PEOPLE who take the decision to become self-employed sometimes look back and wonder if they made the right choice.
But less than a year after setting up his fledgling company, local man Don McQueen is certain he has gone down the correct path and now feels he has greater job security than ever before.
Don has 10 years of experience in the office-supply industry, and starting his own business was something he had always dreamed of. With a diploma in marketing under his belt, he finally made the decision last year to take the leap and become financially self-sufficient.
To help him get his business off the ground, Don enrolled in the Go For It Programme, a free scheme funded by Invest NI and delivered locally by LEDCOM.
“David Gillespie and the team at LEDCOM were incredibly helpful,” Don told the Times. “I was given the opportunity to discuss my idea with an advisor who assisted me in completing a business plan, and I also received one-to-one mentoring.
“I have absolutely no regrets about the choice I made. Going my own way means my destiny is now in my own hands, which is a great feeling and I am very happy with the way things have been going so far.”
His company, Don McQueen Office Interiors, specialises in supplying contemporary and stylish furniture to businesses throughout Northern Ireland, be it tables, chairs or storage equipment.
And to separate himself from the crowd, Don also offers a range of specialist ergonomic seating designed to cater for the needs of individual employees.
“Millions of working days are lost every year in the UK due to people suffering from back-related problems. I supply a range of chairs with lumbar support that can help overcome these problems and save a company money in the process,” he added.
Don prides himself on customer service and believes the personal touch is all important.
“Rather than a company ordering a chair from a catalogue, finding out that it is not suited to an employee’s needs and then having to send it back, I deliver a few chairs to the office to allow the employee to see which one suits them best.
“I then set up the chair and adjust it according to that person’s individual requirements.”
Don is pleased that his business has been going from strength to strength over the past year, and he remains hopeful about the future.
“Everyone knows that we are living in a tough economic climate, but the way I see it, if I can start up a successful business and ride out this storm then I can handle almost anything that is thrown at me. I have stopped paying attention to the bad news that is constantly being reported in the media and I try to remain positive at all times.
“My business is still in its first year, which is always going to be a difficult time. In years to come, I would like to see the business continue to grow and maybe even employ a few people to assist me,” Don concluded.