Name: HANNAH SPRINGHAM
Occupation: TV DIRECTOR, Owns 2 businesses, (soon to be 3!)
OK, so Hannah isn’t your typical Esc Hero as she is still in her main job / career. But the fact that a) it is a really interesting career and the fact that b) she is a serial entrepreneur at the same time is just brilliant and definitely deserves shouting about.
1. What did you do before this project?
I started Directing TV when I was 21 and I’m very much still doing it. That’s my big love.
2. How long have you dreamt of doing this?
I’ve always known I’d set up some kind of company or do something else that challenges me, it could have been a vintage clothes shop and I toyed with a pub but this was a no brainer.
My dream Directing job was Top Gear, I chased that job for 5 years and bagged it in 2008, after that I needed a new goal. I get itchy feet fast so this was the next step for me. I don’t intend to give up Directing as it still excites me and means I’m more useful to my businesses with that insider knowledge as they’re related to that world.
3. When did you realise that you would turn the dream into a reality?
My Dad passed away last summer. 6 months later, on 18th February 2008, on what would have been his 80th birthday, I launched ‘Get My Business On . TV’. It might sound a bit of a cliché but the old ‘you only live once’ thing woke me up.
My Dad was a very focused and strong-minded man, a real inspiration to me and weirdly I felt like he was pushing me on to do this. It’s hard to describe why I think that, it just all felt like the right time. I didn’t realise until the week before that the launch date fell on his Birthday.
4. From a practical perspective, how did you plan for it?
I did my research. I had meeting after meeting and found out what the TV industry was missing. Out of my original idea came a much simpler one. It was only going to cost me what I already had in my savings account to start it up so I did it. I thought if I spent that and lost it then I would be able to live with that. By the time we’d launched I’d already made that back and some. Peter Jones from Dragon’s Den owns 20 percent of gmbo.tv and he and his company have been a great source of no – nonsense advice.
5. How are you funding it?
I paid for the basic website with my savings and paid freelance friend (a very low mates rate amount) to help me generate our first sales for two months. During all this I juggled a full time Directing job with my business. I worked most days until 10pm or later, made calls and emails in my lunch break and met lawyers and advisors for breakfast! It’s amazing how hard you can work and juggle when it’s your own project. Now we have a great full times sales person and we’re about to hire an MD. I still work hard on it but what with launching 2 other businesses and still Directing, I do have my hands full.
6. What was the hardest thing about making this happen?
I have a tendancy to want everything to happen instantly, I was advised to slow down and get everything done properly, we did launch fast but we didn’t cut corners, I had to hold myself back a bit but that was worth doing.
It’s also hard being non-stop most days – you just don’t have the time you used to. It does change your priorities, like it or not.
7. What has been the best thing about having made this happen?
A sense of satisfaction, of being the first of our kind and getting ahead of the legalization of Product Placement. We’ve being getting the ball rolling on this since we launched so we’re already a leader in that field, something no other company can say.
8. What advice would you give to other people who want to do something similar?
Go for it! It will be scary but a bit of that keeps you alive I think. Belief in what you do helps – a bit of passion goes a long way.
9. What resources (books, websites, articles, events etc) did you find really useful?
My best source of information came through a contact I made through Peter Jones. Ian Warr of ‘Eyebright Media’ is a fountain of ‘new business’ knowledge – especially web and TV related businesses. He’s like the cautious angel in my ear. Listening to advice from people who’ve been there is a must. Don’t be stubborn with your ideas.
10. What else?
I’m about to set up a recruitment business called CREW ME NOW which caters for TV Production staff. It’s actually the original idea I took to Peter Jones two years ago – we’re nearly ready to launch.
HOW I GOT INVOLVED WITH PETER JONES – I blagged my way in a couple of years ago. I knew he liked TV related businesses so I asked for a meeting – OK Peter was ‘busy’ but I did meet with his creative Director. She told me she like the basic idea but to go away and do some research and then come back. I did. When I came back I met Peter’s right hand man Eric White who was instantly interested. Peter Jones and Eric invested in gmbo.tv shortly after we launched and have been a strong support since then.
WHAT DOES GET MY BUSINESS ON .TV DO?
We’re a one stop shop for TV makers. An online little black book. We help link businesses and people that want TV exposure with TV makers that need those businesses to help them function. We’re the first of our kind. We don’t charge TV people for using our services, brands that want exposure pay us a yearly fee to advertise on the site.
Hannah also started Online-CV.tv – a service that can provide you with a stylish looking CV which includes all the usual stuff you’d expect as well as a showreel.