Starting a new business is tough, but if your idea is good enough and you have the determination to make it happen then you can make it a success.
Ashley Young has just taken his own leap into the business world, establishing The Young Creative Agency. Based in Sully in the Vale of Glamorgan, the business offers a range of creative solutions for businesses, including branding, video, photography and design.
In our latest blog post, Ashley explains the vision behind his company, how he plans further growth – and details the vital support provided by Business Wales AGP.
Tell us about The Young Creative Agency.
The lightbulb moment for me came in 2019. I was working in photography for fashion brands when I had an idea to offer what I call an all-in-one creative solution for the industry. I could see something was missing in the services provided and thought I could step in and offer something a bit different, something with added value.
What exactly is that? Well, we offer a range of creative options for our clients – photography, videography and drone capability. But we also provide models, studio or location space and do the post-production and that kind of thing.
At first, I thought this was something I could offer purely to the fashion sector, but I quickly realised there was a call for this work across a range of industries.
We've already retained clients in the fashion and beauty industries, and we're in talks to provide our services and expertise to customers in other sectors too. So we're at an exciting point in the business' development.
Our production capabilities mean we can produce anything from commercial content right through to music videos, YouTube series and branded content.
With our company at such an early stage in its development, we have two staff at the moment – it's me and my business partner, Jordan Corrin. Jordan is a director and plays a crucial role in what we do and the direction we take.
Moving forward, we're excited about the business' future and have ambitious expansion plans. The aim is to take on more staff and expand our studio here in Sully so we can export our services to markets around the world, and not just in the UK.
We're also looking at how we can diversify our income, so we're planning to offer our studio and equipment for hire as well. We can't wait to get cracking.
What are your proudest moments in business so far?
Without a doubt, it was the decision to bring Jordan on board. We couldn't have met in a more apt way for a business like this – through Instagram, where we realised we shared a lot of creative ideas and where our skills could mesh and help the business in terms of what it can offer.
In the beginning, we worked on things project by project, but it was soon apparent that we worked well together, so I asked Jordan to join me full-time as a director and head of video production.
We're really proud of making our partnership work, and it's benefited the business so much. Having someone with me means challenges can be tackled with someone else's perspective and knowledge. And we're having fun planning the future and mapping out the company's path.
If you were starting again, what would you do differently?
I'd definitely have prioritised things like the website from the outset.
We've hit the ground running with such pace that we've spent most of our time so far on servicing contracts. Working on background things like the website is crucial, so I'd have done a bit more of that before moving ahead.
How has support from Business Wales AGP helped your business?
Having a business idea is one thing but knowing what to do with it is something else. The guidance given to me by Business Wales AGP has been invaluable. Once I was accepted onto the programme my company really has flourished.
Business Wales AGP provided me with an environment where I could develop my idea into The Young Creative Agency.
We've been given some critical and helpful support and expertise – from business planning and workshops, through to financial and marketing advice. It's given me access to experience and advice which I wouldn't have had otherwise.
What advice and guidance would you give other businesses starting out?
● Stick to what you want to do. It's good to get advice and guidance from others, but make sure those people know what they are talking about. Sometimes your family are not the best advisors!
● Find a partner. Working with a like-minded individual can do wonders for your business. Not only can they bring in skills that you might not have, but having another person to discuss and plan things with is invaluable.
● Find a program like the AGP! The support and guidance you get from experienced coaches and individuals are crucial.
For more information on The Young Creative Agency, visit here.
Further information on the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme