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A new business launched with New Directions work training

Megan’s journey with New Directions to launch her business – Novella Style Consultancy

How it began

Megan was referred to New Directions in March 2020, looking to becoming self-employed as an Image Consultant. She wanted advice on any funding available to help her get started and was planning to launch her business on April 6 2020 ready for the new tax year, with her business plan already approved.

Megan’s story

We met with Megan, discussed how her business would work and what her biggest obstacles for launching the business would be – for Megan this was childcare costs for her young daughter. We asked Megan to research local nursery costs and we agreed to fund 5 days that Megan needed for her initial appointments with customers. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 lockdown in March, nurseries closed and this meant that Megan’s business launch was put on hold.

Not wanting to waste any time, Megan decided to focus on gaining new skills that would help her business when lockdown ended. Together we considered different distance learning courses with various providers to find the most suitable one. Megan let us know she only had her mobile phone to access the internet on and didn’t feel she would be able to successfully complete the course just using her phone. To overcome this hurdle, we discussed which would be better, childcare costs when her business was able to launch or help with the costs of a tablet, which meant she could complete the course and prepare what she needed for when she could launch her business. She decided a tablet would help most in the current situation.

We met with Megan, discussed how her business would work and what her biggest obstacles for launching the business would be – for Megan this was childcare costs for her young daughter. We asked Megan to research local nursery costs and we agreed to fund 5 days that Megan needed for her initial appointments with customers. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 lockdown in March, nurseries closed and this meant that Megan’s business launch was put on hold.

Not wanting to waste any time, Megan decided to focus on gaining new skills that would help her business when lockdown ended. Together we considered different distance learning courses with various providers to find the most suitable one. Megan let us know she only had her mobile phone to access the internet on and didn’t feel she would be able to successfully complete the course just using her phone. To overcome this hurdle, we discussed which would be better, childcare costs when her business was able to launch or help with the costs of a tablet, which meant she could complete the course and prepare what she needed for when she could launch her business. She decided a tablet would help most in the current situation.

Overcoming hurdles

Megan registered for her course, we researched and ordered her tablet and Megan thought that was that – however, an unexpected call from her work coach changed everything.

Megan was informed she needed to launch her business by the following day or she wouldn’t be entitled to help from the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) she’d been promised back when her business plan was approved.

Go for it!

We worked with Megan and discussing all of her concerns about immediately launching her business during lockdown and also becoming self-employed. Megan decided to go for it, with nothing to lose and hopefully everything to gain even if it’s not straight away.

Megan said: ‘New Directions have been invaluable to me. The consistency, support and new opportunities that have become available to me will support not only my business but me personally. Having one dedicated advisor, who can be contacted anytime and who is in regular contact with me is fantastic. I couldn’t have done this without the support of my advisor. I’d recommend New Directions to anyone.’