On 25th April, Build Studios hosted a Built By Us session which focused on providing advice for built environment professionals who are thinking about starting their own businesses.
The first speaker was Claire Truman who founded her company, Heritage Revival, in 2017. She is a conservation architect who offers design and planning advice to owners of heritage buildings. A key influence in the establishment Heritage Revival, was Claire’s participation in the Built By Us FLUID mentoring programme.
Claire found it invaluable in creating clarity in career decisions and greatly boosted her confidence. She recommended that seeking bespoke and meaningful business advice is essential when starting out, and that taking the time to stay up to date with what’s going on more widely in the world of business and social trends has allowed her to get ahead of the competition.
Juliet Heap, the second speaker of the evening, runs her own town planning consultancy and hires a desk at Build Studios. Her decision to start a business came after gaining experience in a variety of planning related roles, which offered her a good start in creating her client base and opened her eyes to different opportunities. Juliet advised the audience to consider what they enjoy doing the most, and what makes them stand out from the crowd – which in her case, is a commitment to telling her clients the truth, even if it’s not what they want to hear – and to be aware of the time and resource required to stay on top of everyday administrative and accounting tasks.
Last to speak was Annie Clift, who runs Limeslade Consulting with her business partner Stuart Wilks. Through her role in Limeslade, Annie has been able to link her strong marketing and business development skills with her interest in the built environment and specialism in growing client brands within the construction and law sectors. Annie agreed with Juliet that the need to suddenly handle all your own administrative tasks can be quite a learning curve – and also spoke about how suddenly working from home can be quite a lonely experience. Hiring a desk at Build Studios has allowed Annie to still enjoy the social side of work, as does attending networking events where she can also grow her client base.
All three speakers agreed that they love being their own boss and insisted that although learning to run your own business may seem daunting, it offers a professional and creative freedom that is hard to beat.