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Start-up for ten – creative by day

Start-up for ten – creative by day

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Q & A with Wiltshire-based storytellers creative by day.

James Partington, Founder of creative by day explains how attending a SETsquared Entrepreneurs Workout has helped him look at his business from a completely new perspective.

  1. What does creative by day do?

We are a boutique content marketing agency that specialises in researching companies and translating their stories into film and written content using experience built from backgrounds in journalism and production.

  1. What’s the most exciting thing about what you’re doing?

I get to paint pictures with cameras, which I’ve always loved doing. It’s been in my blood since university. I love creating and enhancing someone’s narrative and finding out how to convey their information efficiently and effectively as their business grows.

  1. What are you most proud of so far?

The business is still very new, I’m so proud of getting to where we are now, because I started the business 2 years ago, on the very first day of lockdown (Completely by accident). Covid has made meeting new clients and gaining new business almost impossible, but I’m proud to say we’re about to take on a big client – one of the world’s biggest architecture practices, which is very visual and extremely exciting work.

  1. What have you found most challenging about setting up and running creative by day?

I was originally a journalist, and an Executive Producer for CNN and spent years flying around the world. I decided to take some time off to be with my family, and we moved back to the UK from Hong Kong. I wanted to put all the skills that I had learned over my career into my own company. COVID has been an enormous roadblock for the business, we had the worst timing imaginable, overcoming these obstacles has been the most challenging thing so far.

  1. You recently took part in SETsquared’s Entrepreneurs Programme – how did it help you?

The experience was incredibly useful, it enabled me to look at my business from a completely different perspective that I’d never even considered. It was a very rapid learning curve for me, I didn’t have any of the important business fundamentals. I know how to hold a camera, coordinate large crews, and create stories, but I didn’t know how to build the business. It was a very eye-opening week and I learned skills I may never have picked up otherwise.

  1. What will you do differently going forwards as a result of it?

I will be much more specific about the way I drive my business forward in terms of explaining who we are and what we do. I was also initially willing to take on lots of small projects, but now I see I need to be much more specific and targeted in the companies that we approach and the clients we take on.

  1. Would you recommend it to other founders?

I just wish that everybody could take part in this Workout, it’s brilliant. It’s a fully funded programme of learning at such a key stage of building a business.

  1. What’s the best thing about being based in Wiltshire?

We relocated to Wiltshire because it’s well connected to major urban centres while also being very rural, we’ve got beautiful views, and there’s so much ancient history and incredible walking right on our doorstep. Given that we launched the business at completely the wrong time with regard to the pandemic; we at least seemed to get the work from home/live in the countryside thing right!

  1. What advice would you give to other start-up founders?

If you’re thinking of setting up a business immediately find out what kind of support is available to you locally because there’s excellent free support out there; and it’s such a difficult journey to go on by yourself. There are so many things to think about when setting up a business so the best thing you can do is to connect with people who can help you navigate that particularly tricky first year – don’t just sit on your hands and think you can do everything by yourself.

  1. Where do you think creative by day will be in 10 years’ time?

I’d love to be able to hire and train people and grow the business. I have 25 years of experience as a Journalist, TV producer and Film Maker. I’ve met some amazing people from Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg to Cate Blanchett and Alex Ferguson and I’ve got a huge amount of knowledge that I’d love to share to train people in the art of creating stories. Having said that, the primary goal has to be to build a fun, dynamic and sustainable business that supports my family, our lifestyle and builds a bright future for my wonderful son.

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