Multiple projects can easily turn into long-term gigs or businesses if you start to take them seriously. At EnterprisingYou, we are proud to support local gigs workers and the self-employed. We caught up with Josh Wilkinson, our client and a videographer based in Manchester, to find out more about the business, his EnterprisingYou journey and the plans for the future.
Hi Josh. Tell us about your business and how did you start.
So, we are a small video production company, it was formed by me and a few other fellow filmmaking university graduates. We started off mainly doing things like gigs, talks, event nights and promotional videos.
These events helped us build a foundation. From there we got in contact with Manchester city council who got us on their Manchester youth market scheme. And we worked quite closely with them for a while. We worked with Platt Fields Park, Manchester Libraries and Manchester Met University. From there we got into working with the business growth hub. We did a couple of jobs filming some of their events. The money started coming through steadily enough for us to consider it a job.
How did you hear about EnterprsingYou?
One of our team knew our business coach Martin and they had prior experience with him. So, Martin contacted us to talk about the business and then we went in for a meeting to discuss further. We stayed in contact with EnterprsingYou and then it all just fell into place, we got really lucky with everything.
We have been invited to submit a proposal to run a course to train small business owners on how to make their own social media videos. It is basically identical to something that we were trying to do in lockdown. Giving them some of the basic skills to do with camera work, lighting, sound editing and tips on the cheap gear that they could get if they wanted to improve it a little bit. Allowing them to establish the skills they needed so that they could make their own content.
Since joining the programme, how has EnterprisingYou helped?
As a small business owner, I attended quite a lot of the courses which have been really useful. I didn't have experience doing the logistics side of things, such as tax and doing everything by the book, and the programme has been really helpful in helping me to understand these aspects of business much better.
The knowledge from the courses has saved us so much time and I would not have got anywhere near as far as I have without all the support from EnterprisingYou.
Just having a resource there that isn't just a block of text to read through on how to do everything makes a huge difference. You have step-by-step support and you’re able to ask those questions you really need to. EnterprisingYou were pivotal in putting a foundation in place and making sure that I had that knowledge to be able to push the business further down the line and make sure that I hadn't made any mistakes earlier on that are going to affect me later.
It’s an amazing service!
What have been the benefits of having a coach?
The most valuable resource that we've had by far is our business coach Martin. He operates in the same way that we operate. We gel together well, and he works with us on our level which I really appreciate.
When it comes to the whole business side of things and setting up, the fact that there's someone there if I have any issues. For example, I could give him a ring or send him an email when I was doing our first lot of corporation tax. And he would always get back to me straight away and show me what I had to do. I can’t overemphasise how much of a help this has been, and I can't describe the benefit of having someone there. He is just so well placed to answer all my questions.
Even back at the beginning when we were first getting set up, we weren't sure whether we were going to operate as a limited company or a partnership. Having someone there to explain why we would want to choose different options was crucial.
How has your business changed because of the programme?
My knowledge of business fundamentals has improved so much, now I’ve got what I need to make sure that everything's above board and by the books. The programme helped me shift the way that I was operating. To an actual system that I can look at and makes sense, rather than a scrambling of notes. It went from being just me and the person who I co-own the company with kind of going through messages to everything being organized, professional and fluid. We have changed how the company runs because of the support we received from EnterprisingYou.
If there's anything we didn't know how to do, we knew we were able to go back to EnterprisingYou and that is a big help. It's a lot less stressful knowing that the support system is there for you.
What does the future hold for the business?
We are going to continue delivering our course and we would like to increase our work with events, coverage, and promotional videos. A car manufacturing company are celebrating their 20th anniversary and we are producing video for that, which is our first big project in such a long time. It's refreshing to have that kind of scale and to have the stuff to work towards. Going forward, it's going to be a steady rotation of work.
What would you say to someone thinking of joining EnteprisingYou?
I would say absolutely go for it.
Even if you don't take advantage of everything that it has to offer, even if you just do a couple of things, you're going to get so much out of it. You're going to have the mentor, who's going to help you with everything, who's going to be your first port of call, whenever you have any kind of issues. They're going to treat you as an equal. If there's anything that you're struggling with, you’ll be able to just arrange a date where you can just sit down and have someone explain it all to you and have that interaction.
Also, all the different small business owners that you can meet through the programme that you can talk to and learn from their experiences. If there's someone who's made a mistake, they're willing to tell you what the mistake was and how you can avoid it. You're going to learn something, and you've always got that support system in place.
You can find out more about Josh and his business here:
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.