A design and print agency in Bradford which has grown from a bedroom operation into a successful business employing five people has benefited from guidance from Bradford Council’s enterprise service.
Hashim Designs in Heaton has recruited an extra graphic designer to cope with its growing workload.
It follows a series of meetings with an enterprise coach from the Council’s Kickstart scheme, which has helped thousands of similar small businesses and start-ups across the Bradford district over the past six years.
Kickstart enterprise coach Zahra Niazi gave business founder Kashif Qureshi advice on making staff members’ roles and responsibilities more defined to improve efficiency.
Kashif said: “Everyone was working really hard but we were all doing different bits and pieces rather than focusing on particular areas.
“I didn’t know where best to start but working with Kickstart helped me to restructure things and make sure I was giving clear leadership to drive things along.
“It has already paid off and we’ve just recruited another designer because we are so much busier.”
As a teenager Kashif spent hours in his bedroom producing menus, flyers and leaflets for local restaurants and takeaways.
After building a strong client base he made a decision to rent a small office unit, allowing him to turn his designing from a hobby into a full-time job.
He then began offering print services and within two years took on an extra member of staff. Two years later he moved to larger premises in Adelaide Street, Bradford, branching further into websites, banners and external signs.
He is now serving clients like local health trusts and British Gas and hoping to grow further by building on the support from Kickstart.
Kashif added: “Graphic design was a hobby of mine, really, and I’ve managed to turn it into a successful business. Anyone who starts out on their own can make it work in the same way if they have enough passion – having services like Kickstart certainly helps too.”
Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for employment and skills, said: “This is another great example of how we can assist small businesses to improve, grow and as a result help the local economy by creating new jobs.
“Businesses across the country are still finding the economy tough going but there are opportunities locally for enterprising firms like Hashim Designs and as a Council we’ll help them as much as possible.”
In the past six years, Bradford Council’s enterprise programme has supported more than 1,500 new businesses and helped to create more than 5,000 jobs. It is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Anyone who wants further information about how Kickstart can call 0800 953 9503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
T 01274 745024