Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with William Drumm, Founder and CEO of Drumm Media, LLC, located in Arvada, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I run Drumm Media, LLC. We are a production studio and marketing agency specializing primarily in the outdoors and consumer products industries. I am an underwater photographer, and I work as the principal consultant and Director of photography for the company. We partner with brands to promote products while also promoting conservation and ecological stewardship.
Tell us about yourself
I've been an underwater photographer and filmmaker for over 11 years now. In 2015 I started to learn the ins and outs of marketing as well. Then after working in marketing departments for several years, in 2021, I started Drumm Media, LLC. This business allows me to combine my love for creating images with my ability to help brands find their audience and create content that matters to that audience. I'm constantly driven by a desire to create better and more powerful media and help my partners and clients build their customer base and reach people as well. I have always been infatuated with the planet earth and the wildlife and ecosystems that we're so lucky to share the planet with. This is one of my ways of getting back.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been my recent brand collaborations, combining underwater, photography, and consumer product marketing. There's so much that goes into creating powerful underwater and outdoor media. And for me, recently, through practice on my end and by hiring a great creative team, I am finally starting to reach the levels of quality and clients that I have been after for a decade. It's also so rewarding being able to bring together creatives from different backgrounds and even different regions of the world to work on a project together that just came out. Amazing.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner has been the financial and tax aspects of running a company. Even though a lot of it isn't that complicated, when you are new to it, you don't know what you really need to pay attention to, what's really important, and what isn't that big of a deal this makes it really tough and stressful the first couple of years. I often give other creative advice when they ask me if they should study photography or some other field at University. I always say the same thing that the most useful thing that they can study is business and accounting because these are the things that so few of us really understand but really make the entire difference when it comes to being a successful freelancer or small business owner.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Try hard to find a good CPA and someone you can lean on for guidance regarding business regulations, taxes, and other regulatory and financial issues.
- Spend a lot of time looking for the right clients as well as the right employees. In the last two years, I have completely changed how I evaluate clients, and I am much pickier about the clients I choose to take on. This is because a difficult client will take 80% of your time even if they are only paying you 20% of your revenue. So now I always look out for red flags early on, such as clients continuing to add additional work that wasn't agreed to for clients that are overly demanding week after week. As far as employees, it's so easy to get caught up with employees who aren't necessarily the best fit for your company or brand. It is much better to let these employees go earlier than keep trying to figure it out and make them work in a position they'll be happier, and they'll be happier if you move on before it gets to that point.
- Just do it even though there are some difficult things involved in registering and running a small business. We all make the same mistakes, and in the end, it's really just part of the process, so if you really want to start a small business, don't let anything like that stand in the way. Are there hurdles? Yes, can it be challenging at times? Yes, but once you understand the limitless nature of running a company compared to being an employee, it's difficult to imagine any other way at this point.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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