New year new business

By Shirley Hermiston, Business Support Manager

Clean Bean Seaham, who were supported by the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC)
Linda and Paul Barron, owners of Clean Bean Restaurant & Bar

The Christmas and New Year celebrations are officially over and it’s back to reality and back to business.

The New Year is often a time to take on a new challenge and in my experience it’s a popular time for people to start a new business. We certainly see an influx of aspiring entrepreneurs at the beginning of the year.

It may be you have a hobby you think you could turn into a successful business, or you’ve found a gap in the market for an innovative product. Whatever it may be, seeking advice from a trusted business support organisation can help you set clear goals and provide you with the necessary information and support to give you the best start in business.

There’s lots to learn but nobody expects you to know it all and our team at the BIC are not here to judge. Over the 25 years we’ve been supporting businesses, we’ve seen thousands of ideas from voice-over services to pet sitters – we’ve had it all.

Entrepreneurs Paul and Linda Barron visited the BIC when setting up their Seaham based clean eating restaurant ‘Clean Bean’ and they worked with our business adviser Margaret Cook.

They said: “When working in recruitment I always supported other people with their dreams and now it’s time to fulfil our dreams of going self-employed.

“We have the passion and know there is currently a trend in people wanting to be fit and healthy, so it was the right time to start the business, but we needed help with starting up.

“We were delighted to work closely with Margaret who helped us write a business plan and signposted us to funding.

“Margaret also shared her experiences of seeing what businesses have done well and what they haven’t done well during the start-up stage. She was always there for us and we never felt alone; her support was very important to us.”

Whether you require funding advice or help registering your company, we’re here for you with one-to-one advice plus events and workshops designed to develop the skills required to start and grow your business.

Where your company will be based and the support you have around you once trading, is important too. Co-working spaces such as the BIC’s business lounge can feel less lonely when stepping into the business world. Working alongside like-minded businesses and accessing on-site support can help grow your network and build relationships with key contacts.

So starting a business in 2020 doesn’t need to be as daunting as you think. If you have the drive and ambition to start a business, the next steps are to seek advice and make your dreams of being your own boss a reality. Embrace the support available to you and come and chat to our friendly team on 0191 516 6111 or click here to find out more.

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