You’ve done it. You’ve finally decided to run with that idea that’s been niggling away at you and start up your own business. Making that decision is a success in itself, but once the rush of excitement and possibilities bouncing around your head settle down, it’s time to take action and, quite literally, get down to business. This can be a daunting wake-up call to the ins and outs of building up and launching your idea. With so many questions, so much to consider, and the sudden realisation that it might not work out the way you expect, having experienced business owners and mentors to approach can ensure that those crucial first steps are the best they can be.
As an incubator space for startups and entrepreneurs, Launch22 are always on the lookout for ways we can help drive their success. We’re pleased to be welcoming a monthly Business Surgery that offers free expert advice and guidance. The sessions are open to all businesses, pre-startup or established, and there’s no need to book online; simply drop into Launch22 and you’ll get the chance to talk with people who have a passion for business and helping others launch their dream startup. They will listen, inspire, and steer you in the right direction and to the right support.
We fired a few questions over to Gary Beggs, a member of the Business Surgery team, to give you the lowdown. Gary has worked in Business and Commercial Banking for almost 15 years after graduating from university in Business and Information Management. He has helped over 1000 businesses startup over the years, including a company he helped back in 2008 who now have over 5,000 employees, a turn over of £6 million per year, and offices in Liverpool, Edinburgh, Manchester and London. Gary now also runs his own rapidly growing sports management company, Bold Sports, who manage a group of professional boxers, footballers, and sports television presenters.
Hi Gary, could you tell us a bit more about what Business Surgery is?
I would say we are expert entrepreneur makers and experts in preventing failure. For the past three years we have been supporting pre-startup and startup businesses to set up, grow, and become successful. We have some huge success stories and have also helped entrepreneurs save hard-earned money, time, and livelihoods by ensuring they set up businesses that work.
That sounds great! How did it start?
The Business Surgery was originally the brainchild of our friend, Gary Miller, three years ago, who created the first Surgery for pre-startup and startup businesses in the city at the Liverpool Central Library, as there was no funding for these new businesses. Gary Miller was previously the city’s Lord Mayor and is currently the assistant Deputy Mayor of the Liverpool City Council.
Gary then invited me to become part of a team of professional mentors based at Central Library every Thursday from 13:00 until 16:00. I offered guidance and support to entrepreneurs who needed help.
As a result of our success in Liverpool Central Library, we were approached by the BID (Business Improvement District) to launch a central business district clinic, which was initially trialled in Hotel Indigo the first Wednesday of every month. However, when Chris Witterick got in touch with me from Launch22, we decided that it would be a better suited location to relaunch our Surgery in the Commercial District.
How does it aim to help businesses?
The sessions are completely free of charge with no agenda. We are not looking at offering this support for any personal gain; it’s all about giving our time back to help businesses succeed. If any mutual partnerships are formed along the way then we will always be transparent and clear. For us, it’s about what is best for the client. However, partnerships are not our primary goal. We want to pass our experiences and knowledge on to entrepreneurs and startups in the city.
Finally, what can people expect on the day?
Our advice sessions are open for any entrepreneur and they have 15 minutes of the panel’s time to discuss their business. They are free to come back and see us at future sessions, which we encourage, as we like to hear how businesses have got on and how we can offer further advice down the line. We have feedback forms for before and after each session to give us crucial feedback, but more importantly, it gives us their information so we can follow up with further support.