Celebrating International Women’s Day with Kelly & Sally
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. 2021 marks the six-year anniversary of Kelly and Sally owning ads creative solutions, we wanted to highlight the tireless work they put in on a daily basis to help grow the business to where it is today.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced over the past six years of owning ads creative solutions?
Every year brings its own challenge! To begin with, it was really important to get to know every aspect of the business. The volume of activity and scale of the tasks and responsibilities as business owners took some getting used to but once those became the norm, the challenges then lie in developing and growing the business.
Learning to deal with disappointments and separate the business vs. emotional aspects was also a challenge but we have learnt over time.
We were pretty naïve to be honest when we took over and remember the advisor who helped us with the purchase asked if we were prepared and said that if you own your own business you’d never switch off. How true that is!
It’s relentless as there’s always something that needs to be done, whether that be developing products, staff, clients, suppliers etc there is always something. That’s great in a way as no day is ever the same but the one biggest challenge is that you never quite know what’s coming next. Things can be ticking along nicely, you have a great team in place, a strong client base, everything’s going well and them boom a pandemic hits and plans are all over the place!
Is there anyone who inspires you?
Kelly: I’ve never really been one to look to an individual for inspiration and I’m not star-struck so a straight answer would be no. BUT I really respect people who are honest, hardworking and achieve great things. People I deal with on a daily basis help me to learn and improve and I really appreciate that. I take my hat off to anyone running a business as it’s hard work.
Sally: That’s a tricky one to answer, I don’t think there is one person that inspires me, but collectively a team inspires me. From a young age, I was captain of the school sports teams, then held team leader positions at work and moved up to senior management roles and finally a director and business owner. Success comes from having a good team around you, so seeing people develop ‘inspires’ me!
Even my book club group of friends ‘inspire’ me, we all challenge ourselves with different books, discuss and share views on the books we have read (which aren’t always the same) and exchange life experiences – feeling comfortable in this group is extremely important.
Is there anything you’d do differently?
Not anything drastically different, there have been a couple of situations where we wish we had reacted quicker and not delayed on making tough decisions, but that’s just down to experience and learning from mistakes which we have definitely done!
Do you have a campaign that is the most memorable?
Kelly: I really enjoy connecting with people and building relationships. It’s hard to pick out single campaigns as there have been so many. I much prefer the ongoing relationships and development and improvements we make for our clients and ourselves as a business. I’m quite a competitive person and always want the best from everything and that can be hard to achieve as there’s no one end goal! I also really enjoy watching staff develop and contributing to that development.
Sally: All campaigns or events are memorable, most memorable to me is the relationships you build and enjoying what you do, most times this means the event or campaign is a success and then continuing to have a strong relationship with the client.
What is most important to you in running a company?
Kelly: That I do the best I can! Honesty, integrity and transparency are really important. Obviously having a team of highly skilled and engaged staff is crucial, without them, we wouldn’t have a business. And having a broad, strong client base helps too! Despite learning a great deal in the last 5.5 years I still have a lot to learn!
Sally: Understanding and admitting that you can’t do everything and don’t have the skills to know everything, it’s really important to have the right people around you, this means employing the right people to fit your values and fits in with the team and also, having assistance from outside the business. Build a bank of people outside your business, who you can trust and are reliable and understand your business.
Both: As long as we strive to do the best we can, respond to any mistakes with a positive solution and offer exceptional value for money, we know we can sleep soundly at night and that we are honest with ourselves and doing the best we can for staff, clients and suppliers.