New business completes a life change A local Clowne entrepreneur is sharing his skills with other companies and sole traders to help them focus on growing their businesses rather than getting bogged down in backroom paperwork.  Mike Wain has launched Mike-ro-soft Office Solutions to manage every aspect of business administration. Clients have maximum flexibility with the company providing on-line and phone services and bases in both Clowne and Portland College (near Mansfield). With use of the professional and fully equipped reception, office, meeting rooms and conference suite at the College, Mike can cater for every business need and he is also a qualified bookkeeper and Microsoft Office specialist. Mike has been supported by the Work for Yourself programme funded by Bolsover District and Chesterfield Borough Councils. Mike said, “This is a virtual office that provides everything from marketing and promotion to bookkeeping and routine paperwork. Clients can just give me a bundle of invoices or receipts and I will do their books. I can produce their business correspondence over the phone. There is even an on-line diary service with phone reminders so that my clients never miss crucial appointments. Using technology such as databases, spreadsheets and the internet have become key to running professional businesses. “Having already built up a previous successful business, I completely understand all the pressures it can bring. There are lots of small businesses that want to expand but don't want to commit to additional expense.  By using me, they avoid making a big outlay.” Mike had to give up his previous retail business when he moved to France for years of specialist treatment to reduce the progression of his Parkinson's disease.  “It worked for me and I re-gained my mobility,” said Mike.  “Although I am well- qualified, my health condition still seemed to be a barrier to getting a job.  Now, after several years on benefits, life has taken a new turn. I was married earlier this year, have taken time to upgrade my skills and am completely ready for this new venture. I'm a fighter - you just have to get on with life.  I want to re-gain my pride and respect.” He is particularly grateful for the help of Portland College for supporting his life change. Commenting on the Work for Yourself programme, Mike said, “My Business Adviser was very helpful: really knowledgeable, gave me some additional ideas and helped me test my business plan.”  Mike is already working to develop his business. Further qualifications to offer additional accountancy services and advice are underway and he is keen to offer employment opportunities to others who have health problems.  He said, “I want to provide for my new family rather than just live on charity and hand-outs.” Bolsover District Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Councillor Alan Tomlinson said, “We are delighted that we could help and offer this life-changing support for someone like Mike. Building new businesses not only helps individuals and their families but also assists the whole community to become more economically active and prosperous. It is an excellent idea. We know only too well how people can get bogged down with their paperwork or leave it thinking they can do it later, this way they can concentrate their energies on building the business, whilst the more mundane work is taken care of.”
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