When Anthony Ajayi faced redundancy from his job in a local laboratory, with a young family to support, he decided to take action.“I had absolutely no previous business training or knowledge, but given the level of local unemployment and realities of the job market, I felt self-employment was the only chance I had of making anything out of my difficult situation.”
Anthony’s experience in the academic world and his scientific qualifications gave him the idea for a new business; supporting small scale food producers including local dairy farmers, by helping them achieve their Quality Assurance and Food Safety objectives. But to turn that dream into a reality, he knew he needed to brush-up his business skills, which is where Outset Torbay came in.
“I did both the ‘Introduction to Enterprise’ and the ‘Business Start Up’ workshops and they were fantastic! The course content was just right, the delivery was spot-on, with advisors who are patient and completely understand what is needed. I loved every part of it.”
Anthony’s new enterprise, Radian Scientific, has now launched and was Outset Torbay’s 150th business start-up. He is qualified to offer advice on hospital and diagnostics equipment acquisition and installation, as well as providing a food microbiology consultation service. Anthony feels that the help he received from Outset advisors has been key to his success so far: “I am a very positive person and believe strongly in the enterprise latent in everyone. Outset has supported me and given me exactly what I needed to feel confident on the run-up to my launch date and beyond.”
Anthony’s plans for his business don’t stop there – he hopes that by hard work and determination he can turn Radian Scientific into a leading technical support company for the food and beverage industry, helping larger companies reduce their overheads by outsourcing their technical work. “I know that with sufficient support and motivation, the latent talents within can be made to flourish, blossom and yield great dividends for all. I believe that great strides can be taken by little people!”
Outset Bristol: Sally-Lee Phillips, Essence Of Beauty
Before joining the Outset Bristol programme at the beginning of July 2011, Sally-Lee Phillips was claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and was referred to Outset Bristol by her Next Step advisor. With a background in heath and social care, the beauty industry and sales, Sally-Lee had an ambition to provide holistic care for people living in the community. “I came to Outset Bristol to get a better understanding of starting up a business and the ‘ins and outs’ of what makes a business work,” says Sally-Lee. “I wanted to be in control of my own work ethics, hours and finances.”
Starting on Outset Bristol’s ‘Introduction to Enterprise’ programme, Sally-Lee embraced the opportunity to test her business idea, conducting market research and testing the viability of her business plan. Thanks to Outset Bristol’s support, Sally-Lee has now achieved her goal of running her own business.
“Essence Of Beauty is a mostly home-based business working with people in the community, providing beauty treatments such as facials, pedicure, manicure, Swedish and aromatherapy massages, waxing, eyelash and eyebrow treatments. My view is that beauty is more than skin deep; making people feel better about themselves greatly boosts their confidence and psychological wellbeing.”
Sally-Lee continued through Outset Bristol’s programme, receiving more than 40 hours of support and guidance to help her start a successful, sustainable business.
“The Outset Bristol programme has helped me with my confidence allowing me to realise that you don’t have to be a genius to start your own business. I just have to have an understanding about what I want to do and the passion and drive to see it through. Outset has made me feel empowered, starting out with other individuals who are just taking their first step in the world of business, yet I felt confident about the level of support provided by my Enterprise Advisor and all the other workshop members. Outset Bristol is very informative, yet structured to match each individual’s needs, helping you to anticipate barriers and deal with them effectively. The whole programme was memorable!”
Outset Cornwall: Charlotte Parker, Charlie’s Angels
After four years trying to find a suitable job, and studying at every opportunity to gain new skills, Camborne based Charlotte decided to take a step into the unknown and work for herself. With a burning ambition to create a better life for herself and her daughter, Charlotte Parker decided to kick unemployment into touch, by showing she could give herself and job, by starting her own cleaning business, Charlie’s Angels.
The idea first came to Charlotte after she obtained some short-term work from a local cleaning company. The lack of enthusiasm and poor service she experienced inspired Charlotte to do a better job herself. “It was my mum who first suggested the name of ‘Charlie’s Angels’, which I knew instantly fitted my new business idea. I wanted to create a unique, vibrant, and fun service which could provide clients with a professional but friendly service they could rely on.”
Charlotte came to Outset Cornwall to find with help in making her business idea a reality. “I had heard a great deal about Outset Cornwall programme, and I was keen to develop my business idea to get it off the ground. The whole team was fantastic and made me feel really welcome. The sessions gave me a more detailed understanding about business while supporting me in those early stages of setting up my company.”
Charlotte has adopted a personal touch to differentiate herself from her competition. As well as using a variety of eco friendly products, each new client receives a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates as a personal thank you from Charlotte and the team. This has lead to a range of different clients requesting the angels’ services, from yacht owners to local hotels.
Charlotte’s business is growing from strength to strength, as she has now taken on a number of new employees, helping her to expand the business further. “I knew the only way to keep the business growing was to take on a member of staff. It was a very frightening thought at first, but my first employee Kerry has been fantastic. She is dedicated to the business helping to spread the great reputation of Charlie’s Angels further.”
Charlotte is still ambitious to grow the business further. With help from Outset and the Princes Trust, she is looking to diversify into carpet cleaning. “The whole experience has been amazing from start to finish, thanks to Outset Cornwall. I have enjoyed meeting so many people that are like me, and have experienced the same barriers. I am now passing on my wisdom to those who are on the start of their business journey.”