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Case study: Branding agency builds company with business card support


We speak to Jye Smith of Doublestar Co to find out how the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card has supported the company's growth.

Tom Goodwin | Published: 07 Jun 2023

From creating punk and metal posters for friend's bands in high school to working in advertising and starting his own agency, Jye Smith has always been a visual thinker.

So it wasn't a huge surprise when Jye found himself in the world of advertising and marketing after uni. Jye built up experience across a range of agencies and working across clients in a huge range of industries, developing experience and constantly looking for better ways to do things.

Eventually, he decided that he could offer clients better service if he was simply handling things himself. So he decided to take the plunge and branch out on his own.

Today, he's the co-founder of Doublestar Co, a branding agency that specialises in strategy, creative and design.

Since early 2020, the agency has been working with a wide range of companies to help them realise their visual goals – everything from new websites to complete rebranding projects.

"We work across a lot of different industries and clients, but you definitely see common threads," says Jye.

"I think our role is really to hold up a mirror to the client. We help them see things they didn't know in themselves, and then turn that into a brand identity for them."

Building any new business is complex, so it's important to have the right tools and support while you're going through the process.

👋 Hey there! We've partnered with American Express for this case study. Since Jye has an American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card, we'll be using that for the example throughout. However, you should always compare your options to see what's right for you. Additionally, make sure to read product T&Cs before you sign up for any financial product.

This isn't to say that everything has been smooth sailing, of course. Jye is frank about the challenges of starting a business right before most of the world shut down.

"I think it's fair to say we had some concerns in those first few months!" says Jye. "But we've been very fortunate. We've still been able to grow to a business of 7 people and keep clients serviced properly."

One significant tool that aided in the process was the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card.

💳 Card Feature: The American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card allows you up to 51 days to pay for purchases1. This can help you extend your cashflow as a business owner, allowing you extra flexibility when you're dealing with vendors and suppliers.

Keeping things under control

"When you're first setting up a business, one of the first things you realise is that you're looking for control a lot of the time," says Jye.

"In the early days, so many things are out of your control. Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something that you have to grapple with."

These challenges can come in a variety of forms, Jye explains – but one of the most common is simply unexpected expenses.

In the early days of a company, you're often at the mercy of the billing and payment schedules of clients and vendors.

"Anyone who's started a business themselves knows that this is often at odds with paying your staff and your own vendors," says Jye. "Not to mention the need to invest in equipment and software, pay bills and look for expansion opportunities."

Jye notes that the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card has been invaluable for handling these situations.

"Cash flow is critical," says Jye. "So having a charge card has been really liberating for the business – it's afforded us a lot of freedom in juggling all of these expenses."

Getting the show on the road

Travel has also been a big consideration for Doublestar Co. With various team members on the road quite frequently, Jye points to the link to Qantas as being a significant boon for the company.

Features like complimentary travel insurance and Qantas Club Lounge passes through the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card can allow for greater peace of mind while the team is on the road.

"American Express makes travel much smoother," says Jye. "With the bonus Qantas Points you can earn through referrals and spend, it makes it even easier."

"If there's an opportunity to use the Card, I'll do it – you've always got expenses, so why not get rewarded for it?"

💳 Card Feature: The American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card lets you earn 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on Qantas products and services, 1.25 points per $1 spent on everyday spend and 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on government spend, utilities and insurance3.

Future expansion

Looking ahead, Jye sees expansion across Australia and into the wider APAC region as key goals for Doublestar Co.

"We've built a culture I'm really proud of here in Rosebery, and it's something I really want to try and replicate in new territories," says Jye.

To Jye, the people they work with, the locations the company expands to – all of these are natural outgrowths of the company's motto.

"Our motto is 'Make beautiful work', which we feel resonates on a few different levels. We're not just making stuff for its own sake – it's something that has to serve the client, and that we can be proud of."

Conclusion

Working with the right partners is essential throughout the lifespan of a business, from start-up through to maintenance and expansion.

Whatever the future holds, Jye also sees American Express as key to the process.

"The day we started working with Amex was really one of the first days we started feeling like a real company," says Jye. "So I'm really excited to continue to work with it."

Learn more about the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card

Name Product Bonus points Rewards points per $ spent Complimentary travel insurance Minimum annual revenue Annual fee
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
170,000
1.25
Yes
$75,000
$450
(ABN holders w/ $75k revenue). Earn 170,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $6,000 in the first 3 months.
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