A brand-new design business launches thanks to Business Wales and the Wrexham Enterprise Hub.

With extensive industry experience, Emma Jones decided to take the plunge into self-employment following her second maternity leave. She approached the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service for help and has since increased her confidence and practical skills to launch her own business, Em Creative.

  • successful start
  • advice on starting up, marketing and business growth
  • 1 job created

Introduction to business

Following her passion for design developed over 20 years working in successful marketing and branding teams, Emma Jones started emcreative to offer bespoke design solutions.

Based at the Wrexham Enterprise Hub, Em Creative provides small businesses with a wide range of creative services across branding, digital, print and social media.

Why did you decide to set up your own business?

I had my second child at the age of 39 and found the thought of returning to work a much more pressured situation and a bigger financial strain compared to the first. With the cost of childcare and after-school care combined, I felt I was going back to work for nothing!

I had always considered working for myself but never really had the confidence – but my maternity leave allowed me time to explore the idea and properly look at how I could make it possible and plant that seed! I approached Business Wales as a first step into this research and looked at what help was out there. I also spent time just talking to my network of family, friends and people who I already knew were working for themselves (important!) to gain some knowledge and to generate some interest in the business before I started.

What challenges did you face?

My biggest challenge was just my whole belief system, the belief in myself that I could pull it off and the belief I was good and credible enough to provide a high-quality service. Additionally, managing my time around still working, being a busy mum and dedicating time to setting up the business was a daily challenge! With all the help in the world, doing this does not come easy, you have to be prepared to graft and make some sacrifices.

Business Wales support

Emma received support from Lee Stephens, a Business Wales adviser, who assisted with all aspects of starting up, including business planning, marketing and setting terms, amongst others.

Emma has also benefitted from workshops, events and co-working space delivered by the Business Wales Wrexham Enterprise Hub.

Outcomes

  • successful start
  • advice on starting up, marketing and business growth
  • 1 job created

I have no doubt I would not have reached where I am in my first year without the help of Business Wales and everyone at Town Sq and the Wrexham Hub. Once I realised the help was there, I just soaked it all up like a sponge! I attended the Women in Business course and shortly after, joined the Start-Up Club, both of which were invaluable in helping me to learn the business basics and make some great contacts to help propel my business. I meet with [my adviser] Lee [Stephens] regularly and know he is there at any time to support me and talk about where I am moving the business.

My biggest fear was ‘running a business’ successfully with no background whatsoever! I can design all day every day, I love it! I know how to do my job well and I know I can give people what they need, but the one thought always stopping me was ‘but how will I run my business?’ However, if that is something that is stopping you, remember, you can ‘learn’ the process. Accept it may take a few years to master, I am nowhere near sure of myself yet, but I’ve learnt so much already and learn something new every day about what to do or what not to do! So, all of that comes with it. As long as you have the tools and the passion for what it is you want to do, then the rest will come with a lot of faith and hard work! In time, as long as you are committed to what you want from your business and do not give up when it gets tough, you will get there! I see that now myself.

Future plans and ambitions

I set myself a goal in my first year of business to build it to a level where I could leave my job of 16 years and go full-time with emcreative. I recently achieved just that! In addition, as scary as it was, it was good to tick that first box. Now I want to focus on building my portfolio continuing to work with and support clients locally and further afield. I would eventually like to grow the business into a studio of my own and have a team. I would say my biggest ambition is to teach my children that when they put their minds into something, they can achieve anything they want!

If you want to read more success stories of how Business Wales has helped other people like you to start or grow their businesses, visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/case-studies or follow @_businesswales / @_busnescymru on Twitter.

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