Stanthorpe QLD | December 2018
What is your business? How long has the business been operating?
I run JD Design, a graphic design business. I started up last year.
What were you doing before you made contact with Many Rivers? What was your previous work experience?
Just finished doing a diploma in graphic design and was working as taxi driver. It was a 3 year diploma, online. I also had the birth of my second child at the beginning of the course. I loved doing the diploma. Before that I never really followed my passion. Now I’m doing what I love.
Who referred you to Many Rivers? When?
I found out about Many Rivers through NEIS. Old mate was handing out flyers at a NEIS event last year. I actually threw my flyer out, but I remembered Many Rivers and thought they might be able to help me get started.
Why did you want to go into business?
You’ve gotta love your work and I did the diploma and knew I wanted to start my own design business.
What services did you receive from Many Rivers? How did it help?
I was just starting out and I needed a way to market myself. I knew about SEO and wanted to pay a company to run Google Adwords. Many Rivers came through with the money to get started. I also got to see Nat face to face and talk about my business. She talked about other services but at the time I just needed a small loan.
What did you find the most useful about the assistance from Many Rivers?
They were accommodating. Didn’t dive too deep and really just helped me get started. I don’t think I’d have a very bad credit rating, but they don’t look too far into it and they’re willing to give you a chance. I would have been rejected for a bank loan, but I couldn’t be working until I had a loan. Starting out it’s hard to rank organically in Google and without that I couldn’t get clients. I had one client from word-of-mouth but I needed to reach more people
What has been the biggest challenge to date?
I had some lean times over the Christmas period. That was hard. Not a lot of people want to splash out on jobs around that period. That’s just the nature of the beast though. Being a sole trader you’ll have good times but you’ll also have slow times. It can be challenging having little ones at home (Jamie has two children under 4). You make the most of it when they’re occupied and knuckle down.
What has been the biggest success to date?
I’ve just started, but I’ve already had some good jobs. Clients that probably wouldn’t have known about me if I didn’t have the Adwords.
What has been the biggest change for you/your family since you started your business?
I work from home and sometimes my wife says “I’d love to be working from home”, but she likes the freedom. I can stay home, keep an eye on the kids, and still do work. It gives her a chance to leave the house. It’s working well.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
My business goal is to have enough return clients that I don’t need to chase clients anymore. Having enough work backed up where I have 2-3 clients a week, the same ones coming back. At the moment, I might have a week where I’m not working on anything, just marketing. Working on my own business. I want to only spend one-to-two days a week doing that and the rest be full of creative work.