A Design Journey. Chapter 3, The Set-Up

This week’s agenda comprises an overview of the fundamental processes that we undertook to establish our business. We hope that our insights prove valuable and engaging for anyone contemplating embarking on a similar journey themselves.

After submitting our notice, we entered the phase where the real work began. It was time to take on the less glamorous, yet essential, tasks to set Downforce Creative in motion, so that we may be fully operational in three months’ time. Our Google docs to do list was growing faster than we were ticking things off but it was exciting all the same, we were building the foundations of our business, and as anyone that watches Grand Designs will know, solid foundations are critical for building anything that will endure. 

We divided our responsibilities, with Mat taking charge of securing a business bank account and an accountant, while I concentrated on acquiring hardware at a competitive price. After careful consideration, we decided that investing in a pair of MacBook Pro 16” 32GB M1 Max’s with 1TB of storage would best serve our needs, enabling us to work on-the-go, if necessary. Although it required a substantial financial investment, we recognised it as a necessary expenditure.

Next, we tackled the remaining items on our to-do list, which included securing a business address necessary to finalise our business banking setup and registeration with Companies House. Other things like file sharing and Adobe Creative Cloud accounts would all fall into place pretty smoothly. The next task was to start work on the business plan, to provide clarity and direction for us to refer back to with specifics and a target for year 1. It included our vision, purpose and values, as well as objectives, our key offerings, competitors and strategy. I’d recommend it for any partnership starting up as it fosters alignment between partners regarding objectives and desired outcomes for the future.

In parallel with our business setup efforts, we were crafting our credentials deck. This document outlines the services and skills we can offer as a creative business and showcases our unique selling point. As a key representation of our business, the credentials deck must be both captivating and informative, especially to those with no prior knowledge of our work. At the same time, it must strike a balance between conveying sufficient information without becoming excessively lengthy and overwhelming. Therefore, we need to carefully consider how we wish to present ourselves in this crucial document. We had numerous discussions about striking the appropriate balance in our communication, such as debating whether we were being overly formal or too casual. As designers, we possess the ability to work across various mediums. However, in order to establish ourselves as a market leader instead of a ‘jack of all trades,’ it was essential to focus our offerings. This proved challenging, particularly when we enjoy working on a diverse range of platforms.

In order to complete all of the setup tasks, we worked tirelessly after putting in a full day’s work and even on weekends. However, the realisation that we would no longer have a dependable source of income proved to be a powerful motivator to persevere.

The next challenge was to build our website and get our company online for the world to see.

To be continued…

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