Create solutions that provide results and that people are willing to take their wallets out for.
Kim Speed is the President and Creative Director of Purple Moon Creative, a Brand and Marketing Boutique where she and her team work with growing small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to stand out from their competition and attract more right customers. Kim spent almost two decades in the advertising industry as an art director and then a creative director where she worked on a variety of clients including Coca Cola, Esso, TD Bank, Canadian Tire, Air Miles, Purolator, and Molson Coors. She now spends her time developing brands for her clients, speaking, and teaching brand and marketing to new and experienced business owners.
As the author of “Branding on a Shoestring, How to Re-create Your Small Business Identity and Increase Sales in 83 days or Less”, Kim shares with entrepreneurs who are starting a business easy DIY steps on how to develop an authentic brand that builds a profitable company.
Kim is also the co-founder of EventsWork, an online job site exclusive to the event industry. EventsWork is a central hub where employers can find great people, and great people can find event jobs and resources to support their career development. Kim shares that creating a good personal brand can help a job seeker stand out from the competition and a company with a great brand can attract the best job candidates.
Where did the idea for Purple Moon Creative, Brand, and Marketing Boutique come from?
It was less of an idea and more of an opportunity. I worked as a creative director for an ad agency, and we lost a big client. That means releasing a number of employees in the company. Unfortunately, I was one of them.
At first, I was prepared to find another job. Having my own business never crossed my mind. But, during the time I spent at home searching for new opportunities I was gifted with spending more time with my two young daughters. It was during that time that I realized how much time I was actually absent in their lives when I used to work for a company. That was when I knew I couldn’t return to a regular job anymore.
I didn’t create the business right away. I started by offering my service as a freelance consultant. It wasn’t until I met another business owner who asked for my help with her marketing that I realized that the business has potential. There are a lot of small businesses that don’t have access to big agencies or if they choose the big agencies, the agencies don’t always have time for them. Smaller companies don’t have the budgets that these large agencies need. That’s when I knew that there was an opportunity for a business, and Purple Moon Creative was born.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My best days are always the ones where I get up between 5:00 a.m and 5:30 a.m. I start with some exercise, either a spin class or some kettlebells and then I feel energized and able to take on any challenge. The rest of the day can vary with business development and client service. Although the business is growing, it is still small and I am responsible for all the aspects of the company. This means, the days are full and I need to be organized the night before so I can get started right away. I have to make sure the team members have what they need to complete projects then focus on my own projects. That could be a client’s creative, preparing for a workshop, or spending time developing new leads for the business. At the end of the day, we try to all sit down for dinner together as a family as often as we can. This is when we get a chance to share the events of the day and what’s going on in our lives.
How do you bring ideas to life?
My ideas come to life through continual learning. Whether it’s meeting with other entrepreneurs, reading, or taking courses – these resources open my mind to new ideas and better ways of doing things.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Remote work. The ability to work from any location and collaborate with a team located independently.
Remote team members can balance their work and their lives without having to give up on one or the other. There are no long commutes that waste time and each person is able to choose when and where they want to work. That could be early in the morning or late at night if they choose. The work still gets done but people can also enjoy other commitments in their world. Some people have families and others may be fulfilling personal passions such as training for a triathlon or following their love of music. And of course, there is a big saving on office space.
We’re still figuring it out but this is a trend I am on board with.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
At the end of the week, I preview the upcoming week. This helps me schedule my time and prioritize my work. Doing this same step before each day is also beneficial for productivity and focus. If I skip these steps, I find anxiety goes up and productivity goes down.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Learn how to understand the numbers. If you don’t understand get some help to figure it out.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
We need to stop managing everything for our kids. We are bringing up a generation of youth who don’t have basic skills to do their own banking or pay a bill before they’re eighteen. There is a trend I see from parents nowadays, to make all the decisions and doing all the thinking for their kids. Sure, kids know how to use all the latest technology and latest apps but what about running a household? We’re busy and it’s easier to just do things for our children rather than teach them how to do it themselves. Whether it’s managing a budget, cleaning the house, or learning how to make a meal – we need to take the time to teach our children basic life skills.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Client reviews. After a project is complete ask for feedback and use the feedback to improve the processes in the business. If you get good feedback, ask the client permission to use it as a testimonial.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Networking! Getting out and talking to potential clients; listening to their goals and dreams, and finding out what they are stressed about and what makes them happy. When you have that information, you can create solutions that provide results and that people are willing to take their wallets out for.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
In the beginning, I rely solely on my contacts for work. I got to start with projects from people I knew in my corporate job. I never spent a dime or gave any thought of choosing a niche or discovering my ideal client. The work flowed in on a fairly regular basis without much effort. But eventually, the connections and referrals began to dry up. Bills piled up and I was unsure if I was going to have money to pay them from month to month. I almost gave up and went back to a job again. Thankfully, I found a business coach who saved me from myself and got me back on track.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If you have a skill set you’re good at there are people who are interested in learning it. And now it’s easy to monetize teaching people through online courses. I’ve seen people become successful teaching everything from tennis to financial planning online. This is a great way to gradually step out of the corporate world and start your entrepreneurial adventure.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The white board I have in the office. I use it to keep track of projects that are on the go. It’s also great for writing my cheat notes on when recording videos.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I recently started using “Dropbox” for my files. This came about after having a computer crash and realizing the importance of having access to my files. Now I can share files or work on files from another computer, if absolutely necessary.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I have found that “Virtual Freedom“ by Chris Ducker is a great resource when you’re trying to grow your team and your business. He offers great advice on finding and hiring the right people when you don’t have a physical office location.
What is your favorite quote?
“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than you.” – Dr. Seuss
For me, this means – Be authentic to who you are, be proud, own it, and use it to create your dreams.
– Scheduling your day ahead of time and being prepared beforehand will increase productivity.
– Be always open to learning and meeting new people. You never know when it will produce an idea or create a lucrative partnership.
– Don’t do everything yourself. Get help with the things that you’re not good at and you struggle to do. You’ll grow faster and be more profitable with help.
– Fear is a driving force for positive change.