James Dempster is MD of Cobb Digital and a a Coastal West Sussex Partnership Board member.

We spoke to James to hear more about his role and what he enjoys most about living and working in the region.

Hi James, what does your job entail?

As MD of Cobb Digital, I look after a 15 strong team of digital marketing experts, overseeing our roster of clients and helping the team develop.

What are the top things you love about working in the coastal West Sussex region?

  • The business community here is second-to-none. People are supportive, helpful and genuinely kind.
  • I love being able to see the sea from our office windows.
  • There is a plethora of amazing walks in our area – Covid-19 has reminded us to enjoy the simple things.

What, in your opinion, makes the region a good place to do business?

People in the Coastal West Sussex area are open to collaboration. That’s something you don’t see in many places and has been really crucial in growing my business.

What are the top things you love about living in Coastal West Sussex?

  • The array of activities right on our doorstep. I have a young family so that’s really important. 
  • Lots of rich history to explore.
  • A fabulous food offering.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a business in the region?

Take the time to get to know your neighbours, the people that work in your sector and other businesses in the area that could help you. The Chambers of Commerce in this region are really powerful and are particularly friendly, which is a breath of fresh air if you’re moving somewhere new.

What would you like to see change in the region to help your business grow?

This region really celebrates start-ups and there’s an abundance of support to help those businesses thrive. It would be fantastic to see larger commercial premises and specialist support to help these companies go on to grow and ultimately stay in the area. 

The other area that I think would help would be more affordable housing. One of the best things about this region is being able to strike a real work/life balance, but if our teams can’t afford to live in the city, they’re not seeing this benefit and may begin to look elsewhere.

What tips would you give to someone thinking of visiting the region for a holiday?

Take the time to really explore our coastal region, and not just the places you hear about all the time. Check out Experience West Sussex for inspiration, hidden gems and cracking itineraries that’ll take you off the beaten track.

What tips would you give to someone looking for a job in the region?

If you’re looking for a job in the region, take the time to make a shortlist of businesses in the sector you want to work in. Be proactive and reach out to decision makers, but only once you’ve crafted a covering email telling them what you’ll bring, why you’re the right fit and how you’ll draw on experience. Saying “At my last job I grew their revenue by 45%” is always better than “I’m great at sales”.