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Start Licensing’s Ian Downes Shares Work-from-Home Insight

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Ian Downes of Start Licensing describes how he works from home and shares tips for others.

Ian Downes, director, Start Licensing, has worked from home for 15 years, but now that it’s required to do so, even he has had to switch up his routine.

“I am a veteran of working from home, having been a home office worker for some 15 years,” says Downes. “However, this is markedly different. Pre-lockdown, my working from home was peppered with meetings and sales trips. I used to break the day up between meetings with walks around London buffing up my history knowledge. Obviously, this is not possible now.”

To make his new normal as productive as possible, Downes has been using his extra time to connect with as many licensees and licensors as possible.

“For example I have sent updated brand decks to all our Aardman licensees and encouraged them to keep in touch,” he says. “While it may seem off key to be planning ahead and attempting to ‘sell,’ I think it is essential to look to the future and be ready to kickstart things.”

With this in mind, Downes has set a daily new business target of contacting new companies – often by letter. His mindset in doing so is to use this time to build new business credit for the future. Downes says he also finds this to be a good time to research companies, sectors and properties you already work with. 

“We have just started representing The Ashmolean Museum, and I am using some of my time taking a virtual tour of the Museum to inspire my thinking,” he says. “Other Museums have virtual tours, which allows a bit of Museum wandering out of hours.”

Finally, Downes is taking the time to talk to as many people as he can regularly.  

Licensing is a network business, and it is important to stay in the network,” he says. “We can all contribute by having conversations. There is a lot to talk about, not least the future.”

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