Grant and support gave me the confidence to start up by myself
Jan 28 2010 By The Journal
BROADCASTER Jamie Wilkinson was working for the BBC when he came up with the idea for Carter Caine Productions.
He investigated what type of support was available and was able to secure funding to set up his media production business, which makes podcasts and audio tours.
"I won a grant from Sunderland University, a business start-up grant of £15,000 and support – office space and the opportunity to talk to people who worked in the media centre there," he said.
"At the time, I was bored at the BBC as a producer.
"The grant gave me the back-up I needed. It’s really difficult to start up without something behind you.
"The first job I got was putting together an audio tour of the National Glass Centre.
"Then I got some podcasts and the audio tour of Alnwick Garden." He has carried on freelance work as a BBC local radio presenter in the North East and has since added an additional business to his portfolio, which he runs online.
Bespoke Radio, which makes personalised radio programmes as gifts and to mark events such as birthdays and anniversaries, was launched two and a half years after he got Carter Caine Productions up and running.
"You get the confidence that you can do the accounts and how to find business," said Gateshead-based Mr Wilkinson.
"I’d be amazed if Bespoke Radio was my last business.
"Running a business is partly being in control of your own destiny, and it’s partly knowing that it’s not that scary when you actually do it.
"It’s no more mentally demanding than working for someone else."
He says that starting an extra business while you are still in full time employment doesn’t have to be hard – but he advises anyone thinking about launching an idea alongside their main job to think very carefully about their idea.
Mr Wilkinson said: "It’s very viable. If it’s something to make a bit of extra money, you can start that in your spare time if it is something you genuinely enjoy doing. But if it’s a chore, you won’t do it.
"If it’s something that you enjoy doing – like making crafts or gifts that is absolutely viable - and you can do something like that around your job.
"Bespoke Radio is something that I enjoy and I’m getting paid for it.
"That doesn’t feel like work. But the administration, the maintenance of the website etc – that is work."
And like Mr Newman, he says it is vital to find out legally where you stand and how that affects your tax status.
"If you were going to car boot sales etc, then you would be a trader so you would need to pay tax," said Mr Wilkinson.