Newsbook.com.mt approached our Founder and Creative Director Angele Azzopardi to discuss her experience of founding UNGL Studio and the challenges you face when starting your own business.
The business has been operating since 2017, a healthy two years with many challenges, successes and most of all achievements. With that being said, there were many times when the business was faced with challenges “There were difficult months were the expenses were higher than the income” Angele said. Times like these made us doubt our decision and the thought of giving up on this venture did cross our minds, however, the team pushed through these obstacles “no matter what”. The support network around the business was one of the most important contributing factors to the businesses success. Friends and family encouraged us to keep pushing and to “stay committed” to the dream.
According to the latest Labour Force Survey in the first quarter of 2019, there was a significant increase in the number of women in self-employment. Newsbook asked UNGL Studios how many of her partners and clients contribute to this study.
“A lot of clients and suppliers are themselves women who own their own businesses. Most have families, some are single mothers, some are single women,” Angele said. Our agency works with many one-woman businesses, we discuss common challenges we face and help each other out either by using their services and sometimes connect them to the right people and other times offer our services to better their situation.
The studio was always open to international business. The internet facilitates how we provide our services in such a good way that meeting in person is longer required. We can offer the same service seamlessly locally as well as around the world, as far as the USA.
One of the most common pain points of operating locally is the fact that budgets are not as healthy as those abroad and the awareness of having better budgets for such initiatives is not as well established. Brand outreach is taken much more seriously internationally and that gives us a lot of room to work in and conduct perfectly executed brands and campaigns.
Having said that we are always very excited to work on local brands which carry Maltese prestige. Our business has grown organically through word of mouth and we are grateful to our local clients who have trusted us with their brands and helped us grow.
Running your own business does come with its own set of headaches of sometimes being confronted with situations which are not straightforward textbook material. Unfortunately, school and university do not prepare you for the business world and being self-employed. There is a learning curve you must go through on your own to set a successful course for your business. A supportive network and inquisitive nature that doesn’t hold you back from asking and collecting information are characteristics you require however, this will only give you a bare foundation of what is required, the rest will be learned through trial and error and as time goes by, experience.
Angele recommends surrounding yourself with likeminded people who will help you understand that the struggles you are going through are completely normal in the beginning. A community of such will give you a space of advising each other on common issues and help each other grow together. Networking events are always a good way to start, where you can meet other female entrepreneurs many of which will discuss their failures and successes but most importantly, what helped them get through it.
Angele also goes on to speak about the mental challenges of finding the right amount of confidence to be able to meet powerful people who could potentially be your clients and to convince that that a young agency will guarantee the results they are looking for. It takes time and practice to be able to present yourself and truly execute the meeting knowing you have fully represented yourself.
And on a final note, the question that every female entrepreneur must have faced at one point or another in their career, ‘would she considering quitting her business should she start a family of her own?’ The simple answer is no, however, Angele goes on to explain ‘I know lots of mums who run their own business. It maybe means more time for a family and less time for business but you definitely continue. There is no need to quit.’ Concluding on a very strong note of entrepreneurial spirit, the secret ingredient required to succeed in business.