win an iPad mini launchpad competition start up business enterprise north east trust

You may have noticed that we were running a competition in February 2014 to win and iPad mini – all the entrants had to do was tell us about their start up experience and give us one gold nugget of advice that they would share with somebody else thinking of starting up their own business.enterprise competition ipad mini start up business winner Gillian Thompson


The lucky winner, picked at random, was Gillian Thomson, Director of GT Conflict Resolution – who was looking forward to using her mini iPad for both business and pleasure. She popped in to see us last Friday and picked up her new ‘toy’.

Gillian shares her experience of starting up: “Starting my business was daunting! I had just finished a years maternity leave following years in large corporates, moved to a new area and had no network to speak off in our new location. My top tips for someone thinking of starting a business would be make the time to get out and network. I attended a Business Gateway bookkeeping course partly to brush up on my skills but also to meet some like-minded business people in the area. Someone I met there invited me to their BNI chapter (A networking refer all group) where I was able to pitch my business to 25 people, and from that I was invited to another BNI chapter - so another 25 people and an invaluable network across a huge range of industries!

Thanks for your insight Gillian – and congratulations on your win! If you would like to network with Gill you can check out her website at

Since we had so many fantastic insights into the start-up business experience from our entrants to the LaunchPad competition we thought we would also share a selection of them here.

Lisa Robertson of Inspiring Independence said that starting her business was “An exciting adventure!!! My top tip for someone thinking of starting a business would be...don't be afraid, just go for it!!!”

Entrant Susan Cameron of SC Creations said, “Starting my business was fairly straight forward, my top tip for someone thinking of starting a business would be to acquire all advice and help offered”

Thanks Susan, that’s exactly where Enterprise and Business Gateway hope we can help start-up businesses.

Samuel Moir of Sam Moir Guitar Lessons said, “Starting my business was a great idea, it propelled me to do earn a living from something I really enjoy. My top tip for someone thinking of starting a business would be... Take the plunge. Don't be afraid. And go to business gateway for free advice.”

Thanks Samuel – we agree!

We have a bit of a guitar theme here, Emma Hogarth of Emma's Guitars said:
“Starting my business was really exciting. I was able to make my dream career become reality. I understood that a lot of hard work was going to be involved but I was ready and keen to get things started, which I have successfully managed to do. My top tip for someone thinking of starting a business would be to have full confidence in your business and others will too.”

Paul Martin of Best Practice had a valuable tip for you all: 

“Concentrate on getting the product right first and neglect the marketing initially (I am doing the opposite)” 

This is great advice. Get your product right, and do the market research to ensure there is a market for your product. Once you have your product nailed you can start the search for customers. If you have identified a space in the market, there might be customers already looking for your product or service. You can find Paul’s updates on Twitter at @paulmartin42.

Austen Tod of Yoga Bellies in Dundee looks at the emotional impact of becoming your own Boss. She said:
“Starting my business was a leap of faith- now or never! - Buying a YogaBellies franchise gave me a chance to take time out from a stressful industry, gain a professional qualification, work for myself and bring yoga to women and children and in turn helping people, improving my community and growing a network of women helping women. She added “My top tip for someone thinking of starting a business would be... Plan! Go in with more money than you have projected that you will need in your business plan. And don't take everything to heart - your business is very personal to you and so it is understandable to be flustered or hurt when someone knocks your idea.”

You can check out Yoga Bellies on their website: and their Facebook page:

Sally Ross looks at how tiring starting your own business can be:

“Starting my business was exhausting! I believe I have a service that others will enjoy but having that self-belief when you are tired or finding everything you still have to do overwhelming is hard, especially with two babies. I'm impatient for my business to be a success and I have to remind myself and family that we are only 6 weeks in and lots has already happened. It's still very exciting and I'm glad I took to leap. My top tips for someone thinking of starting a business would be - don’t take every set back personally, even if that's hard. Take a deep breath and evaluate why it happened and how you are going to react and then move forward. Believe, evolve, and succeed!”

You can keep up to date with Sally’s progress with Bumble Beats on her Facebook page:

We are glad to hear that Lia Pirie of Beauty by Lia experience started with a visit to Enterprise and Business Gateway for the advice she needed. Lia said:

“Starting my business was very scary to start with but once I spoke to the business enterprise advisor Roz. She made it a lot clearer and helped with the things I was unsure of and also told me about the book keeping course which I am now looking forward to under taking. Also now looking forward to starting up with a positive mind and knowing I have support from the advisors at the business gateway. My top tips for someone thinking of starting a business would be follow your dream. Also I highly recommend speaking with a business enterprise advisor to give you a clearer prospective."

Beauty by Lia can be found on Facebook at:

Thanks for all of your top tips that came in via the Enterprise LaunchPad competition – we have no doubt that these will be most reassuring to other people starting their journey into self employment, becoming a freelancer and starting a business.

Keep your eyes peeled on our social media platforms for our next 2014 competition!

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