Spotlight on Alex Crabtree PR
This lovely lady is well known to many of us on Instagram as she always finds time to comment on your posts. Its Alex Crabtree who is going to tell us a little bit about her business and how she moved over from being PR and Marketing Director for her family kitchen business to promoting several businesses as an independent PR consultant. If you want to see Alex's gorgeous home then you should follow this link .Otherwise, settle down with a cuppa to read this business story.
With many years’ experience, in the bespoke kitchen, interiors and property market, (having been PR and Marketing manager at Crabtree Kitchens) Alex Crabtree offers a hands-on and highly personal PR service, without the big agency costs. Alex is flexible and enthusiastic. Extensive knowledge of these markets ensures a tailor-made campaign, and means that the quality of service is never compromised.
Alex is creative, passionate, adaptable and proactive, and is always there for the client. By using extensive media contacts the client becomes a prominent brand in the market. Fast reaction to the client’s needs, and non-delegation of work, enables Alex to maintain a close personal relationship with the client.
On-going daily contact is maintained with editors and freelance journalists of high-end home interest kitchen and interior glossy publications, thus ensuring a high level of appropriate press coverage for the client. The service offered can also include ongoing advice on social media e.g. Twitter, Pinterest, Houzz, Homify, Linkedin etc. The service also includes overseeing all existing and new images and also editorial content.
Above all, Alex ensures frequent communication with the client so that the best PR is achieved. Great pride and care is taken on every PR campaign, large or small.
1. What was the reason behind you starting your business?
I was working as PR and Marketing director for my family company Crabtree Kitchens and when that was sold nearly ten years ago – I decided to take the course that I had wanted to do for a long time – become a freelance PR consultant. So, I set up Alex Crabtree PR and I work for Kitchen, interior and property clients. I wanted to stay in the same industry as I knew all the journalist and editors and they had always been very supportive.
2. How did you start up?, kitchen table? Mum’s garage, renting premises?
I work from home and I set about contacting relevant journalists and editors etc. saying that I was now freelance and looking for client. I had a very good reaction which was amazing and exciting. I work from my home office now but initially my ‘office’ was my dining room table! I don’t recommend that as your office is always in your view. Much better to be able to step away from it at times – though I find that hard.
3. How did you fund your business?
I was very fortunate that I took on clients straight away so I didn’t have to fund it from a bank loan etc.
4. What was the most difficult part of starting up your business? Access to money, advice, finding people to buy, marketing etc?
I found the most difficult was having been working at Crabtree Kitchens for a long time was not having the benefits of working for a company and all the support e.g. IT support, company car, pension, holidays etc.
5. What help was missing for you? .
Well the first year I found having to sort my tax return really difficult. I learnt that wasn’t my forte so now I employ an accountant. Also, just being on one’s own – sometimes I needed someone in the industry to bounce ideas off.
6. What went wrong in your first year? Few months if you haven’t been trading that long?
Luckily nothing went wrong.
7. What have you learnt?
I have learnt to be very self-sufficient and to constantly network and to never sit back on my laurels and never assume that things will always stay the same. Move with new trends, social media etc. Don’t put all your ‘eggs’ in one basket as far as clients are concerned All social media has been amazing for networking and is really made for me!
8. What is the most important piece of advice that you could give others thinking about starting a business?
I think the best piece of advice to people starting up is to be passionate about what you do and to always go the extra mile with your service. Also know that you will be working at random times – holidays, evenings, weekends! But when it’s your own business you don’t mind! You have to love your business/service otherwise no one else will! Be passionate and open to new ideas.
9. And what do you enjoy the most?
I get super excited when I get features into magazines and the clients are very happy and just connecting people together generally. Also, client photo shoots where I organise the props, styling and art direction – so that’s everything then!
10. On a scale of 1-10 how hard do you find it to run your own business?
It is hard work but also brilliant so not sure I can quantify it on a scale.
Nicola Says "once again the need to have a passion or drive for what you are doing, comes through this spotlight. Running your own business is incredibly hard work and as Alex alludes to, takes weekends, holiday time and is all consuming, so you need to believe in what you are doing and love it. Because Alex is providing a service and not a product per se she mentions the need for a personal touch and going that extra mile for clients which is really important. Bad client feedback would kill a PR business very quickly. Finally, employing people to take care of the bits you are not good at, comes through here, even if it’s just an accountant for tax purposes or some IT help. Do what you are best at"
Thanks Alex for sharing your journey.
The Girl with The Green Sofa