Category Archives: Case Studies
Will Lilburn Quick was made redundant in 2011, his decision to accept this was a result of time analysing and exploring what he really wanted to do with his life at this stage. As he had an enthusiasm and 25 years experience in the DJ industry, Wil decided to take a leap of faith and decided to set up as a DJ on a self-employed basis. Wil has a passion for music, and has a wide collection of equipment and music, which he has collated over the years. Wil’s business currently allows him to work as a DJ, offering his services to weddings and parties. Wil also can be seen DJing at social events on a Saturday night at the highly popular ‘Front Room Disco’ and offers a unique vintage horn gramophone for hire, which is ideal for weddings. This business launched in October 2013 and received help through New Enterprise Allowance.
With Zahra’s help, Wil was able to write a robust business plan and a cash flow representing his first two years of trading, which was submitted to the New Enterprise Allowance. Wil was successful in acquiring this and a small loan which he invested into two gramophones. Support from Zahra included goal setting, constructive action planning and contacts to get him started. Through Bradford Kickstart Wil was also able to gain support on Social Media and managing his finances.
Will’s main challenge was competing with other more established DJ’s and getting his product and services known. Whilst this was happening, the lack of financial income in the first months of trading impacted on his personal life negatively as he didn’t have the financial income to support his family. Now Wil has been part of exciting and interesting opportunities, such as being able to play at a festival in Saltaire. Will acknowledges that as a self employed businessman he has many benefits such as spending more time with his family and being the sole owner. This has also given the opportunity to be flexible with his time.
Will continues to look for more work and grow his reputation as a reliable DJ and Gramophone business. His main aim at the moment is to gain independence and support his family.
DJ Wil Oddsox
Will Lilburn Quick
T 07789 203 383
Danny Hardaker first met his Kickstart business coach, Candy Squire-Watt when he applied for the New Enterprise Allowance to set up a Video Production Company with 2 friends. Recently graduated from Trinity and All Saints in Leeds with a first in Film Studies he was very creative and full of ideas. However, he was also very practical, and when he initially registered as self-employed it was doing cleaning and maintenance of holiday cottages!
Unfortunately the partnership did not work out, and Danny struck out on his own, working regularly with Candy to explore ways of building his business and creating a separate body of work that was both creative and commercial. Danny is based in Haworth and the Worth Valley and was interested in working quite locally. He became very involved with the local voluntary and community sectors, as well as producing videos for accommodation providers to use on their web-sites. He has continued to meet regularly with Candy, and they have covered areas such as completing his first tax return, and networking to expand his contacts. Danny says; ‘It has been really helpful to me to have Candy around to answer my questions and act as a sounding board.’
In 2014 Danny worked extensively with local group ‘Worth the Tour’ producing video footage of some of the creative events happening around the Tour De France Grand Depart, and has been the official Videographer for the huge Land-Art project ‘Fields of Vision’. He has also run a 16 week training programme for local organisation Smallworld teaching young people not in education how to produce a short video. The resulting film won the Audience Award at the River Aire 10 minute Film Festival.
He has also successfully built links with another local video production company Craven Image Ltd, being brought in to assist them with larger pieces of work that require more than one cameraman. This will go one step further in the future as this autumn Danny will take over Craven Image and run this business alongside his existing work. This will give him a great balance between the commercial work needed and the more artistic work he likes to produce.
Craven Image Ltd
Former Sports Co-ordinator Samrien Hussain has taken a giant leap of faith by setting up Yorkshires first ever real life escape game ‘Tick Tock Unlock’, with the help of Airedale Enterprise Services and Bradford Kickstart.
Keighley resident Samrien, had to overcome many hurdles, including a period of unemployment, before deciding to combine her love of problem solving and creativity to setup this unique business, ‘It’s not a concept that many people were aware of and we wanted to bring this to Yorkshire. It’s not been an easy journey and we had many challenges and puzzles of our own to overcome. We also had to do a lot of testing to get things right, which gave us lots to think about’
Samrien was referred to Airedale Enterprise Services for support, which hosts Rav Panesar, Bradford Kickstart Coach for Keighley, ‘Rav at Airedale Enterprise Services has been fantastic. He helped me to put together a business plan, referred me to relevant support and also gave me the confidence needed to make it happen’
‘I’ve never done a Business Plan before and looking online I got even more confused. It was great having Rav to help me every step of the way and it’s great that I can still contact him for help, support and advice’
Tick Tock Unlock, based within a 10 minute walk from Leeds Train Station, is a simple and exciting real life escape game designed for small groups of 3-5 people. You only have one goal, which is to escape from the room in 60 minutes by solving a series of puzzles, unravelling clues, finding hidden objects and working together as a team.
The business has had rave reviews since being setup in June this year and is now ‘Number One’ on TripAdviser of Attractions in Leeds, ‘Since trading, we have had lots of bookings from businesses, families, friends and tourists. The feedback has been amazing and we could never have imagined being the best place to go for entertainment in Yorkshire!’
