27th May 2016
Founder: Paul Wightman
Indigo Dingo started life when Paul Wightman was offered a contract by Red Bull - the company has flown high ever since
It was Red Bull that gave Paul Wightman his wings. Paul was working as a freelance producer and director for a sports production company when the soft drinks company made an offer he could not refuse: he put an end to working for others to focus on his own business.
“It took somebody dangling a decent size contract to make it a no-brainer, otherwise I might never have done it,” he recalls.
His new business, Indigo Dingo Ltd, is a brand-focused video production and moving image communications agency that works with both big and small brands in the sports, entertainment and corporate sectors.
The experience of shifting his working environment from an office to a converted barn in his garden has come with a unique set of challenges: “I’ve become very focused and manage to shut the door and not get distracted by what’s going on at home,” he says. “You’ve got to be disciplined, and I find that a lot of people aren’t when they work from home, especially if they don’t have a dedicated work-space.”
There are other, more personal challenges that Paul has had to face to make Indigo Dingo a success. “Initially my creative personality didn’t lend itself to the more business-oriented aspects of the company, but I managed to overcome this by taking advice from friends and connections who also work independently and by deciding which suppliers to use based purely on peer recommendations. It saves many hours trawling through dull marketing material and as a strategy for working with the right people, it’s been 100% successful.”
As a self-described social animal, when Paul set up his production and communications agency in 2008, one of his main concerns was the lack of daily interpersonal interaction and networking opportunities that the home business model offered. However, he credits improvements in rural broadband and the rise of social media for almost entirely dispelling the problem: “It’s made it easier to make and maintain close contacts and to collaborate in real-time with remote colleagues without having to always be in the same room. Technology has completely redefined how creative people interact”
Working from home has also helped ease Paul’s environmental conscience: “I like the fact that I’m not pumping large amounts of CO2 into the air by having to commute large distances all the time and wherever I can, I also try to use locally-based production talent when I need to expand the team. The power of the internet also means that clients and personnel don’t always need to come to the office – we have an insanely fast 5GB fibre connection that makes communication so simple.”
Considering he started the company just before the crash of 2008, Indigo Dingo has been lucky enough to enjoy real prosperity over the last 8 years. Paul attributes this to having both a focused vision of the specialist expertise Indigo Dingo can provide, but also a genuine fascination with future technologies and techniques that can keep the business one step ahead of the competition.
You always need to be looking one or two years down the track
“At one stage, we fell into the classic trap of taking our eye off the ball. We over-serviced key clients and failed to maintain a focus on diversification. You always need to be looking one or two years down the track, and to not put all your eggs in one basket.”
In recent years this approach has seen Indigo Dingo successfully balance work with big brands such as Alfa Romeo, Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur, Breitling, and The Guardian. We also work with smaller organisations like Somerville College, whilst also doing music related projects for bands like Treetop Flyers, Rive and the global live music movement Sofar Sounds.
Above all, Paul believes that the key to a successful home business is never losing sight of the passion that was the initial catalyst for setting it up in the first place: “If you want your business to have longevity you have to stay in touch with what motivates you. It’s not just about getting more clients and more money, it’s about doing work that is fulfilling, and never moving too far from the coalface because if you spend your whole time managing others instead of doing the thing you love, you’ll lose the spark that motivated you in the first place.”