This month we’d like to share Joe Dean’s customer story with you. Joe has not only one, but two successful businesses – Joe Dean Photography and Joe Dean Clothing. Having worked for several years as the regional manager for a leading textile manufacturer, in 2013 Joe decided to try something different and set up his own business.
We sat down with Joe to hear the story behind his businesses, and also to gain some insight into what life is like as an entrepreneur.
At what point did you decide you wanted to go it alone and become an entrepreneur?
I was at a party one night and ended up having a long discussion about why I didn’t sell my own photos, or make my own line of clothing. At that point I’d been working in the clothing industry for 12 years and had been involved in photography for over five.
The next day I couldn’t get the thought out of my head and things quickly developed after that.
Could you tell us a little more about your business and your work.
I’m a freelance photographer and also run my own fashion label – Joe Dean Clothing. You can buy the clothes from my online shop.
The online store more or less takes care of itself now, and I also have a partner who takes care of the delivery side of things. As for the photography, a lot of that works by word of mouth and relies on me being proactive.
Of course I know I’m also really fortunate to be able to turn my hobby into a career. It’s a luxury not everyone is lucky enough to have.
What does a typical day look like for you?
That really depends on how many photo shoots I have booked in so it’s impossible to define a “typical” day. I do, however, get up at 8 am every morning and check my emails. 9 -5 doesn’t really apply, I’m always doing something work-related. I tend to do most of my work together with my girlfriend.
How does Zervant help you in your day-to-day work?
I came across Zervant about three years ago, when browsing online. After having tried it out a bit I felt it was exactly what I needed. It means I can work from anywhere, and have access to all my financial data, whenever I need it. I can store customer information, and create all the relevant financial reports.
How many hours do you think save a week by using Zervant?
I save at least five to seven hours a week with Zervant.
How do you find new customers?
More often than not new customers find me! But I’m always on the lookout for potential co-operation partners and ways that I can boost my business. Social media is also essential.
What are your greatest achievements so far?
I don’t like talking about one big achievement, I think it is much more important to be consistently successful. Of course through the nature of this type of work you also get to know a few celebrities and business contacts.
But the best thing for me is still that I am free to manage my time and work as I see fit.
Do you have any regrets?
In a word, no. There are always odd things here and there that you would differently if you had another chance. But it’s a lot more important to learn from errors and move forwards rather than dwell on the past.
What’s the best piece of advice you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Take your time. Work on business ideas and develop them thoroughly. For me it was essential to get feedback on what I was doing from the people I saw as potential customers. This information was worth its weight in gold.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years time I’d like to have my own studio, a large space where I can work on all my projects and photo shoots. That’s one of my biggest dreams. Let’s see how it goes!
Thanks Joe, best of luck with everything!
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