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I started my own business after redundancy fears

Thought Leader

I started my own business after redundancy fears

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Virgin Media Pioneers invited Megan Thomas, the co-founder of Full Fat PR, to describe how she went from redundancy fears to building one of the top culture and lifestyle PR agencies in the UK.


Name           Megan Thomas

From            London

Business      Full Fat PR – A lifestyle PR agency.

When I was 12, I started to create greetings cards and sell them in local shops. It was the first time I realised I had the skills to really grow a project from scratch.


But I never expected to found my own business. After University, I worked some great jobs in communications and was starting to make a name for myself. In 2012, I was working for a big PR agency in Shoreditch, but it was being hit badly by the recession. The company was making a lot of redundancies, and it was a scary time to be there.


A few of us in the company saw that our work was doing well and making a profit. But it was a matter of time before redundancy hit us. I’ll be frank – deciding to set up your own business is terrifying. I was nervous, my mum was nervous, but I threw caution to the wind and started up Full Fat PR with my co-founders Ella McWilliam and Sean Harwood. 


The challenges of starting up…


It was a huge leap for me. We’d gone from our office to working in a living room. We needed to work out how to organise cash flow, our accounts, day-to-day management and finding new clients.


If we hadn’t been in that situation I don’t know whether I would have made the jump to founding a business. Sometimes the best things happen when you can’t see a clear way out. It makes you act a little braver and a little bolder.


I did my first ever pitch with a client on my own. The colleague I meant to go with was ill, so unfortunately couldn’t join me.


The reaction I was met with when I walked in was “oh, they’ve sent the intern.” It obliterated me.


I’m 4”11 and quite young looking – but that shouldn’t matter. No matter how much I’d practiced what I was going to say, as soon as I heard those words all the confidence I had dropped out of my feet. It was a horrendous experience - but an exceedingly useful one.


I kept going, and we kept moving forward. In the next pitch I had I knew I had to fight that little bit harder to convince the person that I’m not what I appear to be by how I look. I pulled out my power pose. I stood a little taller within myself before entering, and let my confidence resonate during the meeting. The most important thing was remembering that the person sat behind that desk is just another person. It went really well, and we secured the new business.


The next steps…


Every day is challenging. It can feel extreme as an entrepreneur. One day you wake up and feel like you’re going to smash it, there’s so much to be excited about! Then something can happen, and it can send you into a hugely challenging situation. Every day you need to navigate – but the diversity makes it fun.

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Since then we’ve gone through the nightmare that is the hiring process, but this really helped us move the business forward. After our business started to grow, we got some fresh eyes on to the brand and it was great.


Right now the PR industry is completely evolving. With the growth of digital and death of print, what happens next is all to play for. To make yourself stand out in the industry, you need to figure out what it is you do that is unparalleled by anyone else.


From my experiences, my idea of success has changed massively. At first I valued success in terms of monetary gain. It’s changed now – success is based on my wellbeing and happiness, as well as that for my company.


I think every failure can be turned into an opportunity. It’s about making sure you spot them, and going for it – being brave every single day.