Lee McCall – McCalls of Kent

mccallslogo300x‘I came across Innov8 On Sheppey via a recommendation from a friend and so got in touch. They invited me along to the Business Startup Show in Olympia, where I got to discuss my idea to set up a minibus shuttle service to Gatwick and Heathrow, with the occasional trips to London Shows and places of interest. In my mind I had convinced myself that I needed at least £20k to £30k to buy a minibus and get everything set up to start trading, however following a valuable coaching session with Andrew, he helped me see that there was a way to test my business idea and setup with ZERO start up capital, simply by hiring a vehicle for each trip and by focusing on pre-booking trips to places of interest, where I was able to set dates in advance, instead of prioritising the airport runs where demand was less easy to predict.

I went home that weekend and organised a trip to a Christmas Fair in London, followed by trips to London shows with dinner included, shows like the Lion King, Body Guard, Mamma Mia and such like in the West End. Promoting the trips on Facebook I was amazed at how quickly the seats were booked up. It proved an instant success, with the business generating £3k worth of revenue in less than 2 months. McCalls are still offering the airport runs, however by focusing on the event management side I am able to plan out 6-9 months worth of trips and start taking bookings immediately. This allows me to forecast demand and plan accordingly.

As a result of the success, four months in I have left my full-time position and gone casual with my old firm, so that I only pick up jobs with them when I am not running events for my own business. Innov8 On Sheppey are also helping build my website and have developed a booking system where people can book their tickets and pay their deposits online.

I am so glad I contacted Innov8 On Sheppey and, if you are considering starting a business, I would urge you to do the same also.’