“Everyone’s tightening their belts right now,” says Akinseye, who founded the firm in 2002. Her Park Royal-based firm caters to the “social” stationery market; wedding invitations, for example. But Akinseye has recently broken the corporate market too, producing business brochures and collaterals for business customers. Speaking at the London Business Link’s Women’s Event earlier this month, she told the audience how she’s made through the tough times. “Business Link advised me to look more closely at my customer base to get the most out of the business I’ve already built,” says Akinseye. “I have promoted our full portfolio of services to current customers who perhaps weren’t aware of all we could do, as well as revisited lapsed customers and re-engaged with them.“ But squeezing your current client list isn’t enough. New business is a fundamental driver for growth. To help draw new blood into the company, without expensive advertising campaigns, Akinseye decided on a partnership model. “We are looking to partner with up to 100 upmarket wedding and stationary shops. These will give us an increased revenue in excess of a six figure sum.” Akinseye is sure that this new sales model will see her through the Crunch. “I’m 100 per cent certain that Makeover Designs will still be going strong through the downturn,” she says. “Being careful with cashflow means I won’t get caught out.”
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