My brother Adam and I set up blueprint.tv just over a decade ago. Many were saying “never work with family”, it’ll come back to bite you. But, hand on heart, it’s been a joy going into business with my brother and we still often see each other at the weekends.
Since founding the company – at first specialising in creating corporate content for broadcast networks – we’ve evolved into an international digital agency that focuses on content marketing through Google, HubSpot, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as video-led business communications and marketing.
Our skillsets are very different. Adam is extremely creative and has got stuck in on the ground, building the video production arm of the business in Canada, and now in London. We boast a varied client roster in multiple sectors ranging from finance (Royal Bank of Canada, Permira, Invest Europe and BGF), tech (GE, Hitachi, Virgin Media Business) and charities and NGOs (Oxfam, PRI and Social Progress Imperative).
My role has been somewhat different, spotting strategic partnerships, negotiating contracts and growing the digital content marketing side. Organisations, large or small, now see the value of attracting customers by building insight, influence and revenue with original content, and it’s going from strength to strength.
One of the huge benefits of working alongside Adam is that we know each other so well. At a glance, we understand what the other person is thinking or feeling. Very often with other people, you can misinterpret what they’re saying, meaning or people do not fully understand what you’re trying to communicate. When you think in the same way, that speeds everything up. And ultimately we can trust each other – a vital ingredient in any business.
Finally, if there’s one piece of advice for anyone thinking about setting up with a sibling – leave any big brother/sister, little brother/sister tensions at the door.
What we will be sharing is our experiences, growing pains of running a small business, and hopefully helping people learn both from our successes and inevitable mistakes.
This article is part of a wider campaign called Founders Diaries, a section of Real Business that brings together 20 inspiring business builders to share their stories. Bringing together companies from a wide variety of sectors and geographies, each columnist produces a diary entry each month. Visit the Founders Diaries section to find out more.
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