Vantaa as a stepping stone for fresh business – entrepreneurship made Jimmy Doyle re-evaluate what is important in his life
Jimmy Doyle’s one-man company Black Sheep Design is a result of firm professionalism, a need to find a balance between different aspects of life and a desire to decide for himself what he does in his work. Black Sheep Design does visual design and social media marketing for companies educating them to use social media to impact the way the public sees them. An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Jimmy works a lot with companies based in sports field: “The work is versatile – going from knocking on the doors of small companies locally to video conferencing with one of the biggest sport brands in the world on West Coast of America”, tells Jimmy, referring to his project with the American-based company Specialised Bikes.
EnterpriseVantaa – advisory services for starting entrepreneurs helped to get the business rolling
Before starting a business, Jimmy worked in marketing eventually the working pace changed: “It was getting so intense and busy – my role went from marketing to almost running the whole company”, recalls Jimmy, “I have family and kids at home – working six days a week, ten to twelve hours a day just didn’t match the family life.”
An idea to monetarise his skills and decide about his work himself became appealing. Luckily, a friend of Jimmy’s had recently started a business of his own and gave an advice to contact municipal business advisory services. This way Jimmy discovered the free services of EnterpriseVantaa, which was a massive help for a starting entrepreneur: “Without them I would be struggling so much more. It was a huge help because there is all this stuff you don’t know about when you’re starting a business”, thanks Jimmy.
Business advisors at EnterpriseVantaa told him to apply for the start-up grant, helped to write a business plan, pay insurances, start a bank account and many important things. “When you start a business, it is about you doing hard work. You can’t expect anyone to do that for you”, ponders Jimmy and continues to remark that the best feature of advisors was that they were positive and honest: “They told straight to you whether they liked your ideas. They don’t give a sense of false hope.”
Kiitorata – a place to concentrate on getting your work done
It was through EnterpriseVantaa that Jimmy heard about Kiitorata coworking space maintained by the Business Development Services of Vantaa. By renting a table there he managed to separate work from the hustle of family life at home: “It was a really good place for me to start. I tried working at home first but when you have all the family life around you there are too many distractions.” The best thing about Kiitorata was that it is an affordable place to concentrate on what you are doing: “Deciding to take it from working at home to an office space allows you to concentrate and focus much more on your business. Your time is better spent”, thinks Jimmy.
Jimmy believes that having an office looks good for entrepreneur: “If you want to have meetings, there is a restaurant, clients can come to the office or you can arrange meeting spaces elsewhere in the building.” Business Development Centre Leija where Kiitorata is located, is specially designed for developing entrepreneurship in Vantaa – in addition to the coworking office, there are the Business Development Services of Vantaa, EnterpriseVantaa, the Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce, Vantaa Entrepreneurs and the Public Employment and Business Services located in the building.
Entrepreneurship is a lifechanging adventure
The best in being an entrepreneur is the freedom to decide for yourself – what are you going to do and when: “The idea of having to work eight to four, especially in what I’m doing, just doesn’t feel good anymore”, reflects Jimmy. Now as an entrepreneur he has been able to gain the balance between what he does, enjoying his work, producing better results and better-quality work and at the same time having time for his family. Seeing that his work really matters gives Jimmy a lot of motivation: “The owner of one company asked me to make a new web site. Once the page was ready, their online sales started growing so much. They doubled their sales in one year!” remembers he gladly.
However, keeping on top of your bills can be hard especially for a starting entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship can be quite insecure: “You’re super busy making no money”, jokes Jimmy gloomily. Even though Jimmy does not think that his company is yet financially successful, it does not let him down: “It can be difficult to make a lot of money, but then you re-evaluate what’s important. I’ve put life satisfaction above finance”, Jimmy tells about the changes that entrepreneurship brought to his life.
For those who are contemplating becoming an entrepreneur, he has an advice: “I recommend this to people – find your passion and a hole in the market for it. If someone wants to set up their own business, it’s a good idea to make a business plan – it really focuses your mind on what your company should do. And I would absolutely recommend the services of EnterpriseVantaa – without them I would have been completely lost.”
More information about being or becoming an entrepreneur in Vantaa and the services available to entrepreneurs you will find on the website www.businessvantaa.fi/en.