In his time at Hub Southern Cross, he’s discovered a new network of skilled business owners, team members, and entrepreneurs, and has also found a community that has become another source of friendship for him.
How did you first hear about Hub and coworking?
I’ve been a small business owner for a number of years and I’ve had my business fluctuate and scale up and down. The graphic design process has changed a lot in the past ten years which led to workflow not being as consistent, so I ended up working from home.
Even though I had a lovely home office, it was feeling a bit too quiet and had the potential to become a bit lonely sometimes.
I started chatting to a few people about how I was feeling and said to a mate, “I hear there are some places you can take your laptop and work, and there are other people doing the same thing.”
He said, “Ah, you need to go to Hub.”
Do you feel like it’s helped pull you out of that isolation?
Definitely – in terms of collaboration and problem solving, joining Hub is one of the best things I’ve ever done in my working life.
It’s very easy to romanticise and justify working from home full time – “Yay, I don’t have to deal with traffic and other people, blah blah blah” and friends and family will agree with you most of the time.
While working from home can be great in small doses, I think to deal with and be around other people when we work is only a good thing.
How do you find new clients?
I have a core base of clients – some I’ve worked with for 15 years. I tend to pick up smaller ones who do one and two jobs, but the repeat clients are the most positive for me, and they’re the ones I’ve maintained.
I’ve never really had to go out and look for clients – I was always really fortunate that work came my way through referrals.
If you’re working at home you don’t bump into people anymore because you’re doing your own thing.
When I was in my home office, my network sort of broke – I was still working, but it was shrinking, especially as the landscapes changed as well.
Hub is the only place I’ve really ever networked.
I like people and strongly believe in making good relationships first instead of just going around sharking.
I’d rather talk to people as people than as potential sales.
It’s more about how I can help, rather what can I get from you.
What I found working at Hub Southern Cross was the more you chat to people and do something for someone else, word gets around quickly.
Because I promote my photography services in the space, lots of people don’t realise I’m also a graphic designer and audio engineer, and I do voiceovers.
Read more: 6 Ways to Get Great New Clients
Have you had many collaborations inside Hub?
Yes I’ve had quite a few! One that springs to mind straight away is Pawan from Language Your Way – we’ve known each other for four and a half years and we’ve always talked about the educational game he has been developing.
Six months before the game was released he said “I’ve gotta find someone to do this voiceover”, and I put my hand up because I do that as one of my services.
Working with Pawan was a wonderful collaboration, and even better because we were already good friends – that’s one of the wonderful things about this place.
I’ve done other collaborations, including design and photography, and word gets around the space and people share your name as a referral.
You can also bump into people and scratch the surface to build a relationship – it doesn’t take much, a little bit of encouragement about what they do or interest in what I do, and then it can blossom.
I’m big on connecting with other people and showing interest in what they do, and coworking helps me connect with different people doing interesting things.
What’s in the future for you?
I’m currently working on expanding my services to include taking businesses through the rebranding process.
This is a natural progression for me – I’ve gained experience over many years, and that’s been combined with the encouragement of a select few Hub members.
Without being at Hub, this realisation may not have happened.
Rick offers graphic design, photography, brand identity services and more as part of his business, Ricochet Graphics.
To find out more about how he can help your business, contact him today.