Happy Birthday to us!
It’s our first birthday, so not only have we been eating lots of cake – obviously – we’ve also been reflecting on the last year.
Every single business was new at one point, so anyone who’s set one up knows: a) it’s not easy and b) the first year in particular is quite the rollercoaster ride…a bloody enjoyable rollercoaster ride, we might add! Here’s a summary of how we’re feeling right now…
One of the biggest things we’re celebrating one year in, is the fact that we continue to work with some of the amazing clients who were with us the day CAKE was born: The Lexicon, Bracknell, BTS and Moretown to name but a few.
And then there are the new clients we’ve acquired… Asahi, Fuller’s, YV Brands, The Perfume Shop, Silchester Farm, Kind Words for Kids, The Colour Palette Salon, Urban Rajah and Wycombe District Council… Not bad for a year’s work and proof right there that we’re definitely doing something right.
We asked our founders, Gareth and Kelly, to tell us what they’ve learnt in CAKE’s first year. This is what they had to say…
1. One of the biggest things we’ve learnt is that our model needs to remain flexible in order to adapt to the ever-changing market place. As you probably know by now, we are powered by a team of freelance specialists with expertise in a range of services, and we pull individual freelancers or teams of freelancers in as and when we need their skills and experience for specific projects or work. Don’t get us wrong, the model is working as we planned; we’ve just discovered along the way that it needs to be flexible, in order to adapt to what’s happening in the industry, which is constantly changing.
2. Team culture is so important to us. We have the best team (and we’re not even one bit biased), but in all seriousness, we have worked hard to make that happen. Of course, skills and experience are hugely important to us, but in a small and growing business like ours, you need a team of dedicated individuals who are keen to grow with us. We’ve got that balance nailed, we all work in harmony like a fine tune – cheesy, but oh so true.
3. Invest in people and be willing to take risks. Nothing is ever certain, so the only option is to throw everything into an opportunity and get the right people to do the job. This is particularly relevant for pitches we’ve done over the year, and like any marketing agency, we’ve won some and we’ve lost some. It’s all part of the game and each time we win or lose one, we learn!
4. There is never enough time! We’ve laughed at ourselves on occasions, pre-Christmas for example, when we made those best made plans to do a serious tidy of the office and complete those over-hanging admin tasks that we just didn’t get around to all year. We saved those jobs for the “quiet few days before the Christmas break”. Well, we’ll have you know, there’s no such thing as a few quiet days before the Christmas break, so now we’ve just expected there’s never enough time!
5. Using multiple freelancers mean structures and processes need to be very tight. We run a tight ship here at CAKE, because we quite simply have no other choice! We work with a huge network of freelancers who are spread across the country; some come and work from our office, some work remotely or from home. Ensuring that our work is always of a consistently high standard is our number one priority, so we have a developed a number of processes over the year to make sure this happens!
6. Our name is a great conversation starter; people are always interested in our story! Of course, we won’t leave you hanging, here it is for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of hearing it before now. A cake is made of layers and a variety of different ingredients, right? Well, so is our business. It takes a mixture of a number of elements to make a marketing campaign work, much like a cake. Get it?
So, it’s safe to say we’ve learnt a lot, both good and bad, of course. We now take those learnings into our second year and we are absolutely raring to go! We’d love to have a chat if we can support your business in any way – our marketing skills are endless and our wonderful freelance specialists have every single skill you could possibly wish for.
Get in touch today!