60 second start-up: Woodthorpe comms

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence:

We are a lifestyle Communications agency offering PR, social media and marketing services.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

We work in much the same way as most of our competitors. A monthly retainer fee and contract time is agreed and worked to. We often also do project work, theses are usually over a short time frame – between 2/4 months long.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

There are many PR agencies in London, it’s an extremely competitive sector. I would say our competitors are any medium sized lifestyle agency based in London.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

Honest, realistic and personable. It’s very important to me that we stay as honest and upfront as we can. I set the business up with that in mind, there are a lot of cowboy PR’s out there and I feel it is this that differentiates us from them. Under promise, over deliver and manage expectations.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

The business has been self-funded since the start. I set up Woodthorpe Comms with just my laptop and my contact book. We have taken staff on as and when our turnover has allowed us to. That has involved using freelancers at times, mixing part time staff and full time staff. It’s been frustrating at times but I feel it’s paid off.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

After studying at London College of Fashion I decided I wanted to pursue a career in Fashion PR. From there I went to study Fashion Promotion at The Surrey Institute of Art. From there it was off to work at both in house press offices and at PR agencies with a short stint  with the fashion team at The Independent newspaper. I have been fortunate to have worked with many fashion brands during my time in PR. My last position before I set up Woodthorpe Comms was with a luxury PR agency. 

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

It seemed an obvious next step for me to set up my own agency. I was talking with my dad on my 25th birthday about my ‘10 year plan’ that’s when the idea come to light, 6 months later I had registered the business and was ready to go. I may know PR inside out but I have been learning how to run a business ever since, which is always an interesting challenge.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Grow organically, only taking team members on as and when needed and when budget allowed me to. The business has no debt. Also using my contacts, I have called in a lot of favours since setting this business up and have received some priceless advice along the way.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

Thinking I could do it all. Working on areas of the business that would have been better out-sourced. It’s so important (I have now learnt) to stick to what you do and know best and leave the rest to the experts. Also you can’t work 24/7 you will burn out.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

Digestive - what you see is what you get.

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

So many! Any and all that are successful, growing, leading the way forward and making money!

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

If all goes to plan we will be double the size. We are expanding our team and have launched 2 new services to the Woodthorpe comms offering. We now offer social media management and have recently launched a new ‘guided’ PR service aimed at start-ups. We are also planning to introduce a new division to the business too. So watch this space!

 

To find out more about Woodthorpe comms, click here. Or check out the latest news from The Nest, Bluebird HQ, follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

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