Some 18 years ago, I started working with Sach, when we both worked at the Derby Evening Telegraph. We have both kept in touch since and also started our own businesses. Throughout the first lock down Sach was one of the people I chatted with on a regular basis. For me this time, like I always believe was especially important to be honest and open and it kept me sane knowing that I wasn’t alone in how I was thinking about not being able to work for a period of time.

This along with big hint from Yvonne from Essential Print Services, gave me the idea for applying to Small Business Saturday, to be part of the campaign this year. This is a very special Q&A with one of our close business friends.  

Black Apricot Creative is a complete design agency – we love all things design, print and digital. We offer an honest approach, different opinions and we love to challenge our clients. We try to give our all in everything we create – from a simplest of business card to a shiny new brand.

Q: What’ your back story? What skills did you develop in previous roles that have helped you to run your own business?

A: I previously worked within design studios early on in my graphics career. I learnt a huge amount from my contemporaries, be it from a design aspect, dealing with clients or to just making the perfect cup of coffee! Sometimes you don’t realise, but at the time, the skill set that you’re developing will push you on to greater things, make you more confident and help with your next career path.

Q: How did you know you were ready to start up on your own?

A: I don’t think you ever know when you’re ready. At least, I didn’t. You can over think it and talk yourself away from it all. But sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone and make it happen.

Q: You became a business owner but why did you choose to work for yourself?

A: I’m sure there’s a moment in everyone’s life where they say, ‘I wish I’d done this or started that’. I didn’t want to get to a stage in my life where I’d never tried running my own business. Even if it never worked out – I experienced it.

Q: What gives you the biggest sense of achievement?

A: Having built the business from scratch with no clients, no financial backing and just an old iMac!! That is definitely my biggest sense of achievement. And we’re still going. Thankfully, with newer Mac’s!

Q: What’s the hardest moment you have faced in your business so far?

A: That has to be when we first started. I had just had a newborn and I was going into the unknown with a new business. Jumping into the deep end without a float comes to mind.

Q: What two things have you learnt whilst running your own business that you would like to tell people that are either running or thinking of setting up a business of their own.

A: Be honest and transparent with all that you do. Good things will come.

Q: What is the next thing you are changing/developing about your business?

A: With the world changing/developing so rapidly each and every day, even more so at this present time, businesses have to evolve. At the moment, we have many avenues that we want to explore and that does take time to get right. We will eventually take the plunge, but also keep our day to day activities at the forefront.

Q: Have you ever felt like quitting? If so, what changed your mind?

A: Absolutely! But keeping faith and knowing what I was doing was working, the thought of quitting soon became a thing of the past. 

Q: Can you give our readers some advice for starting a new business?

A: Never give up on your ideas. Do your research, ask family, friends, people that are in business already for advice. There’s so much information out there online too. 

Q: How do you switch off?

A: As a business owner, it’s so difficult to switch off. But you do need to otherwise you’ll end up stressed, burnt out or possibly on the set of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest’. Family time is great to keep you grounded, and sane. A blast on the mountain bike, a good movie and great food is the perfect down time recipe. I don’t mind a little amber nectar occasionally either.

Q: What are the advantages to running your own business?

A: Making your own time and having the ability to be flexible!

Black Apricot