Founder of Manchester Taxi Tours and EnterprisingYou client, John Consterdine provides bespoke guided, award-winning tours of the city. Manchester’s only taxi driver with a tour guide Green Badge and with over 30 years' experience, John offers unique discovery tours of the city from the comfort of his environmentally friendly state-of-the-art modern electric taxi.
We decided to catch up with the man himself and find out what drives him and his business...
Hi John. Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into Manchester Taxi Tours
I’m a Mancunian born and bred, I grew up in North Manchester and I've always lived and worked around the city. I started work as a taxi driver very young, I was only 21!
I quickly realised that a lot of people coming into the city for business and other activities liked to have a conversation during their journey and if I engaged with them, it usually meant my tip increased!
These conversations motivated me to learn more about the city and I began reading books and studying the city to give me that extra knowledge about the history of Manchester. I spent a lot of my downtime sitting outside some of our most iconic monuments like the Town Hall, the Cathedral, and the Free Trade Hall, reading about the architecture and studying the building as I waited for fares.
I went on a tour guiding course put on by Marketing Manchester in 2008. After passing the course, I started building my Manchester Taxi Tour business back in 2011 and I’ve never looked back!
How did you find out about EnterprisingYou and how have we helped?
One of the leaders from Bury council put me in touch with EnterprisingYou. Within two days of putting in the application I had a business mentor, a health and wellbeing mentor, a financial mentor and I was introduced to all the facilities that are available.
I immediately thought ’Wow, what a fantastic scheme this is!’. I've used aspects of the programme that can really benefit my business. I've been on a digital marketing course and I'm looking at some of the other courses available too.
I've been able to bounce ideas off a specialised business coach and explore ways to innovate my business. EnterprisingYou have given me a whole network of experts to discuss my business with and come up with new approaches and solutions to problems.
It’s great not having to be on my own, being self-employed can sometimes be lonely so having this passionate third party that knows about your business that can help and doesn’t have a vested interest in terms of financial gain; and they're not trying to buy anything either, it makes for a hugely useful network of unbiased experts to talk to.
What has been the most beneficial aspect of EnterprisingYou for your business?
It’s a combination of various aspects. EnterprisingYou offer a sounding board and knowing someone is there behind you that you can send an email to and know you'll get a reply, that is really important.
Being able to talk with people who have been in business and are expert business coaches, being able to draw from all their different experiences and knowledge has proved invaluable to myself and my business. They can help point you in the right direction or make suggestions like, ‘have you thought about doing it this way?’because ‘this worked for us before’ etc. It’s nice to know you have someone in your corner that you can pick up the phone to and have that sort of support.
The courses have been extremely beneficial, there are so many available on the EnterprisingYou portal and I've benefitted from, such as digital marketing, SEO and website building. This information gives you more skills in different areas which helps develop your business, and with lockdown there's been a lot of time to make use of the EnterprisingYou resources.
I'm using my time to learn, and you can apply the knowledge to your own business and build your business from it. The service is unbelievable, offering so much scope for businesses to learn and develop their skills to build their business.
The programme has been so welcoming and there's so much advice on offer from finance to marketing and strategy. The programme has given me the confidence to come out of lockdown even stronger! I have loved the experience and it has been brilliant in helping take my business forward.
What would you say to someone self-employed who is thinking about joining the EnterprisingYou programme or looking for somewhere to turn for guidance?
I would say get in touch with EnterprisngYou and go into it with an open mind.
There is so much support on offer, such a variety of resources and expertise, there is something for everybody. Take all the advice you can get; there’s all sorts of help EnterprisingYou can give you and it’s all for free! It’s such a fantastic programme and it’s so easy to access! Take what you can get and use it for the good of your business.
You can improve your service and build your business with the different specialist business coaches' advice and all the available courses. It enables you and your business to move forward and progress. The programme will open your eyes to new possibilities and ideas to improve your business. It really is a wonderful scheme!
Join the EnterprisingYou programme and you will improve your chances of developing your business. Start putting the work in now to help build your future, the help you get from EnterprisingYou will help with the knowledge and strategy to get to where you want to be in five years' time.
If you do have a business or even if you are new to business, everyone can benefit from the EnterprisingYou programme.
You can find out more about John and his business here:
- Website: Manchester's Most Unique Tours | Manchester Taxi Tours
- Instagram: Manchester Taxi Tours (@manchestertaxitours) • Instagram photos and videos
- Twitter: ManchesterTaxiTours (@MCRTaxiTours) / Twitter
- Facebook: Manchester Taxi Tours - Home | Facebook
- YouTube: Take a tour of Manchester with John Consterdine - YouTube
We provide fully funded support to the self-employed and gig economy workers across Greater Manchester. If you would like to find out more about EnterprisingYou, register online or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about the EnterprisingYou programme can be found here.