Control your own destiny through self-employment Chesterfield entrepreneur Colin Bolton has launched his new business ‘We Do Admin and so much more’ undertaking every aspect of business for self-employed sole traders and small businesses.  The Work for Yourself programme funded by Chesterfield Borough and Bolsover District Councils helped him turn his skills in to this ambitious new enterprise.  “I started my first career in selling when I was 21,” said Colin, “The basic rules are the same: first sell yourself, then the company and, finally, the product.  Nowadays, however, it is no longer enough to just look professional.  So much of your image is presented over the phone, by e-mail and the internet that it is vital to get these first impressions of your electronic persona right too.” He undertook market research by talking to lots of people who had started their own businesses.  Colin said, “they had become self- employed because they were good at doing something.  But they found some aspects difficult.  This is where I can help: delivering e-marketing campaigns, providing professional business documentation, managing customer contacts on a database, undertaking routine business correspondence, helping get prompt payments and recover debts – and so much more.” Colin already has a wide range of clients – from the wedding industry and office supplies to an executive coach and a toast- master.  “My clients can use their time on their business strong points while I add my background helping to run their enterprise” he said, “I don’t want to become a millionaire, but to help the people who need my services.  I’m developing a network of other contacts so that together we can provide any support.  If all we small business people support each other, we also support the whole local community.” The Work for Yourself programme also supports local businesses by assisting other people like Colin with long-term health conditions and disabilities to fulfil their potential through self-employment when getting a job seems impossible.  Colin was working in the engineering industry when he was involved in a life threatening industrial accident in 1998.  A one ton tube trapped him, almost cutting off his arm at the elbow.  Colin was matter-of-fact in describing what happened next: “I had to rescue myself.  The person with me couldn’t cope.  I was trapped by the tube.  Amazingly, with the hand I had left, I picked it up and threw it away from me.  It just proves that, in an emergency, you can do anything.” His accident was followed by years of treatment and several surgical operations to re-attach his arm, the onset of PTSD, fibromyalgia and more.  He explained, “Although it took years to sort out my physical state, coping with the mental consequences took even longer.  I learned that having a positive attitude is the best way to manage my conditions.  Now I’m happy and cheerful and just get on with life, whatever it throws at me.  I have overcome the difficulties of dealing with the accident, got my life back and now I’m working as well.  You can have a problem and just sit down and say ‘Woe is me’ or get on with life – I chose the second.” But Colin’s progress was not always easy.  He was reliant on benefits for over nine years until he managed to get a part-time job.  “Although it was successful, I felt that I could do more,” he said, “but, in general, employers don’t want me.  They take one look at my CV, see the engineering background and think that I’ll be no good in their office.  I had been self-employed in the past and decided to set up by myself.  Other people should consider self-employment very carefully.  It’s not just a Monday to Friday 9 to 5 job as, if there’s something to be done, you’re the person who has to do it.  But the rewards of your own idea coming to fruition are tremendous.  It’s like doing the London marathon – challenging to do but you feel elated at the end of it.  It’s changed my life as I no longer feel dependent on other people.  When I was employed before, even by big companies, redundancy was the most common reason for me leaving a job.  Having a job doesn’t always give you job security but, when you work for yourself, you have control of your own destiny. You may not always have all the answers but now my new business can step in and help.” He is already ambitious for the business and commented, “I shall be registering my business at Company House in the next few weeks.  My Business Adviser explained how everything has changed and since October this year, it is much easier to become a limited company with the simple and cheap application process and more relaxed rules.  The HMRC income tax processes are easier too – with shorter tax returns for people just like me.  I know that my market is expanding as the Federation of Small Businesses has reported more business-starts this year than last.”
Back to Success Stories Back to Success Stories