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9 Questions For...Piers Thorogood

Friday 26th April 2024

"9 Questions For…" is an interview series in which I ask founders, leaders, and entrepreneurs to share their experiences of doing "their thing, their way". The questions might be the same but the insights certainly aren't! If you fit the bill and would like to share your learnings please get in touch.

In this edition of 9 Questions For…, we hear from Piers Thorogood, co-founder of We Make Websites.

Piers Thorogood

We Make Websites co-founder Piers Thorogood

Q: Are you a founder, co-founder, solo entrepreneur, consultant or something else?


Q: What type of business do you run?

I run an e-commerce agency called We Make Websites. We design, develop and optimise Shopify websites for global brands. Our clients typically work in the fashion, lifestyle, and beauty sectors.

Q: Why did you start your business?

We originally started it to escape our corporate jobs — which we both hated. We had visions of creating a SaaS business and started making websites as a means to fund that, but it turned out to be a pretty good business in itself, so we just carried on!

Q: What's the biggest challenge you are facing in your business?

The market for what we do is more challenging than ever. Brands and retailers are scaling back on spending as they get squeezed by supply chain and consumer pressures, which has a knock-on effect on our business.

We're also in an awkward stage of growth. We're trying to enter the Enterprise market while catering to the mid-market (historically our sole focus). Those two sizes of business need very different things, and we're slowly working out our approach to each.

Q: What's going well in your business?

We're still producing great work. My favourite part of running the business is seeing the websites we launch or the designs we're producing — it's staggering to me how far we've come from Alex and I churning out small business websites.

Q: What skill do you excel at, and which one do you want to get better at?

I think my main strength is agency growth — it's what I've spent the majority of the last 10 years focused on. That and possibly Shopify solutions consultancy, which is effectively what our sales process boils down to.

As for something new — I'd love to get back into design/front-end development at some stage, even if it's just on the side. Things have moved on a tonne since I last did any of this and I really miss the creative challenge.

Q: What will be different about your business this time next year?

I hope we'll have really cracked the enterprise market and have a few large-scale projects under our belt.

Q: What's the one thing you wish you'd known before starting your entrepreneurial adventure?

I'm not sure I wish I'd known this (as it might have stopped me from doing it!), but I certainly didn't go into entrepreneurship expecting it to be this hard.

Founding and running a business can be extremely stressful, and it certainly takes its toll. I'm very glad I had such a supportive business partner, as I don't think I could have coped doing it solo.

Q: Where do you live, and what do you love about your city?

I live in Bath. I moved here a couple of years ago after living in London for 15 years. I love how beautiful the place is and also how peaceful it is compared to where I used to live.

I also love that I get to hang out with my good pal, Keir! : )

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