Paul’s a very down-to-Earth, funny guy. He’s also a guy with a committed work ethic, a background in security and a desire to do the right thing.

What he doesn’t deserve is to be out of work. That’s where Positive People came in. Paul’s had a dream for a while. To start his own coach tours business, combining his love of driving and his ability to entertain together into something of his very own.

After meeting Paul for the first time, we identified that he was aware of digital, but not comfortable with it outside of what he knew. In addition to that, he wanted to explore the potential of opening his own business and what kind of digital abilities he would need to make that happen. Cosmic were, at the time, developing a full self-employment course designed to give budding entrepreneurs a taste of what was required in starting up a business as well as the functional knowledge of what goes into the design and structure of a professional opportunity.

Paul registered for the self-employment course and attended all 3 days. The course gave him several ideas, particularly around branding and funding/finance. Before long, the business after support came through, delivering a brand he could be proud to print on the side of his coaches. The roadtrip to profit, so to speak, was in full force.

Meanwhile, Paul knew that without having full understanding of the digital element, he would struggle to get his business off the ground. Positive People provided Paul with a laptop and a copy of Microsoft Office, and Rob, his digital trainer, would visit him in the comfort of his own home to train him up on advanced e-mail concepts including attachments and filing e-mails, and Microsoft Office basics that would allow him to create invoices and keep a customer database. Paul was eager to learn so he could get his business off the ground as quickly as possible.

That’s not to say everything has been plain sailing. One of Paul’s main issues has been finding the right kind of business support, to help him put together a business plan and discuss funding opportunities. This has not been an easy task – but thankfully our back office staff were able to put him in touch with Heart of the South West Growth Hub, who have put together a pack of information about the kind of business he’s intending to open as well as further 121 support with expert business support advisors.

Paul is reaching the end of his time on Positive People. At the start, he had a vague idea, but now, he has a fully fledged business concept, support in place to help him start his first tour, and enough digital ability to keep things ticking along. We can’t wait until Paul is inviting us all for our next holiday!