Each month in the Resolve Newsletter we will be showcasing either a client’s company or a company that we work with on a regular basis. If the lockdown has taught us anything it is that we need to support small businesses and so we thought we could do this by showcasing a different company each month. This month we caught up with Francesca Baker from And So She Thinks, who is a communications, marketing, PR and copywriting expert.
What are the pros and cons of running your own business?
I love the variety. I work on anything from social media for a charity to PR for a healthcare app to copywriting on data security. It gives me a great buzz to always be learning about something new and being able to bring new ideas to different sectors.
It also works well for my health. I’m 34 and have had anorexia since I was 19. I’ve been in and out of hospital and care. Four years ago, I had to leave work, leave London, dying and on the verge of being sectioned. I started doing freelance work from my parents’ sofa and now run a six-figure communications business. For me it’s been a game changer. No commute, no diet talk, food in the cupboard, and meals booked in my diary. Working in an agency didn’t cause anorexia, and working for myself hasn’t cured it, but it’s helped me make massive steps in recovery.
What advice would you give to other individuals thinking of starting their own business?
Make sure you’re doing something you love. Not just running a business because you want to say you’re a business owner. Maybe for some people that’s what gets them off, but I’ve never understood it.
What lessons have you learnt over the years of running your own business?
Charge properly. When I think of the low rates, I used to put myself at and how much I’d overwork for it, it’s astounding.
Be nice to clients, but don’t feel you have to be grateful all the time. You’re a talented individual doing them a great service.
Be nice to everyone, in fact, I always say business networking is like going to the pub. Show up, be fun, help people out, and be someone they want to spend time with again.
Have down time away from your business. In the long run it will do your business good and mean you come to work with renewed energy and enthusiasm.
How has your company had to adapt during the 2020 pandemic?
I moved in with my boyfriend and got my own office space, so that’s been great. I’ve had a lot of video calls which has been a bit overwhelming, so now I try to set clear objectives and a purpose for each, to keep them more efficient. I’ve not had to go into offices, which makes for better productivity and efficiency, and keeps costs down.
How do you ensure a work / life balance?
I always go for a walk, every day. I make lots of time for my boyfriend, friends and family. Working from home is actually great as I can take time out when it suits me. If I don’t have an imminent deadline, I’m nice and flexible – the odd late evening, but also time out in the afternoon. Whatever suits my life really, whilst making sure business needs are met.
What are the values that drive you?
Connection, creativity and curiosity. I like finding out what makes people tick, and delivering creative communications to connect with them.
What is the one piece of advice you always give to clients/customers?
It’s not about you, it’s about your audience.
If you would like to be included in our monthly company showcase, then please get in touch.
Our other company showcases can be found here: Gladiator Events, Stone Survey Ltd, Vision Properties Weybridge, Adam Richards Magic, The Happy Startup School, Forevergreen, Bug Animations Ltd, Home Transformations.