Just a little over a year ago, I launched Juno PR along with two of Manchester’s most influential marketers. And what a year has it been. I’ve been lucky enough to not experience too many lows; instead, it has been a year of personal and professional growth.
On paper, Juno has had a great start to life, working with some influential companies across the North of England. We’ve secured some fantastic coverage for our clients, with coverage on the BBC for HB Villages being a particular standout moment. However, being your own boss and running your own company has been a huge learning curve. Here are five things I’ve found that might come in useful for anyone else starting out.
1. There’s never a good time to go it alone
Just like starting or doing anything monumental in your life, there is never a good time to go it alone.
Instead, if you want it enough, issues are there to be worked around. Try and figure out a direction that you want to go in and what’s the best way of getting here is. This will help you formulate a plan of the essential things you need to be able to do it.
For me, I wanted to continue to work in homes & interiors, and I was lucky enough to secure a couple of clients in this area, but I’ve also had to diversify, and it's turned out to be very rewarding.
2. Organisation is your friend
Just like in your previous working life, being organised is essential, only you have to take it to the next level. Not only have you got to organise the day-to-day running of your accounts and deliver results, you now have to manage the financial aspect of your company, along with securing new business.
To do lists and google calendar are your new best friends.
3. Decide on a unique selling point
Right at the start, we defined what Juno is best at and then worked to communicate it to potential clients.
As specialists in homes & interiors, food & drink and parenting, we knew we had a head start over a lot of the bigger agencies as with a small specialty field; we could devote more time to getting to the heart of each without stretching ourselves too thin.
Our USP is being able to deliver results and showcase through proper measurement and evaluation. After all, communication goals should be inexplicitly linked to business objectives.
4. Get a good accountant
Might seem like an extra expense that you can do without when you are starting up, but a good accountant is a godsend. They can advise you on a whole range of areas, as well as being able to do your VAT returns and personal tax.
5. Never side-line new business
Winning new clients can sometimes be a slow process. You need to contact them at the exact time they are thinking about looking for a PR agency or are thinking of changing it up. You also have to offer a service that hits the mark and can deliver exactly what they are after.
Even if this happens, the process can take some months, whether pitching or setting up the account. Focusing on new business should always remain a priority when running a PR agency.