BNC Engineering Solutions: Ben Towell

Founder Towell was made redundant from an engineering consultancy on Friday and started his own the following Monday

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Name: Ben Towell
Age: 34
Company: BNC Engineering Solutions
Staff numbers: 2
Location: Newcastle
Date launched: 08/04/2013

Tell us what your business does:
My business partner and I run a mechanical engineering design and analysis consultancy in Newcastle.

Where did the idea for your business come from?
We were both made redundant from a similar business and decided that by running our own smaller company we could make a viable business from it.

How did you know there was a market for it?
Having worked in the same industry, in the same geographical area we had an understanding of the local marketplace and its needs.

What were you doing before starting up?
We were both made redundant from an engineering consultancy on a Friday and opened our own the following Monday.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?
I have always wanted to run my own business. I have a young family and wanted the flexibility of being my own boss, so that I can spend more time with the family.

How did you raise the money?
As part of my redundancy package I was able to negotiate the purchase of used computing equipment. We have tried to keep initial outgoings to a minimum, only having to invest some of my redundancy money back into the new business.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Our initial challenge has been informing ex-clients that our new business is up and running. Keeping an up-to-date record of key decision makers within companies has been highlighted as something we need to do. Tools like LinkedIn have helped.

Describe your business model and how you make money:
Our business is one of a service provider. We have a calculated minimum day rate that we charge for our services. Some of our abilities are specialised, so we are able to charge more for them, which brings us more profit.

What was your first big breakthrough?
Our big breakthrough was getting our first £10,000 order. This helped us to reach our first operating month target.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Give it a go. There are loads of people that will help you get going and develop. Try and minimise your initial outgoings.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
I want to have a good work / life balance, working four days a week and taking home a comfortable salary.

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