8 March 2021|Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder
Kayleigh Johnstone is the superstar founder of COZ PR, an agency specialising in offering Virtual Public Relations Assistant (VPRA) services to PR agencies. and mentoring and training VA’s in media relations. She built the business from nothing during the first COVID lockdown, and it has gone from strength to strength over the past year.
However, the apparent overnight success hasn’t come easy. Kayleigh came from a very corporate background and was used to having no time to call her own, working 14-hour days and most weekends, and suffering from burnout almost from graduating. After suffering an unexpected bereavement, she knew that things had to change, starting with her career.
It was when Kayleigh entered the PR world after having her family that she fell in love with public relations. Kayleigh spent five years working in a PR agency specialising in the travel and tourism sector, managing accounts and refining her business strategy skills before COVID saw the decimation of the travel industry and subsequently, Kayleigh’s job. She had gradually combined her business management and development skills with her day-to-day PR tasks, and it felt like a natural fit to continue doing so.
A less courageous person might have gone back into traditional employment, given the world was facing a pandemic and the future looked uncertain, but Kayleigh, with the support of her family and friends, took the opportunity to do something she never thought she would do and launched a business. One year on and Kayleigh is fully booked supporting a tranche of incredible female-owned PR agencies and is in-demand for her PR and media relations training courses for VA’s.
What would you love to share to encourage other women to start their own business?
As someone who never wanted to or felt like she should start a company, I feel so passionately about this. Women should start their own company because it is such a valid and rewarding career choice! You get to do something you love, every bit of energy, effort and stress you invest directly benefits you, and hopefully you benefit from some flexibility as well.
There are far fewer female entrepreneurs than male, and women are also less likely to seek financial support to start their businesses. We’ve all read about the confidence gap – the idea that most women will only apply for a position they feel 100% qualified for, while most men will apply when they feel 60% qualified – well the same applies to starting a business, and as women we need to move away from the concept. You won’t know everything, but what you do know is valuable and your potential customers need to know it. The stuff you don’t know? Outsource it.
What are your top 5 tips for entrepreneurial success?
- Remember that you can do this. Your knowledge is valuable and vital to someone.
- Grow a trusted team and be willing to delegate.
- Collaborate, don’t compete. There is plenty of work to go around and you are stronger as part of a community.
- Invest! Don’t be scared to spend on the tools you need for your business.
- Enjoy it. If it’s not fun a majority of the time, then you may need to reassess the journey your business is on.
Who are the 5 women who inspire you the most?
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
For inspiration, the amazing Joanne Rowling – “Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve”.
And if I can be cheeky and pick a second, one of my favourite quotes which I try to live my life by – to paraphrase George Bernard Shaw – “Never wrestle with a pig. You’ll both get dirty, but the pig will like it.”