Starting a business by coincidence isn’t something you hear about every day, but for a music buff in Kent his interest in music and technology led him to start his own business.
Ashford-based Garry Wise has a passion for music and a fascination with high-end audio equipment. After 5 years of research, planning and learning he launched his own audio manufacturing business, Kleio Audio.
September marked the official launch of the company at the National Audio Show in Whittlebury, where he showcased the first two amplifiers as part of his K1 series.
Starting up Kleio Audio
Garry accessed a £7,500 Start Up Loan from Let’s Do Business Start Up in November 2014. The loan was vital in helping him to raise the funds needed to bring his products to market. The mentoring he received as part of the scheme gave him support and guidance during the early days.
“The Start-Up Loans scheme was vital in helping me to cover my start-up costs, the support I received from the team as I went through the application process was a huge help as well.
“Working with a mentor has been really useful. Being able to chat through ideas and concerns with someone who understands business, but is also impartial is invaluable.
“My mentor has also helped me to stay focussed with time, especially as I still work full-time until the business is ready for me to join permanently.”
The highs, lows and when the bank says no
Garry spent a long time researching the industry, learning his craft, creating and testing before his products were was ready to come to market.
“I had spent two years drip feeding small amounts of money such as work pay rises into the business, although no significant progress was being made as I was still in the research and development phase. When I was ready to launch and approached banks for a business loan, I hit a big hurdle.
“Whilst there is a big push on supporting manufacturing, the reality is a lot more difficult. Anything slightly unusual seems to cause concern, even when backed with a solid business plan.”
Over the next year Garry plans to launch further products and develop Kleio as a British brand across the UK, Europe and internationally. Garry’s ultimate goal is to firmly establish the company as a well-known and respected brand.
Garry gave the following advice for would-be entrepreneurs:
“It has probably been said many times before but I would say ‘never be afraid to try’. Don’t worry if you’ve never run or set-up a business before. You’ll learn so much and all of those skills and experiences will be useful in life, or as you grow your business.”
If you’d like to find out more about a Start Up Loan, or if you’re ready to fill out a Starting Your Enterprise form, follow the links below:
Keep in touch with Let’s Do Business Start Up on Twitter @ldbstartup.