Inspiring small businesses: HeadOn PR

In our ‘Inspiring small businesses’ series, we share and celebrate great stories from fellow small business owners who started and run their own business. By bringing you closer to these inspiring businesses we hope that you find motivation, tips and ideas for building yours.

Next up, we talked to Verity Blake, founder of public relations and communication agency HeadOn PR.

What is it that you do?

For more than 20 years I’ve been a PR and communications specialist, turning insight, vision and company news into compelling stories that project a business’ purpose and values and in a way that connects with its customers. We share these stories in a number of different ways and through the channels that reach our client’s customers such as through the media, social media, video channels and events – all to positively influence peoples’ perception of a brand and to make it the customer’s natural first choice.

What’s the story behind your business?

I always knew I wanted to work for myself one day, but PR has especially taught me the importance of timing – waiting for the right opportunity for maximum impact whether that’s a breaking story or an event to launch something. The same rule applies to business in general. My opportunity to set up on my own came when the agency I was working for, announced it was relocating. That’s when I knew it was now or never. Fortunately for me, I was asked by my ex-employer to stay on as a freelancer which gave me the flexibility and financial means to start building up my own client base. Business very quickly built up and now we have an extensive range of clients in B2B, B2C and consumer product space – 99% of which approached us following a recommendation. Clients span across all industry sectors from technology, law, finance and accounting, learning and development, carbon and energy management, and food and drink producers.

What inspired you to start your own business?

I’ve worked for some of the biggest global brands including Ericsson, 3 Mobile and Symantec, having had the opportunity to work alongside some extremely talented people and head up some incredibly exciting, global PR campaigns. But there came a point where I felt I needed to move my career in a new direction, to find new challenges. Having also worked within PR agencies for many years, I had the experience of managing big budget campaigns for global leading organisations combined with insight into the running of an agency which together gave me the confidence, skills and inspiration to set up on my own.

What is the most difficult aspect of running your own business?

Definitely there not being enough hours in the day. Running your own business also means it’s also very difficult to switch off. From the moment I wake to the minute I fall asleep, I’m constantly thinking about ways to move the business forward and continue to enhance the great work we’re doing for our clients. In fact, the best ideas often come when outside the office – perhaps late at night or whilst in the shower. But, this passion and dedication to continue to make our business success are driven by the love for what I do and the people I work with. 

What is the best thing about running your own business? 

Seeing something you started from scratch, grow and develop into a successful operation. It’s also having the freedom to push the boundaries, to bring in new innovations and ideas that enhance the service we offer and deliver great results for our clients. And, one last great thing about running your own business is the freedom it gives me to hire some of the best people in the industry who are not just super talented but grounded and easy to get along with – which is important considering we spend most of our waking hours at work.

To find out more about HeadOn PR, visit their website or follow them on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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