Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is celebrating a significant milestone after helping its 200th new business start-up to compile a Go For It Programme business plan. Gavin Martin of Magnetic North Photography completed the Programme through the council after researching his idea to set up a drone photography studio.
This project is part-funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme.
Celebrating the success of the project in the Council area, Chairman for Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Mark Murnin said: “The Council’s Go For It Programme is proving to be a tremendous success. It has guided over 200 local entrepreneurs through the business start-up process and helped transform their fledgling idea into a real business.”
The programme provides expert advice and support to anyone wishing to start their own business by taking them step by step through the creation of a business plan that will provide them with the foundations for a sustainable business model.
“Helping new business start-ups like Magnetic North Photography is a focus for the Council and we would encourage anyone who has an idea for a business to get in touch and seek the support that the Go For It Programme provides.”
Magnetic North Photography specialise in commercial aerial photography and videography for a range of industries including television, advertising, construction, and insurance. Gavin launched the business after deciding to focus on his passion for creative photography and film.
Gavin explains: “I studied Marketing and Drama at University and then went on to do a Diploma in Copywriting and a Master’s in Creative Advertising. My advertising work took me to London and then Dublin, but after my children were born we decided it was time to move home.”
It was a conversation with friends about his interests and hobbies which started the cogs moving to transform his dream into a reality.
“I started talking to them about what else I could do and realised I had always been interested in photography and technology. So, I made the decision to get my drone permit.”
Not only did he receive mentoring support in the Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency where he completed the Go For It Programme he also found some networking and secured his first client.
“They asked me to do some videos for them and it just sort of took off from there,” says Gavin who set up his business in summer 2017.
“My work is very varied. One day I could be shooting a television commercial on the HMS Caroline in Belfast, and the next day I might be doing survey work for a construction company in the Mourne Mountains. As a new start-up and a small business you have to be prepared to be flexible and adapt to the work. The Go For It Programme taught me that valuable lesson.”
“I’ve combined a variety of skills and now I utilise them together, where previously they seemed unrelated. I have learnt a lot about post-production footage editing and colour grading as it’s something I really enjoy. It’s important to keep pushing yourself to learn, especially when you are your own boss.”
“I am doing a job I love and it is all thanks to support of the Go For It Programme. My Business Advisor Liam Quinn, and his team helped me get a business plan together. They were also great at helping me learn how to network and market myself.”
“The business is now coming together bit by bit. I never set out to do this type of work it just sort of evolved and now it is something I really love.
’The Go For It Programme gave me the confidence and self-belief that I could succeed with a combination of hard work and keeping my held up high.’
Such has been his experience of the Programme he would encourage all new start-up businesses to seek help and support.
“It is a free service and the support and mentoring you get is second to none and it proved invaluable to me. Why would anyone not seek it out?” he stresses.
Liam Quinn, Business Advisor with Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency on behalf of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council said; “It has been a genuine pleasure working with Gavin and helping him develop what is a new and exciting concept and bring it to the market.”
“He has true passion and determination for his business and is determined to see it succeed. He joined the Go For It Programme with specialised idea for a business and was determined from the outset to make it happen.
“We worked with Gavin to develop a business plan, focusing on his goals and aspirations, as well practical elements such as licensing, insurance and financial forecasting. Gavin is a very talented aerial videographer and photographer and we are delighted to see him push on and make a success of the business.”
If you have a business idea you’d like to develop or if you are thinking about starting a business contact the Go For It Programme on 0800 027 0639 or visit: www.goforitni.com