We were lucky to catch up with Chris “Noel” Elder recently and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Chris “Noel” thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. How do you feel about asking friends and family to support your business? What’s appropriate, what’s not? Where do you draw the line?
Asking friends/family to support your business isn’t something I would suggest to anyone starting a business. I always say, just start the business and the people that want to support you, will.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
Born and raised in Atlanta, GA – I named my company in honor of my grand parents who lived at 1154 Smith Street. They were two hard working souls, one loved music and the other would out cook the best of them, together they created magic. I tend to lead 1154 Studios with their attributes of being honest, flexible, and reliable. 1154 Studios is a media company that specializes in brand visibility solutions for businesses interested in growing their clientele. We carefully craft the perfect solution to expand our clients online presence resulting in the increase of online engagement and monthly sales. While 1154 Studios premier services includes photography & videography, we are partnered with a local design studio and print shop. Combined we offer full cycle branding and marketing services with over 15 years of experience. I’ve been in business for a little over 5 years now and I can say that I am most proud when I get my clients reactions after they’ve seen their finished images or online video ad – what really sweetens the deal is when the content is posted and we see their engagement numbers increase.
What’s worked well for you in terms of a source for new clients?
The best source of new clients for 1154 Studios has always been word of mouth. This is why it’s so important to treat every client regardless of their budget, with the same amount of top tier respect. Even as of today 1154 Studios works are in rooms I haven’t personally been in. It’s the same with your reputation; it travels to places months before you even show up.
Can you open up about how you funded your business?
When I started 1154 Studios, I used the money I saved from my employment to purchase equipment and subscriptions I would need to operate my business. I had a motto that I went by, “I am using my 9 to 5 to fund my dream.” That motto would get me through some extremely hard days during a work week. Once my revenue picked up, the business was able to thrive off of itself which was the ultimate goal. One thing I wish I had known sooner was how to use business credit to my advantage.