03 Aug 2018
For 12 years Ste Royle worked for a company in Warrington as a web designer. Starting as a junior web designer, he climbed the ladder, working his way up to manage the team.
In July 2017, he was shocked to be made redundant, with nothing planned and no job lined up to go into, Ste started looking into different options.
Ste commented: “One thing I’d always aspired to do was run my own business and work for myself, but I didn’t really know what that would entail.
I’d always pictured myself starting a business a little later in life and more towards the end of my career.
“Being made redundant gave me the opportunity to explore the option. I needed to choose something to do be it finding employment or looking into starting my own business.”
After taking advice from a close friend who has many years of running their own businesses, Ste approached his local job centre and discussed the options surrounding setting up his own business. He found he was eligible to receive New Enterprise Allowance (NEA), a package of support for unemployed people looking to start their own business.
With the support of the NEA and his redundancy pay out, he decided to take the leap into self-employment and was referred to St Helens Chamber’s start-up team.
He met with his dedicated business coach, who talked him through his business plan and the application for NEA.
Ste said: “I knew what a business plan was but hadn’t done one before, so it seemed like a daunting task. It was broken down into four weeks, so gave me time to work through it and think of things I hadn’t thought about.
“The start-up support has been great. I knew nothing about starting up my own business going into it. It was fantastic to take a little idea that I’d had and get feedback from professionals, who deal with people like me every day and highlight different ideas and aspects of starting my business that I hadn’t yet thought about.”
Ste 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.
Ste added: “One of the best aspects of the start-up support for me was doing the sessions in a group. Everyone had different ideas but it was helpful to see how they were approaching their new business and how they were doing things differently.”
In just a few weeks, Ste was ready to launch his new business FroggaByte offering web design, ecommerce and social media services.
Since launching his business he has also got involved in other areas including setting up email systems and GDPR consultation.
He also won a contract at The Foundry Church, leading the IT and Media. Here he manages the IT equipment, produces weekly church news videos, makes sure graphics, videos and materials are ready for services and oversees the team who operate the AV equipment during the church service.
“I was fortunate to be offered a contract working at the Foundry Church for three days a week before I launched my business, so I knew I had a regular income coming in for those three days and could use the rest of the time to source other work.
“It’s been a strange transition to launch my own business and go from a role where I’m working for a company coding, managing a team and talking to clients to doing what I do now where I have to be a sales person, market my business, do my own accounts, which I wasn’t familiar with doing and balancing that with the web design side, which I enjoy doing.”
The New Enterprise Allowance is funded by the Department of Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund.
If you are unemployed and thinking of starting a business, speak to your JobCentre Plus adviser for more information about the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme.
Find out more about FroggaByte by visiting the website http://froggabyte.co.uk/
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 https://www.sthelenschamber.com/startup.