Plenty, like Carl Taylor, Sales Consultant, say no it’s not

The chances are you’ve been spending a lot more time at home in the past few months – whether that’s because your company has asked you to work from home, you were furloughed or your job was made redundant.

However, this period of uncertainty doesn’t stop people from thinking about starting their own business. Some might dismiss the idea as foolhardy in the current economic climate but for others, these strange times could give them the push they need to get started.

Many successful businesses began in times of depression or recession and statistics show that it doesn’t have a bearing on whether the business will survive or fail. Clearly, some sectors like hospitality and retail are struggling at the moment, but others such as eCommerce and medical equipment are actually thriving.

We spoke to Carl Taylor who decided to set up his own sales consultancy in June 2020 following redundancy. Carl worked in sales for market-leading UK manufacturing companies for more than fifteen years and had toyed with the idea of going it alone for some time when the ‘push’ came via redundancy at the beginning of the pandemic.

“I decided that I had made great contacts with suppliers and manufacturers over the years and I could utilise my experience and knowledge to help a number of companies with their sales functions from a freelance position,” Carl explained. “A boost to my confidence and my turnover was that I was able to reconnect with UK manufacturers that I’d previously worked for or had dealings with and they were pleased to tap into my expertise on a consultancy basis rather than take on a permanent employee.”

“Working for myself made me more agile and able to respond quickly to gaps in the market, especially for medical equipment like face masks and face shields. My clients turned their hand to manufacturing these swiftly during lockdown, even offering printed company logos and branding. I’m also working with Emergency Protection Ltd on temperature/fever scanners for offices, universities and schools, for which there is an obvious need at the moment.”

Despite his concerns about starting his own business during difficult circumstances, Carl had the drive to take on the challenge, knowing that he had strong expertise and contacts in the manufacturing sales sector. He has thrown himself 100% into his new venture. “I was already comfortable with working from home and mostly on my own as I’d done this in my previous jobs, but I’m now able to turn this to my advantage and totally focus on my new venture – I need to be on the phone, making contact with potential buyers all the time.

“I found that having a network of supportive and useful ‘friends and mentors’ has been vital – whether that was to guide me through the act of registering a company, setting up a presence on social media or when an IT issue strikes – it’s so important to have trustworthy people you can call on for assistance.

“I would say ‘go for it’ to anyone thinking of starting up their own business during this economic downturn. Especially if you have a good reputation in your sector, products for which there is a strong demand in the marketplace and you have access to a capable network of contacts and business guidance to assist you.”

You can connect with Carl Taylor on LinkedIn and find out more about the innovative manufacturing portfolio he represents.

CRM has years of experience helping new and established businesses navigate the most challenging of economic times. If you’d like advice and guidance from the experts, including more information on the 8 Step Business Improvement Programme, get in touch on 01865 379272.

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