The Corporate World Is One Of The Best Training Grounds
Here at 2BReal, we are all about analyzing trends in what’s taking place in the Kingdom.
For entrepreneurs with Kingdom faith and principles, alongside industries being formed for the Christian culture, we wanted to take time out to celebrate the movement taking place in the UK.
2BRealMagazine was birthed to celebrate great content, great people and great businesses that are representing the Christian faith loud and proud. We pray that this series will be an inspiration to our readers not just here in the UK, but around the world and that the people’s lives will touch hearts, speak passion to birth purpose to everyone.
Katrina Douglas is the owner and founder of Katrina Douglas Marketing. Starting her business over two years ago, her profession and experience in marketing allowed her to debut herself as an author this year with her new book “Momentum- 90 Days of Marketing”.
I spoke with the entrepreneur and author to find out the importance of her starting her business and her approach to marketing which makes her different to the other companies out here.
2BReal: How did you get into your current job?
KD: I studied business at A-level and really loved the marketing module so decided to pursue a career in marketing. I did a degree in Business Management and Marketing and got my first job as a marketing assistant three days after my final exam. I’ve worked in marketing ever since.
2BReal: Why was it important for you to start your business?
KD: I’ve always wanted to carve my own path, but I also knew that I wanted a corporate career first. I’ve always believed that the corporate world is one of the best training grounds for starting your own business, as such the plan was always to work my way up the corporate ladder for ten years and then jump ship. My reason for starting my own business is rooted in a need for autonomy and the freedom to serve the people that I want to serve in the way I want to serve them. As hard as it can be, there are few things more freeing than starting your own business
2BReal: In your opinion was is important for you to gain specific qualifications in your field to become an expert?
KD: It was very important for me to gain specific qualifications. For me confidence is so important when you’re starting a business, you have to have a relentless belief in your ability to deliver no matter what’s going on around you. A degree of my confidence comes from the fact that I have trained for years to do what I do, and I have a track record of success behind me. It wasn’t just about acquiring academic qualifications but also professional qualifications as a practitioner, in 2011 I became a Chartered Marketer which is the highest accreditation you can achieve in the marketing profession and that meant a lot.
However, the irony is that although academic qualifications were important to me, I don’t think they are a necessity across the board. Some of the best marketers I know, respect and follow aren’t academically trained they are just experienced and have a natural flair.
2BReal: As black women of faith had you already been working in your area of expertise before you started Katrina Douglas Marketing?
KD: Yes, I worked my way up the corporate ladder for 10 years prior to starting my own business.
2BReal: What has been the challenge entering into a broad and popular field within entrepreneurialism?
KD: Differentiating myself enough to stand out from the ground. It took me about a year to settle on my brand positioning, messaging and business model.
2BReal: What makes the Katrina Douglas Marketing company different to what other marketing companies offer?
KD: My approach is quite different in a number of ways:
- I refer to myself as a marketing coach as opposed to a marketing consultant because I believe that business owners are the best architects of their business. I think that people in general and entrepreneurs, in particular, need a lot less advice than we think they do. My primary role as a marketing coach is to draw out what’s already in my clients and help them shape it into a strong brand and business proposition.
- I focus solely on startups, those who have been in business for less than 2 years. I have a real passion for helping the new business owner. Research shows that 4 in 10 businesses will fail by year 5, and I really want to be part of helping UK businesses succeed long-term. I have recently been selected by Enterprise Nation as one of 20 Digital Trainers to help UK businesses improve their online performance in 2018.
- I focus primarily on marketing strategy, helping startups launch and grow their businesses with a strong marketing strategy in place. One of the main reasons that startups struggle with marketing is because they adopt a scattergun approach to it. Dabbling with a number of marketing techniques (mainly social media) and hoping for the best. I help my clients design a well thought out approach to their marketing that is directly aligned with their goals and what they want to achieve.
2BReal: What were the first three things you did straight away when you decided to start Katrina Douglas Marketing?
- I took a break – I spent the summer in the US and did a road trip across a number of states with my family, taking time out just to enjoy those that matter most in my life. I also needed time to transition and find my bearings as a business owner. Transitioning from an employee to a business owner is a big change and I think that sometimes business owners put too much pressure on themselves in the early days and don’t give themselves enough time to adjust.
- I took the time to design my business and lay a strong foundation for growth – I decided on my business model and developed my own marketing strategy.
- I joined the gym and made fitness a habit – One of the things that I struggled with most was the lack of routine. This one habit has equipped me for this entrepreneurial journey in more ways than I could have imagined.
2BReal: As a Christian, how does being entrepreneur, wife, and businesswoman in today’s world enhance and impact your influence?
KD: My primary roles as a child of God, wife and mother permeate everything I do. For me, my business is primarily about the purpose and fulfilling what I believe God has put me on this earth to do. Prayer is very much part of my business plan. My faith hugely impacts the clients and projects I take on, and I seek to demonstrate my faith in all I do. The way I treat and serve my clients is a huge part of this, I want them to feel the love of Christ in all my interactions with them. I believe when someone does business with a Christian owned business, no matter what sector that business is operating in, they should feel the difference.
As a mother, my business is about legacy and leaving a rich inheritance for my children. I also want to have the means to finance initiatives within the Christian community, and my business will enable me to do that. In fact, I believe God is raising up an army of entrepreneurs to finance the Gospel and I’m excited about being one of them.
2BReal: For some who may be wanting to start a business in a similar industry, what would be your advice for them in starting out?
- Have a well thought out plan and strategy – prepare for success.
- Learn from leaders in the industry but don’t necessarily follow them, carve your own path.
- Treat your business as if it were a client – make promoting your own business a priority, test your ideas on your own business first.
2BReal: What is your favourite scripture that gives you comfort, confidence, and composure?
KD: Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lod with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths”