From the moment Dan stood foot in the iconic super-club Sundissential in Leeds in 2001 at the tender age of 17, he knew his direction in life. The hard house institution had wet his entrepreneurial taste buds and inspired him to put his passion for music and clubbing into his first business venture.
Organising club nights was more about the love of the music than a money making business venture. That being said, the organisation which included finding suitable venues, booking DJs, organising artwork and print materials, and then going out and actually marketing the events all gave Dan a base of business skills and work which he would carry through his entrepreneurial journey.
For the next 15 years Dan organised some of the biggest and longest standing club nights in Doncaster including Spank’d at Spider’s Web, Detox at Baileys, House Arrest at The Boiler Rooms, Vibe at The Priory, WRONG at Toast and Debonair in Bawtry, making him one of the most consistent and successful club promoters in the town.
From his own admittance, Dan didn’t excel at school. He left at 17 with a mediocre set of grades. He was, however, always interested in art. This became more apparent when he took the initiative to invest in the Photoshop design software and teach himself graphic design. He figured he’d save on costs and learn to do it himself. Before long he was designing professional looking work for his club nights. This gave a great foundation before offering the service to paying customers.
Dan’s mind-set throughout his career has always been to be at the cutting edge of everything he does which is a testament to his success and keeping one step ahead of the competition. This was naturally the inspiration to the company name. Whether it be the DJs he booked, the methods used to market the events or the acts sourced to feature at his events, (which included sax, trumpet, flute, percussion and keyboard) being at the cutting edge was always at the forefront of his mind.
This mind-set came into play when Dan was to make the biggest decision of his professional life, during the downturn of the UK’s bar and club culture.
Since the late 2000’s, the UK’s night life has steadily declined and Dan noticed this first hand when numbers to his own events began to drop. With this in mind and coupled up with the fact that he had just started a young family, he decided to retire from bars and clubs.
Having the entrepreneurial mind-set Dan knew he was never going to settle in a 9-5 job and having the ‘cutting edge’ mentality he looked at what he was good at and where the future might lay. The 2 words that came out of that approach were ‘marketing’ and ‘internet’.
Dan had been using sites like MySpace, Don’t Stay In and Facebook to market his events since they launched so knew how powerful they could be if used in the correct way. With the exponential growth of the internet, in particular social media and the experience Dan had gained utilising these sites for marketing, he made the decision to set up a social media advertising agency coupled with the graphic design service rebranding from ‘Cutting Edge Promotions’ to ‘Cutting Edge Marketing & Design’
Dan, now aged 33, runs a successful digital marketing and design agency in Doncaster. Using the power of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin he advertises his client’s services online which has allowed him to realise his dream, quit his part-time job and focus completely on his business, chasing his goal since he first set out to organise his first club event.
Dan has now rewritten his goals and plans to expand his current operation and employ his own staff to help the business expand.
The one thing that Dan wanted to get across from his story and inspire young people is that you don’t need a university degree or good grades to get where you want in life. It’s surprising how much a positive attitude, hard work and the right informed decisions can lead to.
You can find out more about the services Dan’s business offers on Facebook or via his website: www.cuttingedgeonline.co.uk