Never place all your eggs in one basket

12/11/20214 Minutes

When you're building something that you're passionate about, it's easy to focus on that alone.

As a hobbyist photographer and professional marketer, I’ve always been captivated by the sheer amount of talented artists offering their services. Which is why, in 2019, I began forming ideas for my business, Go Pro After Dark (GPAD). We’re a platform that caters for small businesses and professionals in the UK who want to incorporate impactful visual content into their services.

In most cases, new businesses head to Google to answer simple questions like ‘how do I create a website’ and are greeted by ridiculous charges. GPAD offers builds for fast, safe, transaction ready websites, filled with custom images and professional grade videos – in your brand’s voice.

For the first year, I assumed all the business’ roles – founder, salesman, designer, photographer and videographer.

Then the pandemic hit, and everything came crashing to a halt.

I’d been lucky enough to secure multiple projects, but these disappeared as the UK went into lockdown. Almost overnight, the culmination of hundreds of emails and meetings crumbled.

Seeing each cancellation email was the lowest point in creating my business as they left a void.

The unplanned disruption taught me one important lesson: never place your eggs in one basket.

When you’re building something that you’re passionate about, it’s easy to focus on that alone. But having a steady-income is just as important. It’ll allow you time to make smarter decisions. After a few days of lockdown-wallowing and a dash of self-pity, I began to look at an employed position that would allow me to refine what I wanted to offer through the GPAD business.

Also: never work alone. As much as you may need or want to go your own way, you cannot do everything by yourself.

Thinking of making your own logo using a free service like Canva? Don’t!

Do you have what it takes to build a business, and sell and effectively market your product? You don’t!

Instead, spend a few days looking at smaller agencies or individuals who focus on the right channels for you. Ask to look at some examples for companies they work for and if you’re satisfied by the quality, pay them to write up a marketing plan of action so you can align your brand’s messaging, products and overall feel. Working alone will save you money initially, but in the long run, it’s a lose-lose situation for your business.

Lastly, know thy enemy. Your business might be completely unique – it might sell a product that has never been conceived and released. However, 99% of the time, this isn’t the case. It’s more likely, someone, somewhere, has thought of your idea and launched it in some shape or form.

It’s vital to research heavily into the market you’re going to be moving into.

Use this to inform your brand’s proposition, where you want to enter the market and how you’ll price your products.

As soon as you step into the digital landscape, you’ll be on competitors’ radars. If they sense you have something valuable, they’ll be quick to respond with enlarged marketing budgets.

It’s cutthroat out there – researching, planning and navigating an impactful launch could well be the deciding factor for your success.

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