Luke Wright and Kelly Irving, journalists working in the publishing industry, recently launched Good Globe Media, a communications agency with a greenish tinge.
The business, which provides copywriting, editing, design and PR services to clients, is looking to build a successful venture upon some ethical foundations.
The founders spoke to StartupSmart about Good Globe Media’s genesis.
What was the inspiration behind the business?
As clichéd as it sounds, Good Globe Media came about because we really wanted to make a difference.
We wanted to use our skills and our networks to start a world-class agency with a green and humanitarian heart.
Communication is such a big part of the global beast of business these days.
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We wanted to make sure that people, businesses, government and non-government organisations have a place to come to when they’re looking to communicate the principles and values we believe in – ecological sustainability, social justice, cultural diversity, economic equality and all of that.
Being good is no longer a fringe issue. It is front and centre for many, and Good Globe Media can help make it happen.
The foundation of Good Globe Media is its big team of communication and creative types.
We’ve got writers, editors, designers, PRs, photographers, proof readers, public speakers and more – all of them are industry leaders working all over the world, and all of them committed to the values of the organisation.
What convinced you that there was a market demand for this?
We’re not doing anything overly different here. We’re not reinventing the wheel or providing new products.
We offer a bunch of important services – copywriting, editing, proofreading, graphic design, PR, social media management and so on – to those who need them.
Our point of difference comes down to what we won’t do rather than what we can or will do.
We won’t work with those who never promote the same principles as us, or with those who actively campaign against them.
We are 100% a values-driven organisation. Our success stems from the strong relationships we form with our clients because we care about them and we care about the world around us.
People warm to this and they see the value in working with us. It’s no secret that these markets – the green market especially – are growing quickly.
We know that as it continues to grow there will be a demand for those who know all about doing the right thing and have been doing the right thing all along.
With our industry contacts, the knowledge and skills we (and our team around the world) can offer, we were sure there was plenty of space for us in the market.
Can you please explain how the business model works, exactly?
We offer several services, each of them at different rates and using different structures.
Obviously, the non-profit sector is keen to work with Good Globe Media.
With them, we try to work with their limited budgets. It’s the same with small start-ups with green ideas – we’ll try to accommodate their needs.
We work with hourly rates, flat fees, commissions – you name it. Our goal is to help anyone, any business, on the same path as us and with the same values.
We’re flexible and will try, within reason, to make it work anyway we can. While we value our time and skills very highly, we didn’t get into this to conquer the world financially.
We got into it to help the world and to make some noise about it. Oddly, not being completely driven by the bottom line is actually the best thing we could ever do for the bottom line.
Authenticity sells well.
How long did you take to plan the business?
The concept has been brewing for quite some time. Actually setting up and hitting the “go” button was quite simple and painless.
It was just a matter of being brave and jumping in. We can report that the water is fine once you’re in.
Where did the funding come from?
We started the business on a very small budget and we are self-funded. We believe that good things come from humble and frugal beginnings.
We believe, in the long-term, it creates a stronger internal culture within a business when hard work, good decisions and sustainability are they key to success rather than big chunks of cash.
What was the hardest part of starting up?
The hardest part was jumping in to begin with. Once you’re into it, if it’s something you’re passionate about and love doing, it should be enjoyable.
Granted, it’s a lot of hard work and late nights, but it’s what we want. It’s taking the plunge and committing mentally that is the hardest part.
What would you have done differently, given the chance?
So far, so good. One thing is we have learnt that calling on a few favours in the start-up phase, asking friends in business to lend a hand, can save some dollars, but doesn’t necessarily save time.
If anything, it takes longer and can delay the process. The old adage “you get what you pay for” is very apt.
What have you learned, would you say, from the start-up process?
That being authentic and true to your values will always pay off. Starting up is never easy, but if you’re in it for the right reasons, and you never stray from that path, then good things will come.
We’ve also learnt that with hard work, it’s possible to set up something great with very little capital up front.
Being careful with cash works in your favour because it makes you value your time and resources and not throw money at things without a moment’s thought.
What’s the target now?
We aim to be a leading global agency that’s known and respected for providing world-class services to our clients.
We aim to be the number one hub for likeminded communication and creative professionals to find work, and the number one hub for magazines, newspapers, websites, businesses, governments, non-profits to come to when they want to be green and good.