A leap of faith
KSH Safety Services used the valued expertise of St Helens Chamber when setting up. The Chamber has recently published this article about my experience.
The full text of the article, written jointly by the Chamber and ourselves is shown below. For more information about the free support available from St Helens Chamber to start a business, call 0845 340 9980, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.sthelenschamber.com/startup.
After 19 years of working in environmental and health and safety services, Kevin decided to go it alone, setting up his own business KSH Safety Services, with the help of St Helens Chamber and the New Enterprise Allowance. Kevin commented: “I decided to take the leap into self-employment due to the vast experience I have gained in the Health and Safety field. I have worked in Health and Safety for many years for Manchester City Council and Bury Council. “I gained my Chartered IOSH status 11 years ago and in 2009 received the National Health and Safety Consultant of the Year Award. “Running my own business is something I have always aspired to do and I’m not in it for the money. I’m passionate about health and safety and it’s something I love to do, so I try keep my costs as low as possible.” Kevin approached his local Job Centre and found out he was eligible to receive New Enterprise Allowance (NEA), a package of government support for unemployed people looking to start their own business. He was referred to the start-up team at St Helens Chamber. Kevin added: “I met with my dedicated business coach Cath Hickey who talked me through the NEA and offered support and advice as I worked through my business plan and cash flow forecasting. “I also received support from a Business Mentor, who I met with once a week for 6 weeks until I got my business going. “It was really useful to have the support and guidance from my mentor and I have put some of his suggestions into practice.” Kevin also participated in the Chamber’s Understanding Enterprise workshops, designed to equip new entrepreneurs with the essential skills needed to launch their own business, including: marketing, finance and IT. “The Online Marketing workshop was really good and I found it extremely beneficial. The Finance workshop was also really useful because I’ve always done Health and Safety, but never had to do my own tax and financial forecasting. “I think the workshops were great for teaching you the basics of how to run a business and covering the things you don’t know and don’t get taught whilst you are in employment. “One of the best aspects of the start-up support for me has been knowing you’re not on your own and that there are people there to support me, be it staff at the chamber, my mentor or even the other start-ups on the course. “Because we are going through same issues you can feed off each other and have that support to keep you going as you know you’re not on your own.” Following the launch of his business, KSH Safety Services, in January, Kevin became a Member of the Chamber. He has worked hard to promote his business through networking at the Chamber’s Business Breakfasts and other local networking events, choosing this as a preferred choice of marketing. “The Membership was heavily discounted for the year as a new starter, I think I’ve had that over 200 times back. Just the support and knowing there are people here to help if I needed it has been really beneficial. “I’ve found the Chamber extremely helpful and I would and do recommend Chamber Membership to other businesses. It’s not just having the logo on your website and the Chamber Protect services. There is a lot of expertise. If the Chamber don’t know something they’ll point you in the right direction.” KSH Safety Services offers a variety of health and safety packages to small businesses including e-learning courses, on site health and safety support, telephone and email advice and access to a health and safety professional. “My focus has been mainly on small businesses that don’t have an onsite health and safety presence. I can provide them with access to a competent health and safety professional as well as a range of other services, including health and safety audits, helping with procedures, onsite training and e-learning courses”, added Kevin. To find out more about KSH Safety Services visit their website: KSHSafety.com For more information about the free support available from St Helens Chamber to start a business, call 0845 340 9980, email email@example.com, or visit http://www.sthelenschamber.com/startup.