Nine months. What we’ve learned and where we’re going. Notes from our founder

  • 3 months ago
  • 4 Minutes to Read

A lot can happen in nine months right? The most notable human correlation being bringing a new life into the world – and for us, over the past nine months, we’ve done just that. We’ve brought our ‘baby’ – Enviral to life…

The ugly baby

Right, so thing is – everyone thinks their baby is the cutest, the best looking or the best dressed. It’s a proud parents prerogative to believe their new bundle of joy is the best thing to grace the earth, and even if the newborn isn’t blessed with good looks – who’s going to call them out and disagree?

“Wow – your baby is so ugly!” Said no one, ever.

It’s the same with a start-up business idea. Apple, Toms Shoes, Innocent, Tesla. They all started as ugly babies. As an entrepreneur, you’re always going to think that you have something truly special, and it’s rare that someone will disagree. This can be a costly issue, both financially and mentally for the entrepreneur, and successful entrepreneurs know you need to work hard to prove the beauty in the baby. 

Our skills in digital marketing teach us daily that it’s the market that decides if a piece of copy, graphic design or video works – and testing is king for success. It’s the exact same as launching a business. Test, test, test, learn, learn, learn, improve, improve, improve until the market shows you that you have a value they need. 

Risky business

“…It’s actually a whopping 9 out of 10 start-ups which fail in the first year”

 

Most of us have heard the statistic “8 out of 10 start-ups fail in the first year” – this statistic gets bounced around in books, talks, conferences and social media.

Well this is ‘fake news’. In fact, it’s actually a whopping 9 out of 10 start-ups which fail in the first year – crazy right!?

We’re still a couple of months out from joining this piece of research, but without blowing our own proverbial trumpet – business is actually going well. We’ve tested, improved, further improved and we’re still constantly looking for ways to better ourselves and more importantly our clients work.

Setting expectations

In our opinion, brand identity takes time to be created. Some months we weight more towards content creation, some digital advertisement, and some more strategy focused consultation. To be honest, we would rather not call it ‘testing’ our business model – as we know that all three sections are truly important for us to make our clients work as impactful as possible, but we’re trying to align how we can have the most amount of impact as a small but growing team for our growing clients.

Expectation setting is key to what we do – it’s no good saying that we’ll quadruple a businesses’ profits or get them the number 1 trending topic on social media if it’s not in the brands scope to achieve this, and that’s something we’ve been cautious to do with predicting our own growth. Especially as lots of our work depends on platforms we can’t control. Zucks – are you listening?

Tangible Impact

Without this turning into a public AGM or a gushing Oscars speech – we have been blessed with truly amazing clients, are set to exceed our first-year targets (just ;D), we’ve grown our team to a small but powerful tribe that i’m extremely excited about and have created content that we’re truly proud of.

More importantly, we’ve started making a tangible positive impact through our client work and our extracurricular activities, which include helping The Marmalade Trust and Roots Independent Street Team in tackling loneliness and homelessness respectively.

And since we launched we’ve planted and protected another 3,000+ tress with our partners; Eden Projects, The Woodland Trust and TASC Madagascar. We’ve actually planted over 6,000 in total since we started our journey!  

Trees are our company mission.

We want to plant 250,000 trees through our day to day business operations to give back to the planet and the people who depend on it (spoiler alert, that’s all of us), plus it’s a further demonstration of how we think differently about business.

We like them a lot: For every newsletter sign up – we plant a tree, for every new client we plant 100 trees, for every networking event we attend we plant a tree for every attendee (under 100 people) and for every podcast we talk on we plant 10 trees.

I think our own agency ‘purpose’ is yet to be solidified. We grow trees, we like to get involved in projects that ‘do good’ and we help our clients understand their own purpose, so that their customers can shop and interact with better brands and businesses big and small can lead by example. Does this mean we’re going to get noticed for thinking differently and be like the next Ogilvy… probably not, however it does help when the alarm goes off in the morning. 

Controlled optimism

Whilst we may understand the importance of being realistic, we also understand the importance of being optimistic. Controlled optimism is why we’re growing. Pitching for business that’s “above” our agency scope, learning from the experience of both winning and losing these types of projects and networking with our idols. All these elements have given us clarity that our vision is achievable whilst giving us the motivation to go out and achieve our goals.

By 2025 we want to be one of the UK’s leading creative sustainability communications agencies. Achievable? Only time will tell, but we’re going all in – and we’re going to dive head-first into our business to show people that our baby isn’t ugly.

If you’ve made it this far. I’ll update you on our journey.

Joss

Email me to chat – joss@enviral.co.uk. 

 

Written by
Joss Ford