Robert Harbottle first came into Five Lamps in April 2014 asking for help and advice in setting up his design, technical drawing, draughting and 2d/3d modelling business named ‘Eisenhorn Studio’
Having been employed in this sector for many years, Robert had never run a business and understandably, was slightly apprehensive about the prospect.
He first attended Five Lamps’ enterprise workshop, ‘Is it for me?’ which covers the challenges and pros and cons of being self-employed. Robert was also supported with one to one help, advice and guidance meetings with Ian Garforth, Enterprise Coach at Five Lamps.
Robert was placed on the New Enterprise Allowance programme, which provides job seekers with some financial assistance post start up.
Following some market research and operational preparation work, Robert saw that there was a healthy demand for his services and that his business idea was definitely viable. He attended Five Lamps’ ‘We mean Business’ workshops which covered ways to find and keep customers, how to network, social media and how to use it to benefit the business, legalities, finding premises, Tax, NI and self-assessment.
Robert said of the service:
“Going to Five lamps was the best start I could give to my business. Their courses are designed to furnish you with all the relevant information you need to get your business started and make it a success. Starting self-employment is daunting; there are a lot of unknowns. Ian, my mentor was fantastic. Having someone there to give support, bounce ideas off and give honest and relevant advice helped build my confidence and gave me the courage to go for it”
Robert was ready to start in June 2014 and signed off Job Seekers Allowance.
The NEA contract is delivered by Five Lamps and is part funded by the European Union, ERDF fund.