Briony McStea is celebrating her first year in business by joining co-working facility Open Space at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC).
The South Tyneside copywriter set up the digital marketing consultancy last September after realising that there was a need for her services. Having enjoyed a successful year, Briony felt it was time to find a permanent base for her business.
“As my client base has grown, it became apparent that I needed a great location to represent my business. I enjoy homeworking, but I have missed the camaraderie that comes with working alongside others and the BIC was a natural choice due to its location, choice of meeting rooms and its great reputation as a business community” said Briony.
“I was freelancing for a couple of clients alongside my full-time employment, but the requests for work kept growing. I’d never planned on running my own business, but it became clear that there were many local businesses who were looking for someone like me to support them with their marketing activities. I’m so glad I took the leap and I’m delighted at how successful it has been.”
Looking back on her first year in business, Briony has found that the personal touch to her brand and business has been crucial to her success. She adds: “I spent a long time trying to think of a name for my business, but in the end, I chose to use my name. I’ve found that many of my clients approach me because they like my writing and my personal tone of voice, and want me to bring the same to their brand.
“All of my clients know that when they call, they’ll be dealing with me personally and I can be there when they need me – anytime, anywhere. From my side, I also enjoy having that relationship with my clients – it’s wonderful to see their business grow and know that I’ve been an integral part of that development.”
Briony has recently added workshops and training to her list of services, helping small businesses to make a start on their own marketing activities. She recently turned to the BIC for support on growing her business further.
“When I first started my business, I didn’t have any initial plans to build upon my offering. But as the year has gone on, I’ve started to develop my services and delivering workshops seemed like a natural shift. I thoroughly enjoy educating others on how to use social media themselves and on creating their own content. From speaking to clients and hearing their needs, I can see there are many areas I could expand into and I’m excited for the year ahead.
“I’m confident that by being based within a co-working environment and taking advantage of the support offered here at the BIC, my business will grow faster than it ever could have at home. It’s great to be a part of the little community and I’ve already seen huge changes in the short time I’ve been here and I’m sure the BIC will be the catalyst to my businesses growing beyond what I originally imagined.”
Donna Surtees, Centre Manager at the BIC, said: “We’re really pleased that Briony has chosen our Open Space for the next stage of her business. It really is ideally suited to start-ups such as hers who don’t need, or aren’t yet ready for a fixed office space. It’s an exciting chapter for Briony as she now has access to our on-site Business Adviser and we’re looking forward to seeing her business grow in the months ahead.”