An Interview with Charlotte Haye
Could You Tell Us A Bit About Your Business?
My business is called Eleven Eight, and we create engaging content for other businesses. Our main services include blogs writing, newsletter writing, web copy, white papers and graphic design. Our customers are usually business owners or marketing companies who need content in order to market their business, but simply don’t have the time or skills to do it. I run the business with the help of my husband Chris, who manages our admin and does the graphic design work for our clients. We started out as 2 freelancers – a copywriter and a photographer/graphic designer, but when we got engaged we thought we should ‘tie the knot’ in business terms too, so Eleven Eight was born!
What Made You Want To Start Your Own Business?
For me, all I ever wanted to be was a writer. I’ve always been an avid reader, and I wanted to be able to spin wild and fantastic stories like my favourite authors. Despite being told I wouldn’t make any money doing it, I went to university to study English and Creative Writing. Once I finished I didn’t really want to stop, so I carried on with an MA in writing for children, and during this time I penned my first novel. When it came to finding a full time job, there was nothing that would let me do what I wanted and be creative. I could never settle down in an office job, and I found retail incredibly dull, so I decided to set up on my own doing what I loved.
What Would You Say Has Been Your Biggest Challenge?
I would say my biggest challenge has been taking care of the financial side of things. Because I am classified as dyscalculia, I have never been very good with numbers, so simple things like managing finances and keeping accounts was incredibly difficult. After a few months of trying to struggle through it myself, I found an accountant who was happy to help me out, and since forming Eleven Eight Chris has taken on that responsibility. My advice is to know your strengths, and know when you need to ask for help.
What Are The Biggest Risks You’ve Taken In Recent Years, And How Did They Turn Out?
In terms of risk, I have to say we are hopelessly boring! We have taken a few risks in terms of how we market our own business, but for the most part those have involved visiting lots of networking groups to see what fits. We are however currently planning a move to an office block, and discussing hiring our first employee, which could be a huge risk. We will let you know how that one goes!
If You Were Starting Over Again Tomorrow, What Top 3 Rules Would You Follow?
- Know your limits. If you think or know that you don’t have the skills, energy or time to do something, then outsource it to someone who can.
- Always do your market research. I went through 2 or 3 years of freelancing before I figured out exactly who my perfect customer was, and how to reach them with my message. It’s always worth taking the extra time to figure out the details before you rush into things.
- Appreciate your achievements, and don’t let the failures get you down. It’s important to take a step back and enjoy it when you’ve done something great, and not let setbacks known you down for the count. Every set back opens another door, but you’ll only see them if you’re looking forward, not back.
Do You Have Any Tips For Business Owners Just Starting Out?
Always set aside some ‘you’ time. Setting up your own business can be incredibly stressful, and if you’re trying to keep up with everyday home and family life as well it can be overwhelming. You can end up working 14-hour days because you feel like you have to, and relationships can get a bit strained. Never forget to take some ‘you’ time every day – even if it’s just reading a book for half an hour, going out for a walk over lunch or having a hot bath.
What Are Your Plans For The Future?
Well in the business our next big step is to move into an office and hire some staff, eventually growing into a medium sized content agency with a few employees. Personally, we’re also trying to buy our first house, so there is excitement all around this year!
You can contact Charlotte at the following:
tel: 01252 879 837
mob: 07745 524 734