"Everything came to a head towards the end of 2014 when I found myself working 60 hour weeks, running on adrenaline and struggling to give all of my clients the attention they deserved" Jemma Caldwell, Founder Tanami Media Limited

One-man band. A horrible expression I know, but this is essentially what I’ve been for the last 18 months.

Having worked tirelessly to build up the Tanami brand through talented freelance crews, enthusiastic networking, social media engagement and an online presence, everything came to a head towards the end of 2014 when I found myself working 60 hour weeks, running on adrenaline and regularly taking on new clients, each one requiring more time than the previous. Tanami offers video production, PR and social media services to national and international clients on various scales so there have certainly been many of plates to juggle…

Nearly two months into 2015 and sole trader Tanami is now Tanami Media Limited; the business has expanded to a friendly full-time team of two, with an additional member of part-time staff coming on board from next week. We have also taken on our very own office in the West End of Edinburgh. So what tips can I share so far?

–        Accounts: Be aware that monthly accountancy fees are likely to increase if you move from operating as a sole trader to a limited company. Allow for a maximum 50% increase and be sure to shop around to make sure your accountancy firm is competitively priced. The bigger your company gets the more you may need to rely on your accountants.

–        Schemes: Ready to take someone on but not quite ready to commit financially to a permanent member of staff? Keep your eyes peeled for schemes that help small businesses grow through funding, such as the Santander Graduate Placement Scheme or the Edinburgh Jobs Fund. Adopt an Intern is also really helpful at early growth stage.

–        Delegate: Going from full ownership and sole decision making on every element of the business to sharing can take a bit of getting used to! Keep conversation between staff fluid and block out 30 minutes once a week for a catch up across all accounts and new business targets. Ensure everyone is on the same page at all times.

–        Size matters: Taking on your own office can seem like a big step but it took literally 24 hours (and a single trip to Ikea) for our new office to feel like home! Make sure the space you take on allows room for growth. Even though it’s just the two of us right now, we hope to take on someone else soon and it’s great to have a spare desk for project-based freelancers. We also have unrestricted access to a private meeting room which is essential for client meetings. Plan ahead and stay positive!

–        Get back out there: Taking someone on should allow you to work hard and smarter. Once delegating appropriately, you should have more time for business development, attending events networking – actively seek new clients. Enjoy the fact that you are no longer alone and don’t feel guilty clawing back that work life balance you once enjoyed!

So far, so good at Tanami HQ but it’s still very much early days so ‘touch wood’! Good luck to any of you taking the next steps in business growth. Keep up to date with our progress via Twitter, Facebook or Instgram


Jemma is The Managing Director of Edinburgh based Tanami, offering creative video and effective PR for businesses of all sizes.

Jemma’s television experience embraces high-profile productions including Countryfile, Fifth Gear, The Gadget Show, Coast and X Factor; furthermore, she has executed PR and film projects for brands such as Siemens, Chevrolet, npower and David Wilson Homes.


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