Self-Starter Stories: From business advisor to founding a coworking space in Bristol
This week's #selfstarterstory features Joseph Edwards. Founder of Raw Space Coworking based in Bristol.
#PickYourselfUK caught up with Joseph to learn more about his entrepreneurial journey.
Looking back, what lead you to be where you are today?: Wanting to create a business that enables people to enjoy their jobs as much as possible.
What was the most challenging part of starting a business?: Taking an ugly, tired space and being able to picture how to develop it into a beautiful and functional space (without it costing too much money)
What did you want to be when you were a child?: Either a marine biologist or a stockbroker: one was a very romantic idea of loving aquatic animals and the other was purely financially driven...
What was your last job?: I started a company called Gleem as a way to create a job I could enjoy. 4 years of hard work resulted in a company that empowers people to enjoy their job in an industry that rarely gives people the opportunity to. It's been a tough and challenging lesson in business, and I've loved every second of the developmental process entrepreneurship brings!
When did you choose to PICK YOURSELF instead of waiting to be chosen by someone else?: I love the idea of talking about the lessons I've learnt and the mistakes. I can hopefully help other people to avoid so it seemed totally relevant to get involved.
What did you learn from your worst boss?: Don't be secretive: honesty, openness and accountability can really engage people with your 'mission'
What is your favourite business book and why?: Dale Carnegie: How to win friends and influence people. I love picking it up at a random spot and reminding myself that life and business is all about authenticity. I can't resist highlighting parts that stand out, so the book is pretty much plastered in all the different colours of highlighter that you can get!
Do you do everything yourself? What do you outsource?: I do all marketing myself. Administration (working in the details) isn't my forte, so I find the business runs much more smoothly when I'm not involved in that aspect of it.
What is your productivity secret?: I love Glip for task management, and I LOVE reflecting every morning and evening on my goals and achievements in my diary: it really motivates me to push myself further
What is your favourite app?: The Raw space app: our portal for managing your coworking experience in our space
How do you market your business?: Flyering the local area, being involved in as many Meetups as possible, Facebook adverts offering decent length free trials of the space
When you first launched, how did you get your first paying customers?: We walked into EVERY shop on our road (these 300 of them) and introduced ourselves. We want to be a key member of the community, so wanted to get to know everyone: people loved the idea and sent a few of their friends our way!
How did you get your first traffic to your website?: Instagram: pretty pictures of the space from picking up they keys, the transformation, and finally the finished space!
What would you say to someone who is toying with the idea to start a business but haven't yet?: Ready, Fire. Aim! Jump in as fast as you can: otherwise, you risk building a billion pound company in your head, whilst having £0 in actual revenue.
If you could have dinner with one entrepreneur, who would it be and why?: Richard Branson: to delve deeper into the spirit of multi-preneurship and how to time opportunism as best as possible.
To keep up to date with Joseph's journey, connect with him via his social media channels below:
Joseph Edwards has qualified for the #PickYourselfUK Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year award 2017. If you'd like to enter yourself or nominate a small business entrepreneur for this award, please submit your story below.