Matt took time out of running his business, Matthew King Creative, to speak to NBV about his start-up journey:

Can you tell us a little about your business?

Based In Nottingham, I operate as a senior freelance graphic designer offering branding, print and digital design services with particular focus on, but not limited to, the sports industry.

What are your future aims/objectives?

Looking forward to the future I have my eye on going limited and broadening my service offerings with more of a focus on digital design, social media content and web.

When and why did you start your own business?

I started my freelance graphic design business in 2017 as a little side hustle and a modest Instagram page. The demand for my time and work grew rapidly and to the point where I had a decision to make. I was at a point in my career where I could go freelance full-time and test my skills solo or choose to stay within my agency role. Excited at the prospect of building up my portfolio with exciting sports brands I took the decision to leap into full-time self-employment.

Prior to this, I gained experience working as a graphic designer in a publishing company, as a junior designer and interning at Derby County Football Club. Before these roles, I graduated from the University of Derby in 2012 with a degree in Graphic Design.

How did you find out about the support on offer from NBV?

I found out about NBV through The Big House Project (supporting Creative and Digital Business across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire with a tailored package of support) and was excited at the prospect of working with business coach, especially as I was in my early freelance career.

How has the business adviser/mentoring support helped you?

The mentoring support was vital in helping me establish clear goals, discussing the challenges I faced at the time and seeking out opportunities. Over time I became more confident in my ability to operate as a freelance, dropping the impostor syndrome along the way. This has become noticeable to me post-mentoring, where I feel that I totally belong in the freelance design industry, with a view to growing further. 

What are your plans for the future of the business?

In the future I’d like to grow my business further by niching my services and becoming more industry focused. I’m also learning how to grow my business online with SEO and social media. Eventually I’d like to integrate these into my service offerings.

What have been the memorable highs and lows of your business journey so far?

The highs of running my own business have been working with global sports such as Bayern Munich, Borussia Monchengladbach, Crystal Place, British Swimming and more! In my early design career, this was a dream of mine and I’m proud to have achieved it!

There aren’t many lows for me, however, the most challenging aspect can be chasing late-paying clients.


Any tips or advice for others?

My advice to others considering freelancing and starting up your own business is absolutely doing it! It’s an honour to push your skills and expertise to the very edge of what you think is possible. I have grown in confidence, skills and maturity during my time working for myself which is something I’m not sure would have happened so fast working as an employee. Even now, 5 years into working for myself I learn so much every week, in all aspects of business.

Do you have a creative idea you need help getting off the ground? Then contact NBV today to see how we can help you make your business dreams a reality.