Posted by: Paul | March 12, 2010

Business is Predatory

Had a break from childcare yesterday to attend a free – that’s FREE! – Business Link seminar on starting your own business. I can’t recommend Business Link highly enough – very nice people, all their workshops are free and they provide a wealth of advice and info to anyone who is even vaguely thinking about starting up their own business. I think it’s paid for out of local government funding, so it was nice to feel like I was getting some kind of direct benefit for a change!

It was quite a diverse group of people, but mostly local to where the workshop happened (Five Lakes Hotel near Maldon – very posh!). At the start we did the usual “round the table” of introductions, saying not just who we were but why we were there – i.e. basically what we were hoping our business to be. On my left was a chap hoping to start his own driving school. Then me – freelance post production sound with a particular focus on arts & heritage. Then on my right, a chap made redundant from a large pharmaceutical company who hoped to become a consultant in the area. Next to him was a web designer who wanted to get out of the business because he claimed it was getting to hard to earn a living in. He had a sideline in – get this – designing and manufacturing Predator and Stormtrooper helmets and costumes, and he wanted to turn that into a real business. He had a Predator mask he’d just finished in his bag – it was incredible! I bloody wish I’d had my camera. Very impressive guy, I came away with his email address to pass on to a couple of friends who I just KNOW will be interested.

Next to him was a lady who worked for a firm manufacturing car upholstery for the motor trade. But she was really there because of her passion for local history, and she was secretary (I think) of a charity which runs the local Moot Hall. And, drumroll please… she had some funding for an audio tour! We chatted afterwards and are setting up a meeting, more in future posts. You meet useful people in the most unexpected places, no?

After her was a lady who traded in antique textiles. Then a couple of young Chinese ladies who wanted to set up an events management company. Next came a stay at home Dad, a bit older than myself, who makes custom-built snare drums in his garage. Finally was a husband and wife tag team of a German chiropodist and a huge guy from the West Midlands who looked a bit like Vin Diesel’s Brummie brother, who had already set up a magazine advertising discounts for local businesses. You couldn’t make it up, could you?

A fun afternoon, if the bombardment of information was also a bit scary at the same time. I’ll digest more thoughts and write more tomorrow, as I wanted to give an overview of the participants first. It’s almost like an idea for another sitcom!



  1. ohh that sounds promising, the Moot house thingy.
    Sounds like a good afternoon, was the tea good too ?

    • Tea was good – and despite the fact they said there’d be no food – hey, it’s a free seminar, I don’t mind – they actually provided pastries and biscuits too! I filled my boots!

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