Our latest One Year On story is another interesting one. It’s always fascinating for us to witness the remarkable creativity that our loan recipients have. In this case, Alasdair Maclean is merging his traditional television camera skills with new drone technology and making a very successful business out of it thus far. We chat with Alasdair about his journey and experiences in the world of filming.
What is the nature of your business and why did you choose a Start Up Loan over other types of finance?
I am a television cameraman and drone pilot. I had 8 years experience working for the BBC and independent television production companies before I took the decision to start up on my own.
What has your business achieved over the last year? What is your favourite success story to date?
I was pleased with my income for the first full year of my business and pleased to make so many new connections with clients whom I hope to work more with in the future. When I started out I had an idea of where I expected to get work although in reality I got less from these sources than I imagined but got lots more from sources I had not expected.
My favourite success story to date is getting involved in drone filming. This has worked out as a nice side line to my main camera work and is also something I really enjoy doing. It meant quite an investment in new equipment, training and insurances but the work I received in the first 6 months after obtaining my permission to operate commercially from the Civil Aviation Authority covered all these costs.
What have you learnt from the first year in business? Is there anything you would do differently?
For me it was quite a transition moving from a salary to an income that was not constant. In my line of work there are peaks and troughs; one minute you are wondering if the phone will ever ring with a new booking and then you get a lot of work come in all at once. The lesson I hope I have learnt is to prepare for the quieter times when the going is good and resist the temptation to keep buying new kit when I get a good payday.
Would you recommend a Start Up Loan from Transmit Start-Ups to other businesses? How beneficial was the free business support?
I was very pleased with the support I got from Transmit Start Ups. They were recommended to me by a colleague in the industry at a networking event. The help I got to make a business plan was invaluable as it got me to think through the process of starting a business and brought to my attention some things I hadn't thought of on my own.
If you could give one tip to a new entrepreneur, what would it be?
Don't be put off doing something the way you think is right just because it’s not the way others have been doing it in the past. Scrutinise your idea honestly and if you feel you can change the way something is done or improve it in other ways go with your gut. Your gut is made up of all your past experiences and these are unique to you.
If you’re now feeling enthused by Alasdair’s story and fancy looking into the next steps to setting up your own business, register with us now!