Having started his business journey on the school playground, Aaron Peters transitioned from multiple business ventures to running his own digital marketing agency, Sprout Media.

Tell us about yourself, and your journey prior to starting Sprout Media.

When I left school at 17, I went to work in London as a regulated broker. I did this for about 6 years, but during this time I realised what I really wanted was my own business. I started up a small company selling emoji-shaped car air fresheners - it was a niche business but it did pretty well, so I began working with an agency to help me market it. Fairly quickly I realised the agency I was working with were not doing a great job, so I got rid of them and took over my own marketing. This was really my introduction into the world of marketing, and I found I had a natural inclination for it. I had friends ask for my help with their own marketing, and it seemed like an obvious next step to start my own digital marketing business.

What do you currently do at Sprout?

A bit of everything! My key role is managing our web development and marketing offering and liaising between our teams. I'm also very client-facing, and this means I spend most of my life on Zoom.

What made you want to launch your own business?

I've always been commercially minded, even while I was at school. As a teenager I had quite a few side-hustles, like selling sweets and DVDs in the playground, so it was always at the back of my mind that I'd eventually start my own business.

Before launching Sprout, I started several ecommerce businesses focused on profitable niches, and I also run my own logistics and manufacturing business, and I think that's what really gives us our edge. I don't just approach marketing as an agency owner, but from a practical perspective as a multiple business owner myself.

What defines your way of doing business?

The way you do anything is the way you do everything. This really sums up my approach to business. Everything we do is done with the highest attention to detail, from the big things to the small things, because for me, reputation is everything. I don't want Sprout to be another faceless agency and that means letting people know that when they work with us, they're working with real people who will put the same level of passion and effort into everything we do.

How do you define success as an entrepreneur?

I'm still figuring out what success looks like for me. At this point in my life I'm enjoying the journey more than any particular destination. I think it's important to have genuine passion for what you do, and for me that means cultivating real relationships with the businesses I work with. One of my goals with Sprout is encouraging true transparency in digital marketing, which means I'm not going to hold back if I think a business I'm working with is going down the wrong path with their marketing.

What are your plans for the business?

We want to continue to grow the business. I've taken a very lean approach to Sprout Media, and I want to continue that trajectory and generate even more success for our clients. We work incredibly closely with smaller business owners, so continuing to build and strengthen our partnerships is very important to me.

I'd also like to get more involved with AI technology as it starts to become more affordable to smaller businesses.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

I've made my fair share of mistakes in business, especially when I was younger and I rushed into things without doing my due diligence, but perhaps my biggest regret would be not starting my own business earlier. I worked in the city for 6 years, and looking back, I think I got too comfortable. If you've got a great idea for a business, go for it, because as you get older, these big leaps in life become more difficult to take.

Can you offer one key piece of advice to those looking to start their own business journey?

Do what you say you're going to do when you say you're going to do it.

A lot of opportunities in business and in life are dependent on cultivating a genuine and positive reputation. Word travels fast, both good and bad, and ultimately, people want to work with someone who can be taken at their word. Hold yourself to the highest standards, both in reputation and delivery.

For further information please visit Sprout Media