03 April 2018

The most recent Creatives’ Club networking event took a futuristic turn this time around - looking at cryptocurrency and its potential to support small businesses. Imaginaire Design shared its story of how taking payments in cryptocurrency has helped them to gain competitive edge and get invoices paid faster.

Bringing together a collection of established creative businesses and individuals wanting to branch out into self-employment or thinking of starting up a creative venture of their own, the Creatives’ Club latest event looked at cryptocurrency as a new way of trading, to overcome a number of business issues.  

Free support from The Big House

The Big House team gave a brief overview of all the different types of free business support offered by its partners, such as 1-2-1 mentoring, access to grants and workshops. Next up was small business owner, Seb Dean, Managing Director at Imaginaire Digital from Sandiacre-based web design and digital marketing agency, to share his insights into how cryptocurrency opened up his business for international trade. 

Capitalising on cryptocurrency

Imaginaire was the first agency in Nottingham to accept cryptocurrency as a method of payment. As a web design and digital business, they help local businesses market themselves online. In addition to a local client base, they also work with a number of tech start-ups, located around the world, particularly in the US. 

Taking payments from clients in multiple currencies was incurring high bank charges at several points through the payment process. Seb gave the example of a $10,000 invoice payment costing the business up to £350 in bank charges for each transaction. 

To remain competitive with other agencies, they needed to find a way to compete on price and not have to inflate prices to cover exchange rate costs and bar charges. That’s when they explored cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ehtereum and took the decision to accept this as a form of payment in June 2017. They’ve never looked back. 

Benefits of cryptocurrency to small businesses:

  • Secure payment process
  • Significant reduction in bank charges and currency exchange commission
  • Only charge a small transaction fee (e.g $10,000 payment now costs about £25 in fees)
  • Invoices are paid quicker
  • Able to pass on saving to clients by offering lower fees
  • Operates on a distributed ledger network so businesses don’t have to transfer money via a third party
  • Opens up opportunities to deal with clients who request it (particularly tech start ups who have raised investment through (ICO) initial coin offerings)
  • Provides the ability to compete on a bigger playing field without foreign exchange being an issue

Seb admits that some of his clients are unashamedly hipster and want “to be seen” to be doing the latest thing too, however he cautions that it is not suitable for everyone. Trading in cryptocurrency is highly volatile and prices can drop 30% in a day, so he recommends converting the payments to GDP on the day of receipt to avoid any potential losses.

Want to come to the next Creatives Club?

Designed to encourage Nottinghamshire based creatives to connect, network, forge relationships, and discuss all things entrepreneurship, business and beyond, the Creatives' Club networking sessions run fortnightly and are brought to you by the Big House project, in association with the Creative Quarter.

If you have an inspiring business story to share and fancy speaking at a future Creatives’ Club event, contact us on bighouse@creativequarter.com

Creatives’ Club forms part of The Big House programme, which provides fully funded-support to creative and digital entrepreneurs and businesses across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. This project is partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund. 

Want to be part of the Creatives’ Club? Check out www.bighouse.org.uk for details and dates. Register here