Class of 2011 – meet Sarah Cheal of Acquire

We’re delighted to reveal Sarah Cheal as the final member of our Class of 2011, which celebrates new freelance and start-up talent in the North West.

Sarah runs Acquire, which helps agencies and marketers find and win new clients.

Sarah will be speaking at all three forthcoming Brookson Enterprise Freelance Fair spring events on how to win new business.

Q) Hi Sarah, can you talk us through Acquire?

We help marketing agencies find and win new business, and client-side marketers find the right agency to meet their needs. Our founding principle is Integrity, so we will only ever work with agencies (and therefore introduce agencies to marketers) that we know will deliver a good quality of service, and is honest about their capabilities.  This means we focus delivering a personal service and on building strong relationships with our clients, and ultimately, their clients.

Q) What are your main business aims for 2011?

To help our clients secure more business.
To build more relationships with client side marketers and stronger relationships with those we already have relationships with.
To grow the business from a home-based partnership to a small team.
To acquire more retained contracted business.

Q) Can you pinpoint any major challenges to your business in 2011?

The transition from a home based partnership to a small business and everything that goes with that, including moving away from a freelance mentality to a small business mentality. Finding good people to work with, moving into an office and getting contractual arrangements with existing clients. Keeping our growth at a steady and manageable rate, and ensuring we put the correct procedures in place to support our growth.

Q) Can you share any insights into your business? New clients, software or ways of working in 2011?

We are focussed on building effective relationships and helping our clients do the same. We are putting more structure and processes in place early on, so by the time we need them, we’ll be so used to it and will have ironed out any teething problems that it will be second nature. We are attracting a great deal of new clients within the creative sector because of our unique proposition and are focussed on growing and developing with them.  As they grow, so do we.

Q) Are you engaging with more freelancers in the coming year?

We intend to engage with a lot more freelancers this year – both in hiring to support us, and helping them to implement their own business development plans.

Q) What are your New Year business resolutions – or could you pick one thing you would do more of in the coming year?

To be much more organised and not to put off until tomorrow what I can do today.  It’s very easy for day to day tasks to take over from working on the business, and this is advice I give my clients, so I have to practice what I preach.

Q) Which one piece of advice would you give someone starting out in business as a start-up or freelancer in 2011?

Enjoy every second. Good or bad, as you are creating your own destiny. But make sure you do your research first and ensure there is a market for your business. All too often (especially in the creative sector) businesses will be set up because its what people are passionate about doing – rather than thinking about how they can offer something different to the market. It’s a tough climate out there at the moment, especially for agencies. Speak to your target audience, find out what they need, and then build it (great way of lining up new customers too!)

We will be checking in with Sarah and the rest of our Class of 2011 over the next few months. 

Stay tuned for blogs, interviews, confessions and useful business tips.

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Written by Alistair Beech on January 27, 2011 and filed in Entrepreneurs, Featured, Freelancers , , ,

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