Interview with Abigail Dixon, founder of Labyrinth Marketing

Find out how hiring employees on a flexible basis enabled Abigail Dixon to build her successful marketing business, Labyrinth Marketing around her own family.

What’s your career background?

My background is in marketing and I have worked for just under two decades developing and growing an array of household brands across multiple sectors.

However, I took great pride in my own personal development and once becoming a chartered marketer I developed a passion to impart my knowledge while also keeping abreast of the marketing industry with training, mentoring and tutoring others. I have been training and mentoring marketers for over 10 years.

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How did your career change once you became a mum?

Our journey to become parents was a long one with various challenges along the way. As a long awaited, and very much wanted child, I knew that I wanted to be as present as possible for my son.

I didn’t want to miss out on those special moments, so my career had to shift a little to enable me to do this.

What inspired you to start Labyrinth Marketing?

Combining my background of working in-house as a marketing consultant and a love of training, I was inspired to do things differently.

The ability to write good marketing plans is just as important as empowering people to deliver them. I wanted to use my full breadth of knowledge and experience to support individuals and teams to create, develop and bring marketing plans to life.

What makes Labyrinth Marketing different – what’s your USP?

We don’t just write a marketing strategy and leave. For us it is more about the people than just the plan on the page. The reality is that businesses reach out to consultants because they either don’t have the time, resource or the capability to create and successfully deliver plans.

Our USP is that we meet that need – be it time, capability or resource restrictions. We stay to support as those teams and individuals as needed to bring plans and ambitions to life through a bespoke range of support, mentoring, coaching, and training and development.

Who is your typical client?

We are pleased to say that we don’t’ have a typical client! Our clients are not sector specific and vary in size.

For us it’s about the brand and its challenges. We work with a variety of brands across multiple sectors; we work with start-ups as well as known established multi-national brands and agencies

Your employees all work flexibly. Why is this important for you?

Clients need their consultants to work flexibly and fit around them; therefore we need to offer the same flexibility to our employees.

As some companies are still not able or willing to offer their employees flexibility they lose out on recruiting from a great talent pool. Our flexibility has enabled us to make the most of this and build up a great team with a wealth of background and experience.

And what advantages has it given your business?

We have a team of motivated and committed employees. We find that if you are understanding and give employees the flexibility and time to be there for their children and families they are willing to be flexible in return, for example working late to meet deadlines or taking calls out of hours. It really is a win-win situation.

What’s been the biggest challenge in starting your own business?

A big challenge can be finding the balance of delivering work for existing clients to the highest standard whilst also working on business development and winning new business.

And your proudest moment to date?

Apart from becoming a mum, my proudest moment so far was when I was awarded Fellow status by the Chartered Institute of Marketing. The CIM Fellow status is awarded to marketers when you have not only reached a certain academic and professional level, but have also made a positive impact in the industry.

How do you make running your own business work with being a mum?

Honestly, finding the balance between the two is not easy. Organisation is key – I have a detailed plan for each week set out in advance, and combine that with daily to-do lists.

I find that I can sometimes end up working evenings or weekends to catch up, but it’s a small price that I am willing to pay to be there at the school gates with my son.

What three tips would you give other mothers looking to start their own business?

  1. Have clarity on why you want to start your own business. Is it flexibility, or variation of work etc. This will help to prioritise what you work on and how you work.
  2. Ensure you have a clear defined workspace, either at home or outside of the home. If you are sociable person who is used to working in a busy office, working from home could be quite isolating. Look for co-workers spaces which can give you that office buzz.
  3. Allocate a set time each week for business development. This will ensure that you have a steady flow of work coming in.

You can read more about Labyrinth Marketing on their website