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Start-up Story: Wemakedesign

Wemakedesign is a brand and identity business founded with the intention of focusing on identity and brand creation for small to medium sized businesses. The core focus always being to translate complex business solutions into effective, compelling and simple brand design solutions. We’ve worked with clients large and small from emerging new enterprises to global corporations, helping them with their communication challenges through creative thinking, strategy and experience. Our vision today is to combine our global expertise to create a best in class brand communications consultancy with a strategic, naming and brand identity focus.

Why we started

We both have a combined experience of almost 40 years working at the highest levels for the best agencies both nationally and internationally, on some of the best known brands in the world. Wemakedesign was originally started in 2004 by my partner Nik Dillon and has operated as a small but highly respected business, towards the end of last year business began to pick up significantly, while at the same time demands on myself as Creative Director at a large agency were increasing. We decided to bite the bullet and see if by pooling resources could we create the kind of design agency we felt most passionate bout, fewer admin and managerial elements more focus on creativity and strategy, combined with a true belief of what brand can do for business and the control to make that happen.

Our plans

Since we have started, things have gone better than we could have hoped for, we had prepared ourselves for a long road of struggle to make the business viable, as we felt that was realistic, but in truth the business took off like a rocket. The greatest challenges have been in trying to attain a kind of equilibrium as to date it has consumed our lives totally. We would like to continue to build the company into this vision of our ideal brand agency, still small, flexible, forward thinking, highly creative, in touch with clients in a very direct way. We hired our first designer 3 months ago to help us build. We do not see ourselves becoming a large company we think 5-6 people maximum, mainly creative staff but supported by two key admin staff to ensure the business side is well maintained.

How to grow

We need to create awareness that we exist, often we are so busy doing the work to hand that we do not fully promote ourselves and build that awareness so that the next job flows in smoothly. We also find that at times the admin side of the business takes up more time than envisaged and finally trying to find that balance where its not all work all the time.

What we have learned from our business

We are constantly learning, as creative people managing money, ensuring cash-flow to make sure that while we are busy we are also viable has been a challenge. Chasing payment can bring a whole new level of stress as while there is work out there people are still holding onto their cash for as long as possible, sometimes chasing the payment can take as much time as doing the work and we are constantly looking at ways to smooth that out. We believe we more than deliver great value to our clients, doing great work that makes a difference and haggling over payment can cast an unhealthy shadow.

Tips from our experience

We have recently begun working with a great business mentor who has helped us to look at what we are doing objectively and gives us the space to plan out the next steps. We thoroughly recommend a mentor who can help you see what your doing, good and bad and help you move forward.

Written by Adam Gallacher. For more information visit http://www.wemakedesign.com.

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3 Responses to Start-up Story: Wemakedesign

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  2. Sheena Oosten May 15, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    As a fellow designer, I can appreciate great work when I see it. Fantastic portfolio!

  3. wemakedesign May 21, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    Much appreciated Sheena!

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