In the first of our series of interviews with business owners/freelancers, we chat to Adam Richard Jones who runs a successful Web Design, Graphics, Photography and Social Media business across Worcestershire, Shropshire and Herefordshire. Adam also works remotely to support other businesses in the UK. He is based in Worcester and you can find more information at www.adamrichardjones.co.uk.
Adam is an extremely motivated and enthusiastic individual who started his business at a very young age. We are excited to hear all about his experiences.
Thanks for taking busy time out your schedule to join us today, Adam.
How long have you been running your own business?
A: I’ve been running my business for nearly 2 years this September. I started my current business at the age of just 19, it was the perfect opportunity to get building my business whilst I didn’t have many commitments.
What made you want to work for yourself?
A: Mainly because I didn’t like working for other people – I could always see a better, more time efficient and effective way of implementing tasks. Obviously the other benefits of being self-employed are: the rewards of hard work and customers that are happy.
What do you think are the advantages/disadvantages of being a business owner?
A: I think the main advantages are you can pick the hours you want to work, usually those hours are longer than people in full time employment, building a brand and getting work constantly can be really difficult if you aren’t committed.
The major disadvantage is never “not working”, the lifestyle of a young business person is slightly different to those who are at studying or working full time. You cannot switch off because your business is part of you…you always check your emails whilst on holiday or before going to bed.
What do you find to be the most effective way to get business?
A: I find that the most effective and cheaper ways of getting business is using social media, especially Twitter and LinkedIn (due to my business being a Business-2-Business service).
What other methods do you use to get more business?
A: I always try and keep in touch with past clients and make sure they are happy – that’s how word of mouth becomes one of the most important tools. I don’t do much paid advertising (apart from the odd advert on social media platforms). A new idea that I am just starting to use is putting case studies of past clients on my website – so people can see what others are saying about me.
Who has been the most supportive of your business?
A: My parents and grandparents have been the most supportive people to have alongside for support. People tend to be a little concerned when I first started my business however the expansion of it has surprised many.
How have you handled criticism?
A: You sometimes get people who say “there’s loads of photographers, there’s no money in it”. I don’t just offer a photography service, but we work with commercial clients mainly – it’s all about building up a working relationship and standing out from the crowd…I usually point that out.
I think when I first started my main criticism was my age – people didn’t look very sure of trusting a 19 year old to supply a good quality of service. I sort of flipped that on its head, using my creativity to try and break the mould. Positivity is my main way of dealing with criticism.
What tips would you give people who are just starting up?
A: If you are thinking of starting up – don’t delay, research, research, research into your industry, the legal aspects and understand everything you need to know. Work out budgets and plan ahead for no profit the first year of trading.
For people my age – I would say…don’t hang around and wait for 5 years’ time. If you don’t have many commitments then it’s a certain advantage to start now whilst you don’t have financial ties!
Where do you see your business going in the next 5 years? Do you see yourself opening more businesses in the future?
A: In 5 years’ time, I want to see my business continuing to grow and expand, working with larger clients and more local small businesses. I won’t be content until I have multiple businesses under my control, with my sights set on opening a hotel and caravan park business in the near future.