Jane started her business Jane Nelson Interiors after having a family and is grateful for the support she has received from STEP and Business Gateway Stirling. She is keen to make people aware of the support that’s available for start-ups and, particularly, those businesses that are looking to expand in and around the area. “When I started out I spoke to Frank Dunne, one of Stirling’s Business Gateway advisers. Frank told me about a range of free start-up courses, which I took advantage of. STEP offers opportunities to access free advice and seminars, which I may otherwise not have had access to. All that support – which is free, was very valuable and informative for a start-up business.” Jane has also benefited from STEP’s accelerated growth stream.“Business is expanding – we are delighted to have recently launched our new website www.janenelsoninteriors.com and once again we were pleased to receive assistance from STEP by way of three days of one-to-one marketing. This focused on our expansion of social media, which dovetailed into the new website.” However, perhaps one of the biggest benefits STEP has given to JNI came about when Jane decided that it was time to establish a base for her business: “I couldn’t keep having large pieces of furniture arriving at my house, so I had to do something! I approached STEP initially for some advice on business premises in Stirling and was offered a unit in their John Player Building. STEP was helpful in providing premises that worked well for the operation of my business at an affordable rent. There’s a buzz at STEP, and it’s nice to see friendly faces – an added bonus for a sole practitioner! It’s an open and friendly organisation – everyone tries to help when they can. Whilst I operate out of my studio at STEP, having the use of other STEP facilities such as larger, serviced meeting rooms is also an advantage.” Jane Nelson Interiors operates all over the country, recently completing projects in Edinburgh, Gleneagles, and Stirling. “We operate a full architectural interior service, including full project management on-site from start to completion. We pride ourselves in working with a number of local tradespeople – from plumbers and joiners to suppliers of bespoke soft furnishings and furniture. We continue to grow and are currently working on several private residential projects, as well as the design of a new restaurant for Craufurdland Estate in Kilmarnock.”
“We are very good at doing what we do, but we sometimes need advice about the other aspects of running a business – such as marketing, website optimisation etc. Organisations like STEP provide a solid support network for businesses, and I would certainly encourage start-ups and SME’s looking to expand to get in touch.