Rob and Laura Burnett responded to my request for small business owners to showcase themselves and their businesses on my blog to provide insight, advice and inspiration for others who are starting up/thinking of starting up their own small businesses – including me!
The idea originally formed because I was fascinated by people’s stories and reasons for setting up their own businesses and I wanted to learn as much as I could in order to educate myself for the benefit of my own business.
I wanted to find a way to ask the questions I wanted the answers to but I realised that if I was interested surely others were interested in the answers too! In addition, I wanted the businesses willing to share their stories to get something in return so I devised the ‘Small Business Showcase’ blog series which will give each small business featured promotion across social media. Win-win for everyone!
The same 10 questions were posed to all small businesses via questionnaire – here are Rob’s replies:
1) How would you summarise the service(s)/product(s) your business offers?
High quality, accredited, forklift training for all manual handling equipment.
2) How long have you been a small business owner?
Since Dec 2017.
3) What inspired you to set up your business?
I was a sole trader to begin with, doing jobs that my dad didn’t have time to do as he was also in the same industry. We then decided to form a company together to be able to expand further – we have a vision of being one of the biggest forklift providers in our area.
4) What platforms/strategies do you use to promote your business?
We only had Facebook to start off with and we have generally not done much marketing until the last month. We now have my partner Laura on board as a business development manager, so now we are active on LinkedIn, our new website is currently being created, and we are active on Facebook and Twitter too. We also have new uniforms in development and door to door business card marketing planned.
5) What do you consider your greatest business achievement so far?
Being a profitable business and in a position to look at expanding out further. Also, going digital – we’re one of the very few companies within the UK offering digital paperwork.
6) What do you consider your greatest business challenges?
Getting our own local, repeat business.
7) What resources/training have been most beneficial to your business so far?
Becoming digitised has been a great benefit. It cuts off a good hour of time for the instructors and it makes the inputting of data into the database ten times faster for the admin assistant.
8) What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting their own business?
Don’t just sit back and let things happen. You have to be aggressive and willing to put yourself out there. Don’t worry if you get put down, just get up and make the most of any spare time you have.
9) What are your future plans for your business?
Creating our new website, taking on new employees and developing a bigger social media presence.
10) Are there any other small businesses you would like to give a shout out to who have been an inspiration/support to you?
We’ve had a lot of help from PLP Fork Lifts in getting business and also from other forklift instructors such as Nick Vicary and Padgett Bros A to Z.
My ‘Small Business Showcase’ blog series will be published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday – previous showcases can be read here, here and here.
If you would like to feature your small business too, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.