A Balby-based entrepreneur is hoping to navigate his way to a new career running a new transport business after securing support from Launchpad, a unique initiative which offers support and advice to individuals based in the Sheffield City Region who are thinking of starting their own business.
Alistair Nightingale first began exploring self-employment three years ago after being forced to look for alternative employment when the haulage company he worked for closed its UK operations. He decided to try his hand at contract work and began securing short term contracts working for a number of driving agencies.
Despite securing regular work the experience left him disillusioned and frustrated and so Alistair decided to use his knowledge of the industry to take the plunge and start his own business, delivering parcels and goods throughout the UK.
Having never run a company before Alistair decided to contact Launchpad, a business support programme which provides free advice to individuals who are thinking of starting their own business.
Working with a business advisor, Alistair attended a number of events hosted by Doncaster Chamber of Commerce which helped him to produce a business plan, allowing him to secure finance to purchase his first vehicle.
Alistair soon found his services to be in high demand and after securing an exclusive contract with a national courier delivery service covering the Doncaster area, he has been able to add a second, larger vehicle to his fleet.
Such has been the success of his fledgling business that Alistair is already hoping to recruit new drivers and is setting his sights on opening a new depot to help grow the business further.
Alister Nightingale, founder ANDS Ltd said:
“Using my own knowledge of the industry, I felt there was a need for a new business which provided a reliable courier service. My experience of working as a contracted driver left me feeling under-appreciated and under-valued. I felt there was a better way and it inspired me to develop my own business ideas.
“Although I’ve worked in the industry since leaving the army ten years ago I never really considered running my own business, but the support I received from Launchpad gave me confidence in my business idea. It’s still early days for my business but I’m already looking for new drivers. So far it’s been a very exciting journey and the support I’ve received from Launchpad and Doncaster Chamber has given me the confidence I need to take the plunge..”
Claire Bossward, Business and Enterprise manager at Launchpad said:
“The Launchpad programme provides free support, help and advice to anyone who is thinking of starting their own business or has started trading within the past two years. In Doncaster the programme is delivered by managed by the Council and delivered by Doncaster Chamber of Commerce and Launchpad clients can receive twelve months free membership to the Chamber, where Alistair has been able to make new business contacts by attending regular events.
“Like many entrepreneurs Alistair had a clear idea of what he wanted to achieve with his business but he wasn’t really sure where to turn for help. Working closely with his business advisor, he was able to secure funding to purchase his first vehicle and then add a second to his fleet, allowing him to grow and develop the business further”
Launchpad is a unique scheme which forms part of the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub. Funded by the European Union Regional Development Fund and delivered by local authorities within the Sheffield City Region and the Princes Trust, the programme provides free help and support to budding entrepreneurs in the Sheffield City Region who are thinking of starting their own business, or have started trading within the last two years.
For more information on the Launchpad programme and how it operates throughout the Sheffield City Region, contact the SCR Growth Hub Gateway on 03330 00 00 39 or visit www.scrlaunchpad.co.uk