This time last year I finally bit the bullet and launched Kachi Marketing. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year.
Before Launching my Business
Having left my previous role in the December, I took 6 weeks off to recalibrate. After spending time with my family over the Christmas break, in the New Year I sat down and thought about what my business might look like.
I looked back at all the roles I’d had, and companies I’d worked for throughout my career. I identified the parts that had made me smile, the parts I enjoyed, and the parts I hadn’t.
I worked out what I needed, but more importantly what my family needed from me.
We’d not long started the adventure along the path of neuro diverse discovery with my son (then just four).
From my reading, copious amounts of books & blogs, I knew that he would need me when he stepped up to school age. And I knew that I needed to build a business model that would work around this. One which enabled me to be there both physically and mentally before and after school, and during school holidays.
I examined what I should be charging my future clients. Looking at how much I wanted to bring into the family coffers.
I then benchmarked this against equivalents (I don’t like the word competitors in my field. We’re all in it together, and I’ve made some great connections over the last year!), looking at those who had similar levels of experience.
I started to think about what my business should be called. I thought about names ranging from Kate Chidzik Marketing to Marketing Magic (yes, I’m glad too that I didn’t go down that route!).
If you don’t know what Kachi Marketing means, allow me to explain. It’s KA (Kate) CHI (Chidzik) Marketing. I liked the sound of it, it was sort of….catchy!
I tested the name out on some freelancing forums I’d joined, asking for people’s input and thoughts. It was overwhelmingly positive. But an added bonus was that Kachi in Japanese means value, worth and merit. All things synonomous with me and the way I wanted to run my business.
I prepped the basics, including the:
- Brand colours
- Template proposal document
- Outline advert set
- Terms & conditions
- Pricing templates and packages
- Bank account & legal paperwork
- Website content, build and domain name
- Social media profiles
- Project planning boards
And then I launched. Thursday 11th February 2021. I didn’t really pick that date with any form of intention, I just felt ready.
The First Year of Business
When you meet me, you’ll quickly get to know that I like to be honest and upfront.
So I’ll do the same here, it took me 3 months to secure my first proper client. I had about 5-6 proposals bouncing around, and one very small Facebook ads job for a previous colleague.
Some of the proposals were for previous managers or colleagues, some from connections on LinkedIn.
Whilst waiting to secure that first project, I kept busy:
- Refining my business plan
- Tidying up my admin, and;
- Volunteering at my local vaccination centre.
I had moments of self-doubt, especially when proposals didn’t hit the mark. But I knew I’d done my due diligence, and I knew (know) my worth. So I stuck to what I knew.
Interestingly my first client came from outreach advertising. We started with one project and added on more during their peak season.
After that I quickly secured another client, then another and another.
All fantastic right? Not quite, I got to a point in August where I almost took on too much. I couldn’t find the right way to say “no”. I was in my infancy as a business owner, and wanted to establish a firm foundation for my business.
So I took a few days off, stepped back and re-evaluated my business model. I dropped some of the additional services I was offering, and streamlined my overall service portfolio.
After that, I was able to regain my positivity about what I was doing. I delivered some, in my and my clients view, outstanding work.
I redesigned my website, replatforming it onto a free WordPress version, and cheaper hosting. Reducing my costs from £300+ per year to £25 per year.
I was nominated for 3 awards:
- Women’s Business Club Awards 2021 for Best New Business
- The Family Network Best New Business/Start-up
- The Family Network Best Business Mum of the Year
I got through to the finals with all three, and two are yet to be concluded in March (wish me luck!).
What Comes Next For Kachi Marketing?
Fingers crossed I’ll get some good news about these award wins in March.
I’ll continue to regularly reevaluate the services I’m offering.
I’m building new connections through networking both face-to-face (although virtually still right now), as well as on social media.
This next year looks to be an exciting one. I’ve made some great connections during my first year, and I look forward to building on those relationships.
Bring it on! 😉