Last week we held our annual Christmas Market in the fantastic new student’s union venue, Y Plas. It was a fantastic day and with 15 stalls present there was plenty to enjoy – from homemade fudge to jewellery and Christmas decorations. Some of the stalls made as much as £300, not a bad return from the initial £5 investment in hiring a stall! But don’t worry if you missed it! We teamed up with Media Mavs to create a short video to tell you everything you needed to know.
Whilst making the video we also had the opportunity to chat to Carey from Media Mavs during the event, and he told us a little about his experience of running his own media business;
So Carey, tell us a bit about yourself, and how you came up with the idea for your business.
I’m a third year post graduate student at Cardiff University pursuing a PhD in Social Psychology. I have an MBA and a Bsc in Computer Science. I have also been a serial entrepreneur for over 10 years. In looking at trends and opportunities to assist SME’s, I realised that there was a significant increase in the use and demand for online videos. As such, since I had the experience, expertise and equipment, I decided to go into the business of providing high quality, creative videos that get the results for SME’s in South Wales.
Did you always see self-employment as a viable career option, or did you stumble upon it?
My Father is an entrepreneur and 4 of my 5 brothers are entrepreneurs as well. It made me appreciate the value of running one’s own business, so it was automatic that I would become one myself. I do see the value of having the security of a regular income in a job, but there’s nothing that compares to the opportunities of growing your business and seeing it succeed.
It looks like your business is going from strength to strength, but what was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in starting-up?
The biggest challenge was simply to find the first set of customers. After you have established a reputation, have a portfolio and are getting referrals, it’s easier. But at the start, someone will have to take a chance that you will produce what you say you will. Convincing customers to take that chance was difficult. Thankfully, we are past that stage.
What has been the most exciting development in your business so far?
I know it may sound boring, but the most exciting development so far is really just great feedback about our videos from clients. As a start-up, ensuring that you build a great reputation is essential, so we are thrilled whenever our clients are happy. Most of whom actually place orders for more videos. Exciting stuff!
What do you feel is the most rewarding aspect of running your own business?
The most rewarding aspect of running my own business is to experience the growth. More happy clients, more jobs, more sales, more profits. It’s good to see hard work , commitment and dedication pay off.
So Carey, what advice would you give to Cardiff University’s budding entrepreneurs?
The advice I would give is to be brave and bold. It’s easy to hide behind emails, websites, and social media, but regardless of business plans, market research, seed capital etc., the best thing you can do to get your business going is to get out there and land a paying customer. Nothing beats the experience you gain from going through that process, and it’s the best way to move up the learning curve, to tweak your sales approach, or product even. I think it places you on the path to success much quicker.
Cardiff University Enterprise sends a big thanks out to everyone on the Media Mavs team, we hope you every success in the future!