For many of us passionate vegans it can start to feel like a calling …. being able to work “in veganism” full time. Giving up your day job and being able to do something for the vegan cause all day everyday.
I felt like this 15 years ago. I was not inspired in my private banking role. I was being asked to do mundane tasks and in my spare time I was getting people on the front pages of newspapers, was working on my acting career, doing my radio and TV presenting and even had a documentary made about me on Channel 5 about the school reunion I organised. One of the very first reality TV shows.
I then decided enough is enough… I want to start my vegan PR business. Now this was a time before veganism was cool and on trend. The word scared the media too. I had my work cut out for me however here I am 15 years later after achieving £100,000’s & £100,000’s of free coverage for veganism and of course for my amazing clients.
I am a jump in at the end type of woman, like when I went vegan nearly 25 years ago. It was the same for my business however if you are thinking of starting your own vegan friendly business many say it is better to work on it at weekends and in the evenings. I left the security of the full time banking career and was offered my first big PR client. A huge regional newspaper!
Now what no one tells you is your business becomes your life. I wake up dreaming about PR ideas for clients. I get so excited for my clients promotion and when we get great media coverage I have been known to jump out of my chair, dance and whoop loudly. I think sometimes I can be more excited than my client. Well we are promoting veganism as well.
My driving force was that I wanted to make veganism better for the vegans of the future, so they could look back and think, “WOW, those vegans in the early 2000’s really paved the way for us”, like those in the early 1940’s (and before) have done for us too. I also wanted my son to be able to walk in a sweet shop and buy sweets like anyone else can.
Your vegan business needs to solve a problem.
VegfestUK solves the problem of having a fantastic time with likeminded people and being able to learn, grow – as well as be able to trust all of the food and products in front of you. It solves the problem for the stall holders who want to serve you their amazing products.
VegfestUK founder Tim Barford has been vegan for over 35 years and bought his rave organising skills over to vegan festivals!
There are always challenges in business and now VegFestUK has gone online due the current situation. Businesses must grow and adapt to survive.
Tim says: “Running a vegan business is like starring in your own movie – however with all the extras to fulfil. The knowledge that you are tiny part of a bigger team making real global changes is a big motivation to continue.”
‘Working in the vegan environment is a lot of fun, and very rewarding. But sometimes the vegan market can be a punishing place – it’s how you bounce back and grow that determines how you develop, as a business and as a person’’.
John Creaton a former Technology MD at Goldman Sachs in Tokyo, London and New York has merged his career in investment markets with his plant based passion and now is taking vegan businesses to the next level. Vegan Arborist is the online business accelerator for sustainable plant based products.
John is solving the issue for established vegan business who want to scale up and not sure how to.
CEO John says; “Focusing on the plant based sector is a core value for me. To be able to transition and reorientate 100% of the experience and the skills developed over a career in Financial Services and Technology into a full time focus on plant based sustainability is a professional and personal dream come true.
The people I meet, the companies and their products all resonate highly and is a source of energy for Vegan Arborist and myself. There is so much to do that sometimes is hard to see how to be able to cover all we want to do. However, we have been developing quickly and looking back at our progress provides a deep source of motivation or the future and how working collaboratively we all can help develop this sector.”
Making the move from a secure full time job to being self employed or like me the director of your own Ltd company does have its drawbacks too. Unless you create something that sells while you sleep then if you don’t work you won’t be earning money! Something I didn’t realise until I stopped working full time.
One of the reasons I wanted to set up my own business was so that I could have more time. I didn’t know how wrong I would be! However the upside is that I thoroughly enjoy my work and it is hard to switch off! Having more me time has never happened!
There will be ups and downs, you will face challenges.
However everyone I have chatted with and including a super bunch of vegan business owners who belong to Vegan Traders Union do agree. Setting up their own vegan business is the best thing they have ever done. Despite the challenges and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Check out Karins PR work here: www.mad-promotions.com