Starting your own business can be a scary experience. What if it fails? How do you promote your company? Where do you start?
No need to worry with Amy Purdie around! Her business, Whiteacres is committed to helping businesses get started, brand properly and be noticed!
We talk with Amy about why it’s so important to know your branding, meeting mew people and how to keep the balance with family and career.
What are your three top tips for running a business?
1. Get a support network around you so that when you need help, advice, oomph or a good kick, you’ve got somewhere to turn.
2. Never stop learning. There’s always something you don’t know or that you could learn more about.
3. Step out of your comfort zone as much as possible. Even though it’s hard, the results are worth it.
Why do you think a businesses image is so important?
The image of your business is the first thing people see to help them gain an understanding of your business. You don’t want to give the wrong first impression.
You can have some control over this at every touch point in your business by spending time looking at your business and working out what it is that’s important to communicate and then you can make sure that this is highlighted in your business image to help people understand what it is that you do and what you stand for.
Taking time to look professional and to show people what you’re all about is worth it because it helps people realise how you can help them and to resonate with your brand.
Did you partake in any courses or studying that have contributed to your job role?
After school I did a year at college studying Graphic Design and then three years at university studying for a BA (hons) in Graphic Design – both of these experiences were great and I learned a lot – and made some great friends – however, I learnt so much more in my first full time job (which I loved) that has been useful since – I don’t think anything can beat experience.
Businesses now heavily rely on modern technology and the Internet to succeed. How do you keep up to date with all things tech?
To be honest, I find it quite easy, but I think that’s because I love it – especially social media. There are definitely platforms I don’t know very much about and don’t use much – LinkedIn and Google+ for example – but I’m always willing to learn. I listen to a lot of webinars and read a lot of articles and books, which are really helpful – and it’s not a chore because I really find it interesting!
I also have a great coach who knows way more than I do about Internet Marketing and it helps me to navigate the areas I don’t know so much about, so that’s really helpful and I’m part of a lot of online group programmes which tend to cover various aspects of online stuffery.
What has been the most interesting business you’ve branded for? And the most challenging?
That’s quite hard! All my clients are interesting and different. Maybe Grow up Green, a cloth nappy retailer – that was quite interesting because I had a very antiquated view of cloth nappies and that totally changed around! Possibly The Forest House Press logo I did recently where I created a papercut through my other business (Embellish) and then that became the logo. OR Nida Hug – Nida is collecting hugs for health and prosperity whilst going through some pretty tough things herself – it’s really hard to say because I don’t work with anyone dull!
The most challenging business … I’ll not name, but the reason it was challenging was because the client didn’t have the time to go through the questions I needed to ask, so I had to invent what I hoped she thought she needed. Which was very challenging to get right without the correct information.
What do you love most about your job?
Meeting interesting people and finding out about what they do. There are so many different ideas out there – just yesterday I was talking to a lady who’s setting up a network locally for women to share their knowledge and experience with a younger generation to inspire them – then there’s the lady I’m about to start working with who makes the most amazing felted shawls and scarves and I loved visiting where she works and seeing the process, another client who makes baby skincare products was explaining me to all about why she uses this oil for this purpose and this one for another, and the lady I spoke to this morning was telling me how she’s going to use the experiences she’s had in her life to help others overcome addiction and heal their hurts by sharing her story – there’s so many talented and amazing people and I love hearing about how they got to where they are and what it is that they do.
When you get a bit of me time, what do you like to do?
I like to read – anything really, but mainly detective stories and cookery books – and I love baking and cooking – if I’m in the kitchen I’m usually in a good mood as long as the dishes are done! I also like to spend time with my family – preferably walking along a beach or going out somewhere to eat cake.
You have a daughter and now you’re pregnant with your second child! Congratulations!! How do you juggle work and family life?
Until recently I’ve been working four days a week while my daughter is in nursery (or with Daddy on a Friday) but as she’s just started school I’m doing five days now and still working it out because the days are shorter but I have more of them! The hours haven’t changed much to be honest, it’s just the extra spreading out. It’s been a challenge working it all out, I started off working three days which was hard, and when that really really wasn’t enough she went in to nursery an extra day every week. Some weeks it’s easier than others. Sometimes I do a bit of work on an evening or a weekend, but I’ve definitely got better at managing my time and being able not to work in the evenings so much!
I think it’s really important to spend time with my family so I try hard to be around as much as possible. Of course, come February it’ll be a whole new challenge and I haven’t really worked it all out yet. I think the baby will be coming into work with me, at least for a while, but that’s OK – it’s great to be able to give myself the option.
Where do you see Whiteacres in the next 5 years?
I’ve started pushing myself to do things I’m not all that comfortable doing lately – like the videos on my blog (I’m comfortable with those now, but I wasn’t!) and agreeing to speak more – I’d like to think that I’ll have pushed myself out of my comfort zone even more and achieved things that I didn’t think I’d be able to do before. I know that making myself do things that scare me a bit has definitely helped Whiteacres and created great opportunities, so I’ll keep going with that and see what happens!
I’ll be launching a Membership site soon so I’m hoping to be able to help more people through that so that they can have brands and businesses which they are really proud of, make them feel confident about what they do and are attracting and reaching the right people. One of the best things I get out of Whiteacres is when people tell me they aren’t embarrassed by their logo/ website/ brand anymore and feel really confident showing people their stuff.
Really I just want to help businesses to communicate their values and what they stand for in a better and more effective way and if I can keep doing that and keep making my clients smile, then I’ll be quite happy.
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