RITH Nearly a Year

Posted on July 23, 2010 by Shay

so about a year ago around about this time. exactly a year ago actually, I had already quit my faculty post at the university and was looking at going into the commercial world.

Unfortunately I still had to do those sucky module boxes, a task I dont miss one single bit. Academia despite all the lovely aspects and its pivotal role in society has magnitudes of pointless paperwork clogging its arteries. What a shame!

Having been in academia for a good while you get so comfy with the regular wage, but I never settled with the unsteady rhythm and intensity of it towards the end… so leaving it all was a tricky, but I could see no other choice or time to be doing it. So we just had to roll with it.

We only had a small financial cushion in the bank but we did it. and we relied on our resourcefulness, skills, connections and the company of friends to get stuff going. You have to try so much harder when you’re starting out and thats something larger agencies seem to forget.

I ended up going on holiday with my friends Sam, Alison and Alex, then going for one single interview at a lovely agency.. being considered for a position.. then realising maybe its not quite right! there was a communication glitch as well. but It all worked out pretty well, it gave me some time to think and some time to take note of my skills and receive useful feedback.

It was at that point, where I decided and proposed to my friends, that maybe the best option is to join forces and start a new business.

Its been such a ride, but its one of those rides thats turned out to be incredibly fulfilling and fantastic. I get up every morning… Smiling, and quite happy with the world. sure enough we DIDNT have heating during winter! I wish I was joking about that but its true.

Right now our business has grown so well, that its financially quite safe too. Our R&D product development is well underway. Clients are happy with things we’re making for them, and asking us for more… here are some things I’d like to share so I can laugh at myself in the future or reminisce nostalgically.

1. We spent less than £100 on Google Adwords. Shocking I know! We just couldnt afford to. We applied as many Free Google vouchers as we could get our hands on.

2. We’ve had about 5 or 6 people in total walk off the street and ask us for stuff. They didnt lead to anything.

3. We stopped calling ourselves Running in the Halls and called ourselves RITH instead. I still answer the phone to Running in the Halls.

4. Forming relationships with other agencies who respect us and know what theyre doing has been incredibly useful. Transatlantic collaborations work too.

5. Forming relationships with agencies outside the digital sector has been mindblowingly useful and insightful. Sometimes webby people need to get out more and find out how other people are operating businesses in the creative industries.

6.Mastering the art of negotiation is essential to business, people psychology is a must, they should be teaching this in design schools.

7. Clients take their own sweet time to decide stuff, try not to rush them.

8. Avoid people who cant communicate well like the plague, thats sign one that something is afoot or that you shouldnt do business with them.

9. Losing your first big pitch hurts like hell and is quite demoralising, but you get over it with the next few wins and you become so adept at writing proposals that it becomes second nature to you.

10. My frequency of writing and analysis has been on par, if not exceeded how much I did in academia