My time with The Prince’s Trust has been amazing, it has changed my life in ways I could only imagine, and without them this business would not be working. This is the story of how I went from an unemployed graduate to freelancer in just 7 months.
I started with The Prince’s Trust after my job centre coach sent me on their out of work programme which essentially gives you the opportunity to do a work placement, with the potential of a job at the end of it. I did an interview, along with a room full of other young people at Marks & Spencer’s but didn’t manage to get the opportunity. This felt like just another blow in a long line of rejections from jobs and opportunities, however when they let me know the news on the phone the next day, they also mentioned the Enterprise programme (which you can read about here) and I jumped at the opportunity.
I went on a two-day programme which essentially explained what self-employment is, the pros and cons and what we needed to run a business. We covered marketing, business planning, expenses, taxes and a lot of other things which are essential to running a sustainable business. This two-day programme was where I met Charlie Brodie, one of my first clients, which was a massive boost to my confidence that I could actually do this whole “work for myself” thing. You can see the work I did for her here.
So, what next?
After the programme, we were each given an employee who works for The Prince’s Trust and told we need to make a business plan, which covered a lot of things such as;
- Core business model (how are you going to make money?)
- Background research,
- Competitor analysis,
- SWOT analysis of my business (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats)
- Market research (questionnaires, A/B testing, competitor research etc.)
- Expenses, income and outgoings
- Backup plan A & B
- Pricing structure
My business plan took roughly seven months to complete, mostly because of other factors in my life, but also because I knew it was very important to get it right. If you start out with a bad business plan, your business won’t work.
This seven-months led up to what was called a panel, essentially a panel of local businesspeople who support The Prince’s Trust board members in making sure your business plan is watertight and making sure that they can understand it easily. I was approved on the 28th September 2019!
My Prince’s Trust contact, Abi (and everyone else at The Princes Trust) was amazing. Despite being fairly new to the job, Abi knew what she was doing the majority of the time and when she didn’t (I ask some hard questions) she wasn’t afraid to ask for help. I can’t thank her enough for the support she gave me this year.
So, whats the future?
Now that I’ve been approved the support is still in place, but more so in the form of my business mentor, Roger, who has been amazing so far and has really helped me with decision making and time management. Onwards to 2020 I really want to get this business properly off the ground and start making enough money to support myself. If you or someone you know is interested in self-employment or starting their own business or just wants to find out what The Prince’s Trust can offer, go to their website or call 0800 842842 for more information.