Anthony Biles is co-founder of Biles Hendry, a London based design agency specialising in branding and packaging.
They are one of the youngest agencies to feature in the Design Business Association’s top 20 Most Effective Design Agencies in the world. Anthony set-up shop with his partner Anneliese Hendry in 2006 and have been collecting happy clients ever since.
Anthony, why did you decide to start your own agency?
At the time I felt that there was no standard of excellence higher than where I was employed as Creative Director; I had climbed as high as I could in terms of position. The only thing to do was to do it for myself.
What were your biggest challenges back then?
Money, money, money! Then getting new clients. New business is incredibly challenging, it doesn’t matter who you are, even if you hit clover periods, you will definitely hit challenging times too. Cash flow is the bane of small business. Even with big corporate clients not all our payment terms were honoured with regard to when we got paid. We had to get used to operating with a significant percentage of our turnover being outstanding at any given time, telling ourselves it will come, it was just a matter of when.
What do you wish you had known back then?
Be more business minded. Also don’t take business personally (as romantic a notion as that is).
Thank you for your helpful comments Anthony! If you want to find out more about Biles Hendry and their services head to their website here. If you are just starting out and have been experiencing similar challenges or are already on the other side looking back at your early years in business please comment below with your experiences as I would be delighted to hear about them and feature them in this series.