‘We found a gap in the market and through the support of Airedale Enterprise Services and Bradford Kickstart managed to gain the confidence to make it happen. Ultimately we want a successful business that increases our reputation of purveyors of fun and entertainment so watch this space!’
Ramen is a qualified Chartered Accountant with years of experience in dealing with Tax and Accounting matters. Having trained and worked with a number of the larger practices in the area, suddenly and unexpectedly she found herself being made redundant. As with many people, this proved to be a shock and prompted her to reconsider her working life. Combined with the arrival of her first daughter, this led her to decide she needed a more flexible approach to work and becoming self-employed was the way forward.
Having made the decision, Ramen was then faced with 2 major interconnected issues – her self-esteem had suffered following her redundancy and so her confidence was low and secondly, how and where she would find customers. Ramen lives in the Windhill area and so she got in touch with the local Enterprise Coach for Shipley – David Humphreys. This introduction turned into a long term relationship and over a 3 year period with David’s support Ramen has moved from being uncertain and hesitant into a self-assured business woman. Now as well as working with clients on an individual basis she is also very comfortable facilitating workshops on finance across the District. Ramen said “When I first met David, I would never have considered myself as a sales person, however, with David’s gentle nurturing, this side of my character has blossomed. I have been able to become an active networker and secure new customers in a way that I would never have dreamt possible a few years ago.” In addition, Ramen found the Kickstart assistance in clarifying her market, what promotional tools to use to reach her market and the introductions to other organisations including Shipley College and Trident of great value.
Initially, Ramen found gaining customers to be a very slow, demanding and sometimes dispiriting process, however, she determinedly stuck at the task. All the hours of meeting prospective customers and providing an introductory no cost consultation have eventually begun to pay dividends. Steadily enquiries have become paying customers and they have recommended their friends and contacts. Throughout she has maintained her philosophy “We don’t prioritise our clients, all our clients are our priority” and the result is that Ramen now has 30 clients. In addition, she has found the time to run evening classes on bookkeeping at Shipley College and have a second daughter, all of which means the last few years have been a very busy and successful period for Ramen!
Lee Meadowcroft started working with Enterprise Coach Candy Squire-Watt in April 2010. He had worked in Freight Forwarding since he was 16 years old, and had a vision to start his own company before his 30th birthday that year. Over the following 6 months they worked together on the business plan, and Candy also assisted with the PR and marketing of the launch. Lee’s company Sabre Ocean Solutions started trading in October 2010, just before he turned 30.
Lee continued to access support from Kickstart as his business grew. By now the focus was on helping Lee to achieve his goal of becoming ‘ The main freight forwarder in Yorkshire’ this meant helping Lee to develop a strategy for growth, so that he had goals in place to measure performance against. In practical terms it was also about helping Lee deal with recruitment issues; working out how and when to recruit the right staff. Expansion was rapid, so interviewing and retaining the right staff was crucial. Over the past 3 years he has also moved offices twice, as he keeps outgrowing them! ‘Having Candy on hand to act as a sounding board has been really useful’ said Lee, ‘She has also been great at recommending other people to help me as well as keeping me up to date with any new initiatives that I might be able to take advantage of to help the business’.
Sabre Ocean Solutions had a turnover last year of £5.5 million, and the forecast for this year is £6.5 million. They currently employ 7 staff and have just taken on an additional 2 apprentices, something Lee knew he wanted to do some time ago. Lee’s next ambition is to set up his own haulage company to service the freight from port to customer; watch this space!
Berries Bagels and Shakes is the brainchild of Mr Zubair Hussain, an already successful entrepreneur with his estate management business called Conceige. Zubair was initially looking to offer a unique food and drink concept including a variety of milkshakes and exclusive Bagels that were not previously served at any Bradford food outlet. Not only this, Berries Bagels n Shakes were looking to attract health conscious customers by providing a menu full of fresh fruits and natural ingredients.
It was envisaged that the location being one of the main gateway areas with links to Leeds and the Motorway would provide many passing commuting custom.
Zubair contacted Wajid Hussain, Enterprise Coach for Bradford East and the initial conversation and support needs were based around business operations, staffing and shop layout design. Zubair was an extremely well connected entrepreneur and used the knowledge/expertise gained from his existing business venture to develop this new enterprise.
The Enterprise coaching support mainly came through assisting in the development of appropriate marketing opportunities for the business to ensure maximum exposure of this great new concept.
The Berries Bagels and Shakes marketing campaign was created by Zubair and his graphic media team and Bradford Kickstart’s intervention was based on the entrepreneurs need to develop a clear and consistent promotional activity using a variety of communication tools such as social media, magazine adverts, window retail presentation and selected door to door literature drops. Zubair stated “it was extremely useful to have a different perspective on my marketing ideas and how best to execute them”.
After the official opening, Berries Bagels and Shakes has gone from strength to strength and this is despite 3 other similar businesses opening in the same area. Zubair has managed to develop a number of loyal customer groups and is now engaging with larger businesses to offer a delivery service. With the latter, Berries now offer a free home delivery service for the local area and have 2 vehicles. There is also talk of another Berries Bagels and Shakes opening in another area of Bradford, so watch this space…