Small Business 3: Design Doctor

For my third interview with women running their own small businesses, I am talking to Hannah Gibson, who  – like me – did one of Michelle Rose’s marketing courses (look back to the post two weeks ago to see more).

We met at one of the monthly meetings for Michelle’s marketing course ‘graduates’ and I was able to find out the origin of her interesting business name.

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What is the name of your business? Design Doctor

When did it start?   January 2015

Why did you decide to start a business?

When I was a scientist I was passionate about that. It was my ‘baby’, but when I had my own babies my focus shifted. My parents and my sister are all self-employed; I had that entrepreneurship in me. I use some of the same skills, for example project management and problem-solving.

What jobs had you done before?

I had a background in scientific research (I have a PhD in molecular biology).

Tell me a bit about the business…

The name ‘Design Doctor’ resonates with me still, I love design and I love creativity. The business offers fully managed and maintained affordable websites, and also Wix support, re-design and SEO support. I offer website training. I develop content for people who build their own website. I do webinars which would benefit anyone wanting an online presence. That’s the design side. The Doctor is because I have a PhD. I enjoy training and helping people who wouldn’t get online otherwise. So ‘doctor’ talks about offering help and solutions. Sometimes this involves editing content to improve it.

What things have been difficult for you in setting up/running your business?

The hardest thing has been managing people’s expectations.

What would you say to someone in the early stages of setting up a business?

Do a business plan. It doesn’t need to be a word for word document, but you need to see that the figures line up.

What is the best thing about working for yourself?

Flexibility is the obvious one, but for me it’s the fact of not having any constraints on myself. There are no limits to what I can achieve.

www.design-doctor.co.uk

And in other news, this is my ‘Pretty Purses’ pattern, which is a great recycling project (though of course you can make them with all-new fabric too. The pattern will help you create a striped lining, do some fabric appliqué and put in a zip. You can find it here.

Pretty Purses pattern, cover, by Amanda Jane Textiles

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