Are you a recent graduate, struggling to get a full-time job in the role that you want?
James and his business partner Craig were in the same situation when they graduated with degrees in Music Technology from De Montfort University.
James Hill is the co-director of Hx2 Productions, an audio equipment hire and installations company based in Leicester.
He and Craig approached the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity because of how difficult it was to secure full-time work in the industry they were heading into.
James said: “Myself and Craig were both thinking of jobs we wanted to do when we completed our degrees in Music Technology. We wanted work relevant to the course and we were both familiar with Leicester music venues, having worked in several. Our experiences working in these venues showed us how difficult it was to gain full-time regular employment in sound engineering, when you start off at the bottom as the work is very much on a casual basis.
“This inspired us to go out on our own and create a business and work for ourselves.”
Initially when they approached the Charity, all they thought they needed was financial backing, but when STWLC deals with new business borrowers, it advises them about all the different aspects of setting up a company. With the Charity’s help, they soon realised there was much more to starting a new business than they first anticipated.
“Having the initial idea: ‘start an audio rental company’ seemed simple enough. But when we really thought about it, there was lots of work to do. Getting equipment together at the right price, having an idea of who our customer base was likely to be, developing artwork and business advertisement materials, starting accounting procedures to name but a few,” said James.
The business loan they received helped James and Craig to get started and they’ve been gradually growing ever since. They have provided equipment and audio engineering services to clients such as Leicester City Football Club, Leicester Comedy Festival and De Montfort University Students Union, and it’s looking likely they will have repaid their loan in its entirety by the end of the year.
Starting their own business venture was neither of the two co-directors of Hx2 Productions’ initial plans – but it’s worked out brilliantly for both of them. Although not necessarily the easiest path to take, with a bit of help becoming self-employed after university can be a completely feasible plan.
James said: “Starting a business was not what we had in mind when we began further education but due to the jobs we wanted to do it was the natural choice to make. The best thing about being your own boss is having the flexibility of your own time around the jobs. You can choose when to work and have the responsibility to manage your business the way you want to without having to do the nine-to-five Monday to Friday.”
Click here for more information on Hx2 Productions and the services they provide.
Thinking of applying for a loan from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity? James’ advice to new business borrowers would be: “Don’t hesitate to do it. The money they might invest in you is only part of the support. The way you have to organise yourself to present your business loan and pitch really gets you thinking seriously about how you will make your business a success in the real world after you have your initial idea.”
For more information on our business loans click here.