David Ayre, 31, turned his hobby into a business in May designing and manufacturing buildings for table top war games. David then sells the flat packed buildings to other keen war gamers. David explains:
“It all began when I made my own paint stand using a laser cutter. After realising how easy it was to do, I decided to have a go at creating a few prototype buildings to try out on friends and family, which went down a storm. It was then I visited the BIC.”
David worked with BIC business adviser Margaret Cook who helped him to develop his business plan and supported him through the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA, a national government initiative. David continues:
“Margaret gave me all the help I could ever ask for to get Dave’s War Games up and running. The meetings we had were very relaxed and informal. Having a business adviser who is professional but down to earth and can explain things in ways that I could understand was vital.
“I knew how I wanted to run the business but had never written a business plan or looked at a financial forecast. Margaret explained costs that I had not factored in which I would have come across later had she not pointed these out.
“I love the flexibility self-employment allows you and the sense of achievement you get when you have a happy customer. I recommend anyone with a business idea to at least go and talk it through with a business adviser, and that way at least you’ll know if it can make a viable business.
“I believe I am the only company of this kind in the North East. I plan to increase each product line and continue to make contact with stores that are willing to sell my product.”
Margaret Cook, business adviser at the BIC commented:
“I am delighted with the progress David has made and to see his creativity come to life. He is a great example of someone realising that their hobby has potential and using that to their own advantage.”
The NEA programme aims to help those in receipt of benefits to start up a new business. For more information contact the business support team on 0191 516 6149.