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Pop Quiz, Monday with Laura Prael, Founder and Director at LEP Digital

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Laura Prael

LEP-Digital_Laura_Prael[8071]
Photo credit: Alisha Gore Photography
What is your job role?
Founder and Director at LEP Digital

Tell us about your company?
LEP Digital is a multi-award-winning international digital content agency based Gosford on the Central Coast, with satellite offices in Sydney and San Diego, USA. We’re experts in beautifully crafted content and offer a full suite of creative services including copywriting, video production, search engine optimisation, website development, social media marketing, branding and more.

LEP Digital was born from a need to provide high-quality data-driven content strategies for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help build brand awareness, convert leads into customers, and drive revenue.

We work with young and innovative business leaders that see the value of quality content marketing that’s backed by an understanding of data.

What do you love most about your job?
I love that my work is fast-paced and varied. We work with so many interesting businesses that are disrupting industries, both in Australia and the US, and we get to take the lead on innovative campaign strategies. I love collaborating with my team to make magic and the excitement of not knowing what will happen day-to-day. For example, sometimes I’ll get a phone call to present at a conference, a new client or collaboration opportunity, or invitation to an event. I believe that you make your own luck, so I’m in the business of chasing opportunity, working hard, and following my gut.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
While running a business can be tiring and stressful at times, it’s also incredibly rewarding and exciting. My energetic team, our loyal clients, great campaign results, and industry acclaim helps me to stay motivated and focused on keeping pushing myself every day.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My co-workers are a powerhouse team of young women who consistently impress me and make me proud. I’m inspired by their dedication to their work and our clients, their broad skill sets, intelligence, adaptability, and how they continue to look for opportunities to improve and grow the business.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Having fun at work is very important to me, and I’ve worked hard to engrain it into our culture. We have a very social workplace that’s full of laughter. We regularly enjoy team lunches to celebrate occasions or achievements, weekly office drinks, networking and event nights and end of year team building days. This year we’re considering activities including mini golf, dodgem cars, bowling, and speed boating. We’re also big fans of swapping memes.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
We often have challenges with clients wanting us to complete work with unrealistic deadlines or budgets. It’s the old “Ferrari on a ford budget” adage. The challenge is often solved by communicating clearly and transparently, which builds trust and respect.

When these challenges arise, I work with all parties involved to come to an understanding of what can be done and how. For example, can we deliver part of the project by the deadline? Can the client afford to pay a ‘rush fee’ for their work? Can my team rearrange their schedule to fit it in? Can we agree on a different and more efficient way of doing things?

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Small business owners often hit roadblocks due to cash flow and high expenses. For example, earlier this year, when I was looking for commercial office space to lease to support my growing business, I found it challenging to find a space that I could afford.

After feeling quite down and frustrated, I began to think of creative ways to make the leasing cost work for my budget. I found a 135m squared space in my preferred location which had been previously leased by an educational institution. On further inspection, I realised that the room had been divided into two “classrooms” with a wall and had two external doors. I asked the real estate agent if it was possible to sublet one of the rooms to another business and, after some negotiation, he agreed.

As soon as I moved in, I sublet the second room within one month. The tenants also chipped in for 50% of the outgoings including NBN internet and electricity which was a considerable cost saving.

This taught me that to solve problems, and you need to think outside of the box (or wall in this case!) Talk to others who have tackled similar issues, and don’t stop trying just because your first idea failed.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Being an entrepreneur is incredibly freeing and rewarding. And, ‘no pants Friday’ CAN be a thing.

But, in all seriousness, my best advice is to ‘begin anywhere.’ It’s a quote from composer John Cage, and it’s our office wall in neon lights. From the standpoint of creative work, all places are good enough, and all places are beginnings.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://lep.digital/

https://www.facebook.com/lep.digital/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/lep-digital/

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Written by Ricky Singh, MBA

Founder & Editor of The Startup Growth

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