In the eighth part of our series, ‘The Q&A With…’ in which we chat with UWD team members on what they’re up to and learn more about their personality, we catch up with the main man himself, the Founder and Managing Director of the multi-award winning Universal Web Design, Danny Nevill.
As soon as he begins to speak about his entrepreneurial career to date, you get a sense that Danny is a man who’s drive and ambition is there for all to be seen.
With a smile that is so infectious like a Cheshire Cat and the charm of a popular Walt Disney character, Danny has built the foundations of his success from a young age.
The intellectual mind and passionate business interest, started at school where as a young boy his entrepreneurial brain kicked in. Where he would employ colleagues to sell sweets to fellow pupils who craved a sugar rush, moving on to much harder merchandise like watches and jewellery during his time at Philip Morant School – Del Boy eat your heart out!
Since then, the flavour for success has grown immensely. Danny now owns four businesses in the form of Nevill Media, Dino Gavanni, Nexus Networking and Universal Web Design – his drive, determination and focus ensure that these businesses perform to the best of their capabilities now and into the future.
It was in 2011, aged 19 that Danny began the Universal era, he founded the company from a room in his parents’ house – he often recalls the five-year plan he began with and the day his vision unfolded – while Danny is pleased of how far he and his businesses have come, there is always room for improvement and growth.
Danny is a perfectionist that continuously raises the standards of our company on an ongoing basis. Being second best is not an option for Danny and he simply will not allow any team member to consider being anything other than number one in our industry.
Danny has big ambitions to grow and develop UWD as the leading digital marketing agency in Essex, providing outstanding services and incredible results on a consistent and fluent basis. As a business owner, you can be assured that your website, online marketing, app or video production is being overseen by a multi-award winning entrepreneur and recognised leader in our industry. Danny is a fair man, who likes to put himself in the client’s shoes, he has your best interests at heart from a business and personal point of view.
Personally, Danny has also achieved awards such as ‘The Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ during his career, sometimes it’s hard to believe he’s at the ripe old age of 26 – judging by his overall knowledge, work ethic and attention to business – a man ahead of his years…
When Danny isn’t out and about doing what he does best (selling sand to the Egyptians) he likes to unwind by playing football, attending the gym, tapping into his passion of sports cars and practising his Golf swing – which he could have turned professional, but instead decided to concentrate on his passion for business – a decision that paid off, you could say!
Danny’s close relationship with each team member here at UWD, ensures our professional team and our fantastic clients are provided with simply the very best. We’re all about the personal touch within our company. With this in mind, a Q&A is a great way to get to know our team on a business and personal level. So, without further or do, let’s get the questions firing and answering for our Founder and Managing Director, Danny Nevill:
What is the philosophy on which UWD is based?
Universal Web Design was purposefully created to help small businesses succeed online. Most small businesses offer great products or services, usually even better than those of larger corporations, however, success in business is driven through custom = being known and at the forefront of people’s minds when they are ready to buy. Big businesses ‘get this’ and is why most consistently succeed, as they market their products and services on an ongoing, relentless basis, they never stop marketing. It used to be expensive to reach new and retain existing customers, however, with the modern marketing activities that Universal Web Design is able to offer, usually costing less than 1p per month per customer, there is no excuse for any small business to fail. It is this thriving desire to help the underdogs achieve and succeed online that ensures Universal Web Design runs a tight ship with proven processes and efficient management systems, to help the smaller business not only survive, but thrive online.
What were the early days of UWD like?
Growing a business is tough. No one ever said it would be easy. If you are a business owner, you can relate to this, if you’re not, I can assure you this is true. Having had c.7 years experience in buying and selling products, to then sell a non-physical, service based offering was a challenge. Selling something that does not exist. Something customers do not leave with on the day after parting way with their investment. It’s a very different proposition from selling products.
I found the hardest part about selling services over products was that customers didn’t really know exactly what they were buying. They knew what was being explained to them and they get an idea of what to expect. But the question you could see on everyone’s mind was “so I pay X today and … what do I get again?” To answer this previously unanswered question, I packaged all of the services at Universal Web Design, essentially making them products. As the contents contained within each package can and would be tailored to each customer anyway, however, the understanding and knowing of what would form the ‘exchange’ or the ‘deal’ was now clear through easy to understand, itemised packages. Items no different to physical products, customers now knew what they were buying, what the investment would be upfront and no time ever wasted again on uncomfortable meetings where you could tell the customer was worried they would fall off their chair when the big reveal came.
