June 19, 2024

Thrive Insider

Exclusive stories of successful entrepreneurs

Michelle Fragar Founder and Director of BRANDiT

What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Michelle worked in a male dominated Industry for over 15-years and just over 5-years ago was made redundant from her job after reaching her KPI’s within the first 6-months. On the way home from being made redundant, she pulled into Harvey Norman to buy a computer and decided that enough was enough. She had men staring at her boobs long enough, it was time to show her worth and true grit. Michelle created BRANDiT a Marketing and Branding Agency. Fast forward to the current day and Michelle has over 17 clients, 9 staff members, won awards and is a proud AMI board member.

Describe the process of launching the business.

Michelle knew she wanted to create a consultancy agency but was also very realistic that she would have to start from scratch, being made redundant also meant a move from Newcastle to the Gold Coast. A new town with a new small business and no contacts. Michelle knew she needed to hustle and network and that’s what she did. The first 3-years were spent working from home with a junior and an intern, it was a rewarding process and one that was driven by passion. Only 6 months ago did Michelle finally move into an office.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Michelle is an incredibly strong communicator, she’s also very honest and committed. When you are starting out you really do need to over deliver to prove yourself to clients, once you have their trust you can form better processes. Michelle spent every spare hour dotting every i and crossing every t, making every customer happy through exceptional work and results through long hours. It’s vital when you start out that you put in the extra hours. Michelle retains her customers because they love her work and they trust her, they all know that nothing is ever too much.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Only yesterday Michelle secured two new huge clients, she presented to the board for a brand re-fresh and was given unanimous yeses on the spot. Although Michelle has a team that she loves and needs, this woman is a powerhouse in getting deals across the line. A month ago she presented a workshop to a room full of male CEO’s and it doesn’t phase her. The future is looking exciting for BRANDiT.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Coming from a male dominated industry has really helped Michelle excel, because she had no option but to learn to adapt and have emotional intelligence. Michelle has also always tried to adapt to situations, so when the Pandemic hit she was able to help 5 of her clients by accessing government grants and adapting their businesses to survive.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Michelle loves using Clickup and Milanote. Clickup is used internally to create tasks and for staff time management and Milanote allows us to upload documents for clients to approve, simply using email isn’t viable anymore.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Michelle doesn’t have a lot of time to read, she’s also a wife and mother as well as a full time business owner. But when she does have time it’s always focused on finding out ‘What’s next’ what’s the next platform or resource for her clients.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Don’t let fear stop you. But most importantly have a business and marketing plan. Starting a business is more than registering a name and getting a logo. What is your competition? who is your customer? what is your business model?

Where can we go to learn more?