We got what we needed to run a creative business
Lisa Strindlund, project manager and part-owner of the production agency Linkin on creative enterprise in East Sweden
Tell us about yourself and your business.
My name is Lisa Strindlund, I'm 31 years old and live in Linköping with my family. I am a project manager and one of six part owners of Linkin AB – an idea-driven production agency working with advertising in print, on the Web, and in film. We have a total of eleven people working in the company. I really love life as a self-employed person – after many years of hard work, we have finally achieved a structure that we are very pleased with. Now we can actually generally go home at 5 o'clock – it hasn't always been like that, I can assure you!
What is the climate for creative enterprises like in the East Sweden region?
When I started my business in 2005 we got a start-up grant from Arbetsförmedlingen (the national employment service), did a course on how to run a business, and got help from the Enterprise Agency (Nyföretagarcentrum). Probably this did not make us more creative, but it gave us what we needed to run a creative business. In our industry, creativity is stimulated among other things by creativity competitions – including Agdagalan, which is organised annually by Marknadsföreningen i Östergötland (the Östergötland marketing association). Linkin has entered many times and has won quite a lot of prizes. Obviously we are terrifically proud of this!
How does it work to run a business in Linköping with offices in Gothenburg and customers all across the country?
It works great! We have daily video conferences between the offices and handle many consultations via phone, chat programs and e-mail. We have run the business from two offices since 2008, so it has become a natural part of everyday life, and we try to actually meet about once a month, either in Linköping or Gothenburg. We work in the same way with our customers who are scattered all over the country, and even internationally – there it is a bit trickier however to find meeting times that work in all time zones.
How do you feel that the region's creative enterprises measure up in relation to those in the rest of Sweden?
This region is absolutely at the cutting edge! For example, we were named Marketer of the Year in Sweden 2013 for our campaign Gröna Påsen (Green bag), which we created together with PR agency Gnistra. This campaign was also nominated to 100-wattaren – one of Sweden's biggest advertising competitions – where we were the only nominated agency outside Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.