Interview 7: Blog Series 'Have you met?' interviews Roxsanne Slatford

Updated: Mar 15

'Have you Met? interviews a new small business owner in the SE London area every week, aiming to highlight the fantastic creative people who we either work with or admire! I first met Roxsanne at a networking event in Forest Hill & have been following her new career move with admiration.

1. What led you to start up your business?

I worked in Media and TV for 10 years leading brand and product launches on home shopping network QVC. I’ve seen how the digital transformation has helped to make brands ‘famous’ but also how the lack of a social presence has led to many great brands becoming ‘invisible'.

I’ve also been blogging as a side hustle over the last 6 years as a creative outlet which fuelled my passion for social media and digital marketing even more.

When I was made redundant earlier this year, I felt it was a great opportunity to share the knowledge and experience I have gained over the last 10 years to help brands tell their story.

2. What were the biggest obstacles to starting up?

Not giving up, not having the financial backing to do everything perfect from the start and learning to ask for help.

Owning your own business is scary, especially if you go from being employed by a big company because suddenly YOU are responsible for every aspect and every decision you make (or don’t make) can have such a big impact.

Accept that you don’t need everything to be perfect to start, just get out there and start.

Things change, even if you have a clear idea of where you want to end up there will be many obstacles you may not have control over. Sometimes you end up in an even better position than you could ever have planned for.

Learn to never give up and don’t take things personally. As you grow you can expand and improve, that’s the beauty of a start-up. Don’t be scared of asking for help because more often than not people will surprise you.

3. What do you love about your business?

The thing that drives me most is working with brands who have a great foundation but don’t have a strategy in place to drive their brand forward or founders who have lost their passion, feel overwhelmed or completely overshadowed by the giants out there taking up the biggest share of the market.

They’re constantly comparing themselves to those brands and losing focus on what makes them special. When I work with those clients and see them falling in love with their brand again it’s an absolute game changer for me. I get to make a difference, who wouldn’t love that.

4. Who would be your dream client

What’s important to me is working with brands I believe in and people I trust, so any client that fits that brief is my dream client.

5. Where would you like to take your business ultimately?

The main objective is for my business to continuously evolve and develop. Digital transformation is happening at an alarming rate and it’s changing the way people shop and interact with each other on a personal level. Creatively, I’d like to get a few awards under our belt for campaigns we deliver for brands but that will come with time.

6. Where have you received the most support along your journey?

My husband has been incredibly supportive. He is always encouraging me to push boundaries and that’s often when I’ve ended up seeing the best results for my business.

Having his support has definitely helped me to step outside my comfort zone. I also have an incredible network of family and friends who I’m very grateful for.

7. Would you consider going back to employment for someone else now?

Never say never but I’ve loved the freedom that has come with being self-employed, even if it means working more hours or being available 24/7 seven days a week. Working for someone else takes away that freedom for the most part. If I ever did go back in to full employment it would have to be an amazing opportunity.

8. What do you consider the key skills a small business person must have?

When you’re starting up, unless you have financial backing you need to wear so many hats. You’re an accountant, a payroll manager, a marketing director, a photographer, a website designer, a social media expert, a manufacturer and so on.

It’s a tough gig and you’ve got to be determined as hell to make it work. You’ll also need to be thick-skinned because you can lose business just as quick as you gained it and ultimately success consists of getting up just more times than you fail.

9. Have you been influenced by any business books or blogs recently?

I recently read a book called Brand Famous: How to Get Everyone Talking about Your Business by Linzi Boyd. Whether you want to build, renovate or just refresh your brand this book is great for entrepreneurs looking to raise their game.

10. What would your top tips be to anyone considering starting their own business?

No one knows your business or ideas better than you do. It’s ok to ask for opinions and run your ideas past people you trust but at the end of the day what success looks like to you isn’t necessarily what it looks like for someone else. Do one thing every day that will move your business forward

11. Do you think networking is important for your business?

Absolutely (and it took me years to learn this). Although I actually hate the term networking; it feels false to me, a lot of my initial business came through my ‘network’ of ex colleagues. I do believe in building relationships with people or brands who have similar interests, that’s when the magic happens.

Thanks so much Roxsanne for the fantastic interview!

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Don't miss reading more in the 'Have you Met?' series

Interview 18- Maddy Carrick

Interview 17 Anja David

Interview 16 -Bridget Daley

Interview 15 -Karen Arthur

Interview 14 -Rebecca Trowbridge

Interview 13 -Angélina Jandolo

Interview 12 -Kelly Harris

Interview 11 -Sara Dalrymple

Interview 10 -Ciarán O'Fathaigh

Interview 9 -Elizabeth Knights Trench

Interview 8 -Aba Edwards-Idun

Interview 7 -Roxsanne Slatford

Interview 6 -Lara Pearce

Interview 5 -Ashanti Jason

Interview 4- Shannon Reed

Interview 3 -Claire Connor

Interview 2 -Becca Teers

Interview 1 -Cat Bateman

Singing for my Supper

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