Category Archives: Case Studies
Nargus went along to a reflexology course because she thought it sounded interesting. She found she really enjoyed the course and a passion for reflexology was ignited. She began working at the local gym as a reflexologist. She really enjoyed this however wanted to branch out on her own. Nargus said she had always wanted her own space and to have a team working for her. She saw it as an exciting opportunity to set herself up. After going along for a few years she finally decided it was time.
Having already acquired a property for her business, Nargus was eager to get started so she contacted Zahra Niazi the enterprise coach for the Manningham, Toller and Heaton area. Zahra supported her with business name registry, looking through legal contracts, understanding VAT and other legal matters. Nargus said that, “Zahra had a lot of input and has provided ongoing support; she was available whenever I needed to speak with her”. Nargus has been really busy and found it a both thrilling and exhilarating experience shopping for her new business and decorating it in a Zen theme. She explained that the support provided by Zahra was very beneficial and that it was good to have someone to bounce ideas off and know that there is someone there to give their opinion.
From the onset Nargus had an opening date in mind and wanted to ensure that everything was perfect. She managed to attain her goal and opened up on time, just before the Muslim celebration of Eid. Nargus had a fantastic first day of business and customers were really pleased with the look of the shop and the excellent customer service. Nargus has many plans for the future of her business, she said ‘it’s the way we want it to be, it’s an achievement’. She is currently in the process of looking for a qualified nail artist, a beautician and hairdresser, which she hopes to have in post soon so that she can offer a wider variety of services.
Harmonize Holistic and Beauty Salon
A 955 Thornton Road, Bradford, BD9 0JD
T 07898 945816
In early 2013 Tanya Preston, a life long Holme Wood resident, realised that her kitchen and coffee jar were providing a service to her friends and family that could be the basis of a new business; Coffee Cox, your local coffee shop was born! Tanya and her husband Andy set about planning their dream coffee shop and created the Holme Wood Coffee Shop Face book page which got 600 fans in one week! They dreamt of a funky, friendly coffee shop selling paninis and cakes and outstanding coffee.
Tanya contacted Bradford Kickstart via their free phone line and was put in touch with Enterprise Coach, Celia Hickson. Tanya impressed Celia with her enthusiasm and drive and together they started to work on a business plan and to look for premises. After several near misses Tanya found a great place for her shop at 435 – 437 Tong St., but it needed a lot of work and Celia suggested a loan from the Start Up Loan fund was one way for Tanya to get the money she needed to get her business off the ground. Tanya’s application was successful and Tanya then set about getting everything together for her ‘great place to meet and eat’.
Tanya and Andy opened Coffee Cox on 27th August. They have created a wonderful, relaxing and funky coffee shop with a great menu which reflects Tanya’s passion for good, home cooked, and nutritious food. The shop has already started to develop a loyal customer base. Tanya and Andy are listening to their clients and have started to develop the Big Bad Breakfast Baguette for their early morning customers!
Tanya said “Back in April when all this was just a plan on a bit of paper, before we met Celia I did wonder if we would ever make it really happen. And here I am now in my own coffee shop, serving customers, and making people happy. It’s been hard work and I’ve learnt so much, about business, about myself and about being able to shape my dreams. I love it!”
Andy said “We knew what we wanted, but weren’t sure how to get here and Celia and Bradford Kickstart helped us all the way. It has been such a journey.”
Tanya Preston and Andy Cox
T 07716 328840
Phil Martin describes himself as having spent 25 years on PAYE before taking the jump into self-employment. With a life-long career in Aviation security, he has skills which are extremely specialised so he was able to find freelance work as an independent security verifier, and had also been delivering training in this area. However, legislation changes had meant that there was less verifying work available, and Phil also realised that training was what he really enjoyed, and wanted to do more of.
Following a chance meeting with local Enterprise Coach Candy Squire-Watt, Phil decided that a series of coaching sessions might be the key to helping him to develop his business. Candy helped Phil plan how he wanted his business to progress, and they started to look at specific areas to work on. Starting with collating his database, Phil was able to discover a valuable business tool. ‘I knew it was something I needed to do, but until talking to Candy I hadn’t realised how useful it would be’ he said.
Next they looked at time management, an area many business owners struggle with, and Phil was no exception! He is now making better use of his time, and finding the time to work on developing new business as well as delivering the job in hand.
Where They Are Now
Phil is continuing to meet with Candy, and has started to develop his own training materials; something he did not feel was possible when they first met. This will help him to meet his goal of ‘making the training room a happy place’, as well as improving his bottom line! Phil says; ‘I am now winning new work which I can directly attribute to the coaching I have had. I feel more motivated than I have for years, and can really see my business growing along with my confidence.’
Lesley Ellis is a life long food lover and home based cook. With a background in sales and marketing, experience in managing customer service and a real passion for great tasting food, she spotted a gap in the market for bespoke, fresh, home cooked food in the outside catering industry and so The Cooking Cottage was born. Everything is prepared from fresh ingredients in her kitchen in Low Moor. This includes baking all the bread, pastries and cakes used in her gorgeous outside catering. Lesley fuses the simple delicious flavours with her real eye for presentation and her food platters look gorgeous.