Other challenges included:
- No portfolio
- No team
- No offices
- No company awards other than my own
- Not being vat registered
- Being only 19
- Little trading history as this company
- Few business connections – not needed when selling products to consumers
As you can imagine, pretty much every hurdle imaginable, I had in front of me to sell the services and products customers buy swiftly with ease and confidence today.
How do you see UWD developing over the next few years?
“We have big plans to expand. Our team is aware of this and our clients are aware of this. Universal Web Design was never formed to be a 1 man band or 3 team member business. Universal Web Design has been designed specifically to help small businesses grow.
Being overly conservative and sustainability minded at all times, expansion will take place when the time is right. We currently have a team of 12 with ambitions to grow to 24 by this time next year. Subsequently, our sales team has grown and will continue to grow. As sales grow, the production team grows, and administrators etc are also needed. So whilst it sounds like a big transformation, the current structure will be very much the same.
Our plan thereafter is to open smaller offices in key locations within Essex, followed by key locations around the UK once the formula is working both at our production hub in Colchester and sales offices.
Eventually, we also plan to enter the USA and likewise select the key locations as we will have done in the UK.
What is most important for me is that; we do not get ahead of ourselves, we do not grow too quickly or unsustainable and most importantly, to ensure that whilst we grow, we continue to lead through innovation and offering what we believe are the very best value for money packages on the market.
As I always say to the team; focus on customer satisfaction and the business growth will take care of itself through all of the marketing strategies and activities we have in place and continuously do.
What do you do in your spare time to unwind from a busy week?
“Business is actually a passion of mine, so whilst it is work and a responsibility. I do actually enjoy business and take great pleasure in growing my own businesses as well as helping others to grow theirs through either Universal Web Design or on a personal basis through consulting other companies.
Outside of business; I am a keen Golfer and ex-Colchester Open Champion. Currently playing for Stoke by Nayland FC who are top of the league and unbeaten. If we remain unbeaten throughout the season, this will be the fourth different side that I have helped to retain an unbeaten status throughout a full season. Everyone knows I am also a big sports car enthusiast and I hit the gym whenever I can fit this around sports or social events.
Beyond sports, I also love to socialise with family and friends, with the mantra of; anytime, any place I will always aim to be there. I do believe it is important to have a balanced and varied lifestyle, particularly when working circa 70 hours a week.”
What advice would you have for those looking to join UWD?
“I only employ the best people that are capable of performing to a very high standard, with a hard-working and honest personality. I have big plans for UWD, thus, I focus on constant improvement and processes for a commercial and personal aspect. Businesses are measured based upon consistency, hence those who maintain such values to a high and consistent level need apply ”
What is your favourite food?
“I like all sorts of food from different cultures and backgrounds. It would probably be easier to share what I don’t like. I love; Thai, Chinese, Asian and French as well as traditional English delicacies. But I’d have to say an Indian would be my favourite.”
What is your favourite Film/TV Programme?
“I have many favourite films to choose from, I like actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Douglas and Tom Cruise. Catch Me If You Can, Vanilla Sky and Wolf of Wall Street are some of my all time favourites.”
What is your THREE favourite songs?
- Careless Whisper by George Michael
- Promiscuous Girl by Nelly Furtado
- All I Have by Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J
Top SEVEN celebrities you would have round for a dinner party?
- Sir Richard Branson
- Donald Trump
- Sir Alan Sugar
- Karen Brady
- Jacqueline Gold
- Jim Carrey
- Jimmy Carr
Which THREE words describe you best?
What is your greatest achievement?
“My greatest achievement has to be winning the 2014 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.”
What is your hidden talent?
“I enjoy playing Golf a lot, I could have turned professional!”
What’s your favourite motivational quote?
“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better. “
Now you’ve got to know our main man a bit better, you have the opportunity to come in a meet with Danny Nevill at the Universal Web Design offices in Colchester, Essex. From all aspects of web design to marketing campaigns and video, Danny is in the know and can help your business perform to its best online! Alternatively, you can reach Danny via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call him today on 01206 588 000.