A Client in Focus is a monthly article that we use to highlight some of the varied and exciting businesses we look after across the UK. We are delighted to have spoken to Rashpal Gurm, Chris OConnells’ client, AIMS Accountant in Reading, Berkshire.
What is the name of your business?
I work as a Sole Trader under the name of ‘Rashpal Gurm Creative Retoucher’ but previously it was a Limited company name ‘Creative Retoucher LTD’. A creative retoucher is a digital artist that uses different software to ‘retouch’ images depending on clients’ needs.
How long has the business been going for?
I’ve been retouching as a freelance professional for the past 3 years. Much of the time before that was spent honing the craft and learning as much as I could to be more and more technically proficient.
Looking back, that was the easy part as well as being fun and the next step is building a portfolio from virtually nothing. To do this, I had to approach photographers (normally just “cold” by email) and see if they would take the chance with someone they have never heard of, to help them build their portfolio.
Over time this worked really well and soon I had shaped a decent enough portfolio that could display with confidence and reach out to prospective clients. This was of the hardest challenges I faced, and it’s important to acknowledge the knockbacks as well as the successes! With no real experience I would naturally receive knock backs and no responses, all too often. However, growing as a freelancer thus far had already taught me persistence is key, otherwise I would have to find another line of work.
What does your business do on a daily basis?
As a freelancer, almost half the work I do is communication, marketing, and promotion. I find maintaining productive relationships and forming new ones is key to my business being self-employed. I do this through a variety of social media channels, as well as direct emailing and platforms such as LinkedIn. The rest is dedicated to the actual process and workflow of retouching. Almost all of this is done at the desk, whether at home or the office.
What are the main challenges your business faces today or faced in the past?
The main challenge is sustaining busy periods, a simple truth of freelancing in these times. My business requires me to be pragmatic and take the initiative to thrive. Retouchers can easily work remotely, and competition is worldwide. It is essential to develop healthy relationships and meet clients’ expectations to keep working with them. I found the hardest part to be getting a foot through the door.
Another challenge which I have always struggled with is separating work from my normal life. I enjoyed working from home since before the pandemic, but after a long time it takes a toll, and you may find yourself constantly in between both worlds. For the most part this doesn’t bother me too much as I love what I do and I now work from an office away from home, but this profession still requires you to grind before and after your regular hours, as well as at weekends. You can of course limit this to your own discretion, but it is hard to turn clients down, especially returning ones.
What made you choose AIMS Accountants’ Chris OConnell?
After receiving several quotes from accountants and accounting firms across the country, I decided that AIMS’ dedication to meet clients’ needs was enough to convince me to take it further. They are also very local, and the proximity generally makes it feel more personal when you can visit your accountant.
What has Chris, your local AIMS Accountant brought to your business?
AIMS and Chris have removed the worry and hassle of navigating the financial minefield of bookkeeping and tax obligations, it’s not just tax returns, however. AIMS offer financial advice for your business and suggest options to move in the direction you want to.
Why would you recommend AIMS to other businesses looking for an accountant?
Chris listens to me and my businesses needs so that they can better aid and facilitate. He understands what is required of him when it comes to legal obligations and tax submissions. He’s also always a phone call away which provides tranquillity!
To find out more about Rashpal and his works, visit his website and social media accounts below.
Website link and Social Media Links
Rashpal Gurm from London | Production Paradise