Tell us how #SBS has affected your business
It has increased traffic to our website significantly and thus increased sales.
I am a forth generation signwriter. My earliest memories are of being with my grandparents in their factory, playing with off-cuts of vinyl and making signs for my friends bedroom doors.
My grandparents retired in 2000, and I was convinced that I would pursue a career in law. All that changed when I went travelling in Australia and worked in a sign shop there. I fell back in love with the job.
When I returned to the UK, I started working for another sign company. Unfortunately they fell into liquidation. It was then that one of their customers, The Birmingham Children's Hospital, convinced me to buy up the machinery and go it alone. I have never looked back! My grandparents were so happy that they gave me my great-grandfathers book from the 1800's titled "How to write signs, tickets and posters." It is one of my most treasured possessions.
Four years on and we at HNS Signs are going from strength to strength. We have picked up several awards including a prestigious Industry Award, and are slowly becoming a creative agency offering all manner of signs, wall art and graphic design. We work with our apprentices to train them in traditional signwriting so that these skills are not lost and will be passed onto the next generation.
As I understand how demanding it is to set up a company by yourself, I help others to start-up by volunteering with The Prince's Trust and more recently by investing in a few special companies. Because of this, we now have a sister video and photography business and as of January we will have a web design and web development company.
1. Work hard and keep focused. Business isn't easy - if it was everyone would be a business owner. It is important that you keep at it and keep your mind focused on the end goal.
2. Have a good support network. Running a business can be lonely. It is important that you have people around you that you can talk to and share concerns with. I am luck to have a supportive partner, friends, colleagues and even a business coach.
3. Don't be afraid of failure. It will hold you back and stop you from flying. A mistake isn't a mistake if you learn from it!