If it wasn’t for Innov8 On Sheppey then we wouldn’t be here today. We all met for the first time at the end of August when we were invited along to the centre to take part in a workshop. Little did we know that Andrew would have us teamed up and producing our first app by the end of the day.
Having access to the facilities and on tap advice, from someone who has been around the block a few times, has been absolutely invaluable. It’s the best thing we’ve done and we’re so grateful to Innov8 On Sheppey for giving us this opportunity.
‘I called into Innov8 On Sheppey following a conversation with my advisor at the Job Centre Plus. I was hoping to get advice on how best to start up my web design business but got a lot more than I bargained for. After an hour with Andrew, he turned to me and told me that there was someone he would like to introduce me to and that I should take a look at what he had started with a local online market place, similar to the Amazon Marketplace. I met Simon Kiteley at Aflier and we hit it off straight away. So now as well as working on developing my own web design business I am also partnering with the team behind Shop On Sheppey and helping them bring this exciting project to market.
I wouldn’t have had this opportunity had it not been for Innov8 On Sheppey. Thanks guys!’
‘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.’
‘Twinklinglittleones baby massage and yoga had been in the front of my mind for three years. I achieved the relevant qualifications and begun some private work with friends and voluntary work with vulnerable families. I am not a business person though-and had heard about the business incubator via facebook. During my first meeting with Andrew, I knew that when he stated ‘…and when you need to employ others to help cover your workload…’ I was in the right place! My ideas are becoming reality and I now believe that I can do it!’
`Innov8 On Sheppey have given me great support with my new business. I love motorbikes and wanted to start a business where I refurbished and sold them for a living. Thanks to their input and guidance I have been able to redefine my ideas and focus on my business plan. They have put me on the right path and have given me the confidence and determination to make my business a success.’
‘Andrew Deeley from Innov8 on Sheppey has helped us a lot in getting our business ready to start. He gave us lots of advice in the early days about what we would need to do to start our business , he also helped get us on the right path with the job centre who placed us on the NEA program and helped us get our business plan ready for the NEA mentor to sign us off as a viable new enterprise, and allowed us to commence with the program to get financial help to start our new company.
We saw a big gap in the men’s and boys clothing market here on the Island and so wanted to set up an online store to provide people with more choice, especially in the age range of 8-adult because the choice available in the shops on the Island is very limited. We are aiming to have our business up and running within the next couple of months.’
‘As a self-employed person starting up a business I have found the team at Innov8 On Sheppey to have been invaluable; giving advise on self-employment and tax, as well as help with a website and lot’s of practical information that’s needed when starting out. Magda’s Holistic Therapies offers professional holistic treatments and training courses at an affordable price. Located at Calm Company Victoria Street I specialise in Reiki and Reiki courses, Traditional Thai massage, Indian Head and Indian Face massages.’