What is Dream and Do?
Dream and Do is a creative agency to help start up businesses with branding. We also do branding and design for established businesses who have never really considered brand as an asset.
Before this, I lived and worked in London for four years and I had my own startup,Moi Self. When I came back I would’ve loved to do it full-time, but couldn’t see how to make a living out of selling $12 hankies. I thought about what made it successful and it was the fact I had such strong branding from the outset.
I worked with a few startup friends on their branding, loved it, and through about an agency doing exactly that.
How did you fund the business?
Just myself. I think I started with $5000 and it was just me and a laptop in my apartment. Now I have a team of five in an office in Chippendale – two designers, an accountant manager, a writer and myself. We worked with 39 businesses last year which was really good.
How did you get your first client?
Through my network. A client I did branding work for back when I was at uni got in touch because she wanted a website redesign. It grew organically from there. I’m also the branding expert for the Entourage, so I run workshops with their members.
I met Jack De Losa at a wedding, told him about my business and he invited me to talk about branding. I think you just have to go up and ask and introduce yourself to people because you kick yourself if you don’t.
What have some of your biggest challenges been?
Probably growing and becoming too busy and being too stuck in the business and realising that I needed to let go of design. As of about two months ago I don’t design anymore so I had to shift my mindset that this isn’t a design job, my job is to run a business so I had to let go of that and I hired another designer.
Since then I’ve been so much better because i can focus on growing the business.
You don’t advertise at all. How do you encourage referrals and repeat business?
I believe in just doing really good work and letting it speak for itself. I think if you go above and beyond, people can see that you actually put in more effort than you quoted, and will naturally want to help you out. I work with small businesses and it’s nice working founder to founder, they know I’m running a small business too so there’s a strong sense of community.
Instagram has also been really good. I’ve got 2500 followers on there and people have contacted me on that about business which is good.
Tell me about your Cereal Entrepreneur events?
We started them last year and they’re every two months. Cereal entrepreneurs is a breakfast meet up where you get cereal and we interview two entrepreneurs over breakfast and then have a creative workshop at the end. People can bring their things they’re struggling with in their business and we workshop them live.
I’d like to double the business this year with the team that I have. Then next year we’re hoping to open a space with ‘dream’ at the bottom in a café/workspace/bookshop, and ‘do’ with the agency upstairs. I also really want cereal entrepreneurs to be international, so have it in ten cities around the world on the same day.
I see Dream and Do being more than an agency but a brand. Our purpose is to help people create their own destiny by giving them the courage to do what they always dreamed of. So that’s our purpose.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who have a great idea?
I’d ask three ‘whys’. Why do you want it? Why haven’t you done it? And why does it matter in the world?
I think if you can answer those and you feel really strongly about them then you’re going to have enough ammunition to keep going. You have to have a bigger purpose and to sell yourself in today’s market – especially to millennials – you need that purpose to be really clear.
Every day, KBB’s Dannie Doughan chats with an entrepreneur and features their story on our website. If your business wants a ‘Date with Dannie’, email us a quick bit about your biz!