Business:Aurameir Creative Agency
We are Aurameir, a creative digital branding agency based in the West Midlands. We strive in developing digital and creative business solutions, providing a full service to our clients. Working across a wide range of B2B and B2C projects specialising in corporate video production, photography, graphic design, web development and digital training.
Q. What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I have always wanted to have my own business. I have spent some time as a freelancer undertaking contracts whilst being in employment. Having been exposed to this has enabled me to develop my skills and understand the needs of the market and what is needed to run a business. Working with the team I have, has provided the perfect opportunity to service the needs of the clients I have worked with. The digital market is dynamic and I believe that this is the perfect time to expand and seek investment to take the business forward
Q. Tell us about your business.
Aurameir is a Birmingham based, creative production company dedicated to providing a full service to its clients from marketing content creation through to targeted business development. The services we provide encompass an all in one concept, and we use the latest technologies and software to provide high-end quality design, branding, corporate video production and commercial photography. Here are our values:
Our Goal: is to solve our customer’s problems by providing multiple creative production solutions and digital training for their business marketing strategy
Our Mission: to establish a long-term freelance partnership, with our clients by providing a full creative service option to fulfil all their content marketing and brand development needs
Our Vision: With a full service option for our customers, we will bring value in time efficiency, consistency in brand image and offer ongoing training on how to utilise their creative content online to its optimum best to help boost business performance and meet business goals.
Q. How did you go about setting up your business?
Having had previous experience within the creative industry, we spotted a gap in the market. Clients I had worked with on a freelance basis were coming back to me asking for more work and services that we weren’t offering at the time. So I decided to set up April of 2015 and carried out test trading offering a full service option in creative production to clients. It worked, so I then approached CWRT for business support and funding.
Q. What has been your biggest challenge so far with running your own business?
Setting up the business and managing an in-house team of three and a freelance team of five. Getting our business of the ground, operations, training and finally launching our new brand.
Q. How did/have you overcome these challenges?
I took on board what I learned from all the one-to-one mentoring from CWRT’s business support team, all the workshops and seminars I attended played a huge role in my development as business owner. Working out a system that works for day to day running of the business with use of software based project, payroll and billing tracker.
Q. What do you love about running your own business?
Independence and the ability to make decisions on my own. The flexibility of my working schedule and 24 hours access to our studio office premises. It never feels like working overtime if you love what you do!
Q. Are there any top tips that you would like to share with others thinking about starting or growing their own business?
Here’s a productivity tip – there is never enough time in the day so my tip I have learnt so far is track your time. If you can automate the entire process; tasks, projects, billing, scheduling, social media publishing and so much more your day to day operations will be effective. Find actionable strategies that you can use to help grow your business is essential for future success.
Remember “ What you measure, you manage”
Q. How much did you apply for and over what term?
I applied for £20,000 over a period of 5 years.
Q. Why did you access financial support through CWRT?
My main aim was to seek investment in order to obtain the capital equipment and premises that were needed for the business to grow – this removed any ongoing cost of having to hire in – gave the company assets, provided flexibility and allowed us as a company to take on larger projects.
Q. What support did you receive from CWRT?
I was partnered up with a business mentor within my local area – in less than three months we completely changed the structure of my business plan and model. I never expected to achieve so much in such a short space of time. I was supported in setting clear goals and was encouraged to consider new ways of establishing a client base. The mentor also assisted me with my three year financial forecasts.
Q. How has the loan provided helped you?
The loan has allowed me to hire personnel, acquire premises and invest in marketing and brand development. It has been an amazing experience and I have been able to expand my business. The financing has provided an perfect base for my team to work and allow for better communication and efficient collaboration, created a presence in the market and provide a base for meeting clients.
Q. Has the loan helped you to create any jobs?
Yes, in-house I have hired two interns and one website designer on a part-time basis. Currently I also contract the other personnel on a freelance basis – providing the company with flexibility without the cost burden. All are keen to take up full time positions with the company as it grows.
Q. Is there anything else that you would like to add to your case study?
As a new company, we have recognised the importance of having legal representation and follow Government regulations in order to protect the business and clients from any legal and personal obstacles. So we decided to hire professional solicitors to assist with the formation of contracts, hiring of employees, protecting our intellectual property, settling disputes and raising capital is essential for the growth and protection of our business. I would recommend anyone who is looking for investment to contact CWRT – they are a fantastic organisation and are very supportive throughout the entire application process. Many thanks espeically to Sheridan Sulskis for her support.