Question :

Kia ora!

I’m a freelance web designer and developer that has recently re-branded myself as a digital agency (beingstudio.digital) with the intention to form a ‘satellite’ style agency with other talented Māori and Pasifika in tech. Currently, my target market is ‘socially-minded small businesses’ (including a wide range of industries across social enterprise, Māori development, holistic practitioners/wellness space). I have worked in these spaces and am familiar with their business/impact needs, cultural practices, and my customers appreciate the intentionality of the ‘tech-for-good’ spirit behind my business, I believe that is a unique CVP in the digital agency space which is already very saturated.

Although January was relatively quiet (as to be expected) I was averaging around 2-3 new clients per month for branding design, web design, and web development since launching in October, most of which were referrals. I know I need to stretch and grow into the digital marketing space but am feeling a little overwhelmed on where to start.

I am currently balancing my business with a steady income from some contracting at a start-up, but am aiming to take the plunge and go full-time in my business by the time my contract ends in 4 months. I am hoping to be able to hire a business coach to help me with managing my day-to-day as my business acumen needs some growth. What are some of the things I should focus on in the next few months to drive more growth in my business and develop my skills as a business owner?

Ngā mihi!

Question submitted 02/02/21 @ 07:40am
Industry: Business Growth
  • Up

    At The Icehouse we’ve been impressed with a brand agency that’s helped us in a pragmatic way – Previously Unavailable. They may be open to a conversation with you to give you some advice on their journey. Let me know if you’d like an introduction.

    When you’re ready for selecting a coach there are a number of options depending on budget and skill-set. We can also help with some ideas when you’re ready.


    Kia ora
    As an experienced coach in business growth and start ups, my focus was always with businesses who had low capital or none when starting up.
    Hiring the right business coach will be vital, one that has the experience that you specifically need, and in the area you are focussing your impact on.
    I always make sure businesses know exactly what their unique selling point is in the market, especially for busy markets. It is a noisy world out there so working out what makes you stand apart in a succinct way that your target market understands is key.
    1. DEfine your target market, thoroughly, where are they looking for services like yours, what do they need, what are their pain points, what gaps or problems can you solve or fill.
    2. What is your unique selling point, or value proposition. It may not be what you do but the way you do it or your values that make you stand out from the rest
    3. When you know those two things get someone who is very good with establising the language, and wording of your marketing and brand, so that the two things work together and hit the mark.

    Networking is a great way to build a businss from the ground up, but even when networking you have to be clear on what you do and who you do it for, and be able to articulate this well.
    If people don’t realy get what problems you solve and who for, they struggle to pass on or recommend your services

    You are already getting work through word of mouth, I suggest you continue to build this, networking one on one meetings, business networking wth the right target audience in.

    You can make a list of those you would love to do work for, and then set about meeting up with the decision makers, have your pitch nailed, know something about them.

    Ask good questions, before delivering your solutions

    In a digital world, people often focus on digital methods, but actually when it boils down to it, people use people they know like and trust, and we build this relationally.

    I hope this all helps, it is a big topic.

    When getting a coach ask some key questions, and see if they do a free discovery session first so you can get a good feel, don’t be afraid to shop around until you find someone who gets you, and your mission.

    Nga mihi



    Morena – some good guidance, here are a couple readings I thought would be good/helpful and when you think about coaches, just be clear that you are getting someone to either help you be better functionally as a startup agency and/or to enable you to manage your own self, with confidence, mindset and the like – if it is the former, it helps if they have done this startup thing themselves so they know what you are experiencing.

    Links to some readings:

    Nga Mihi – Andy

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