After several years of training, coaching and mentoring both in the business and education sectors, Lesley made the decision to follow her passion for great home cooked food and initially tried working with a partner who was based in Selby. After meeting up with her local Enterprise Coach, Celia Hickson, Lesley started to develop her ideas and catered for a local company at a lunchtime meeting and received amazing feedback about the freshly made sandwiches, pastries and cakes she provided which immediately led to a regular contract. In the build up to Christmas, Lesley sold her stunning cookie Christmas trees via a Facebook marketing campaign and by advertising locally.
Where They Are Now
After her first lunchtime catering experience Lesley agreed do something a little different and provided afternoon tea for 50 barristers in Leeds with a Mad Hatters Tea-party theme. Lesley said, “Starting my own business was a little daunting and getting those first few customers took a bit of time, but now I have got started I am learning something new everyday. The support and expertise of Celia, my enterprise coach is invaluable. Not only does her real enthusiasm for what I do help to motivate me, but she’s always there with great advice and even goes out of her way to help me find new business.” Celia said “Working with someone as passionate as Lesley is a wonderful opportunity to be part of a great enterprise journey, every one of which is unique.” Lesley has the basis of an excellent business and is making contact with local offices and companies with tempting introductory offers to get her name out into the business community around Bradford. Anyone who is looking to have a great tasting and freshly prepared hot or cold buffet, afternoon tea or other bespoke event should contact Lesley to talk about what she could do to take their eating experience up to the next level.
The Cooking Cottage
T 07894 167215
Following a period of personal upheaval, Andy Tough found himself unemployed. He had previously worked for over 10 years as a funeral director, but was unable to get back into this type of work. As time went on, Andy became increasingly frustrated with a life on benefits and approached Kickstart to look into the viability of working for himself. Initially Andy wanted to set up his own funeral directing business, as he has a great many contacts in this area. However he struggled to raise the capital required, as he needed premises, equipment and some working capital. It was definitely not a business that could be run from home!
Andy worked with Enterprise Coach Candy Squire-Watt to explore his options. Initially they explored different options and premises for the funeral business, but as Andy was increasingly clear about his desire to work for himself, they also spent some time looking at what else he could do. Andy is very sociable and confident, and one of the ideas he had was to run a pub. With this as a goal, Andy soon heard about a local pub in Keighley; The Woolpack, which had been closed but had since been bought by a different landlord, who were looking for someone to take over the licence on a self-employed basis. They were keen to have someone with good local knowledge who would put their own stamp on the business and make it a success.
Andy had a chat to Candy about the opportunity and decided to apply. Candy also referred him to the New Enterprise Allowance programme, and his jobcentre adviser referred him onto this. With Candy’s help he completed a business plan for The Woolpack, planning how he could attract a new clientele and all the things he wanted to offer such as Karaoke nights, Dominos, Snooker and live music. Andy said; ‘Candy has been so helpful, I needed a lot of help to put together the business plan as I didn’t have access to a computer for much of the time. She asked questions I wouldn’t have thought of which helped to get the business plan approved.’
Where They Are Now
The business plan was approved and Andy transferred onto the New Enterprise Allowance. This meant that Andy could take over the pub with the benefit of some financial help for the first 6 months; building the business gradually. As it was just before Christmas when he took over he really had to hit the ground running, and was working long hours from day 1. However, he knows that the New Year will bring different challenges, and he has plans to develop the pub, including re-introducing food. Candy will be on hand to support him as he continues his journey into self employment and builds a business that will support him for many years to come.
Address : 19 King Street, Keighley, BD21 1DJ
Background of business
Jilly Beaumont has recently started a small business offering copywriting, website writing and proofreading services on a freelance basis; she has been in business before, running a very successful book-keeping service while living in London in the 1990s. Jilly is also a trained teacher and offers one-to-one tuition classes for primary school children. While working for a client in Silsden, Jilly started to realise that although there are a great many businesses trading locally, there are limited opportunities for them to meet and get to know one another. Jilly chatted to a number of business owners locally and realised that there was a real need for a business networking group. She started to think about hosting a group herself which would allow local businesses to meet and encourage them to trade with one another.
Jilly initially met up with local Kickstart Enterprise Coach, Candy Squire-Watt, to discuss the first networking group meeting, but they soon realised that they could work together much more closely. Candy was available to offer coaching support to members of the group, but also able to use the group as a great way to introduce new businesses to the concept of networking in a very accessible format. By this time Jilly had booked a date for the first meeting and had started publicising it, and the group held their inaugural meeting in October 2012.
Where they are now
Like most small businesses Jilly wanted to increase her freelance work, and business networking allowed her to meet other businesses and talk about her offer in a relaxed, informal setting. There is no ‘hard sell’, just the opportunity to meet people and get to know the kind of work they do, so that if and when you are looking for a service, you have someone to call on. Ideally you will also pass details to family, friends and clients too. This is why business networking is so effective it expands the possibility of word of mouth referrals.
Gateway Business Network
T 07956 111195