platforms - typically incorporating the cutting edge Gantry framework. Brian builds, maintains and manages websites for SMEs with a special emphasis on the Hotel and Leisure sectors and is passionate about restoring neglected, hacked and broken websites.
During a recent two-year stint based at the Guild in central Bath, Brian successfully established The Marketing Centre’s operation in the West Country, recruiting and deploying a team of part-time Marketing Directors across a range of independent businesses from software start-ups to engineering to waste management. Brian holds an MBA from Warwick Business School and is an occasional panellist on Business Review Panels for SETSquared, the World-leading business incubator. When he isn't working Brian can be found tinkering with his classic 1973 MGB GT or exploring Somerset's many cycle routes.
Responsible for the creative advisory side of the business, Sarah contributes her colour, layout and visual impact skills to the company's web developments. With a BA from the renowned Central St Martin's College, London and a career spanning freelance illustration (including international tourism clients) and design for World's End Tiles, you're probably a lot more familiar with her work than you imagine!
Over the years, BSpark has built up a large network of specialists many of whom are available to add specific expertise where it may be needed. From first class design and content to e-commerce to strategic and tactical marketing to SEO/SEM, you can rest assured we have all the bases covered.
BSpark works closely with a number of partner organisations. We are trusted suppliers to The Marketing Centre, a national network of experienced part-time Marketing Directors. Just let us know if you'd like an introduction as they can really fast track your ambitious business! We also work closely with Seabrook Marketing and Flexis on hotel projects.
An early foray into corporate web design and development with an American Express-funded educational project building websites with the English Tourist Board and Travel Tourism Jobs an off-shoot of Monster.com led, in 1999, to Brian setting up the Buckinghamshire-based Screen Presence as a vehicle for building on his new-found HTML skills. During this time he worked closely with designer Eddie Hesford of Red Dice, a trusted associate and frequent collaborator on major projects.
Screen Presence managed the Tourism Education Network subscription website alongside projects for such clients as Logistix and Grand UK Hotels. A partnership with CMA saw the development of several prototypes for the One-pm.com cause-related website, scheduled for IPO the same day as Lastminute.com.
The bursting of the dotcom bubble of 2001 heralded the mothballing of Brian's web career as he moved back into corporate life as Director of Strategy for Bass Hotels (soon to become InterContinental Hotels Group). Brian helped to pilot IHG through the acquisition of Posthouse, the aftermath of 9/11 and the Invasion of Iraq, culminating in the sale of $4bn of assets and the demerger of Mitchells & Butler.
Brightspark was formed in 2005, after a family move to the beautiful city of Bath in the West Country and incorporated the following year. Brian's wife, Sarah joined the business in 2006 bringing a strong in-house design capability to the mix. Early projects saw the development of major multi-language websites for the award-winning Dylan Hotel, Amsterdam and Gran Hotel La Florida, Barcelona five star boutique hotels.
In the aftermath of an unsuccessful hotel group website pitch, Brian teamed up with Rob Baldry of Seabrook Marketing and Flexis, now a long standing associate, to develop and eventually franchise the Stay brand of PHP/MySQL based dynamic accommodation websites, exiting after a successful 10-year run in 2017. The first decade of Brightspark has seen a gradual progression towards WordPress as the main CMS technology platform adopted in our website developments. Many of these continue to be carried out under our trusted supplier link with The Marketing Centre and their national team of part-time Marketing Directors.
Nearly 25 years since building our first website and over 100 projects racked up since the formation of Brightspark Associates, the next chapter has commenced with the company's evolution to simply BSpark and the move towards a subscription-based business model. An exciting future awaits!