Jo Mortimer worked as a training consultant for 25 years but was made redundant at the end of October 2020, due to Covid-19.
Jo knew she had the knowledge and experience to branch out on her own and was confident that there was a demand for her services. Due to the stressors of Covid-19, that demand was only going to increase. Jo decided to seize the opportunity to branch out on her own, and launch her business Ocean Aspire. She provides mental health first aid training and apprenticeship consultancy to businesses.
Designing and delivering the training was something that Jo had years of experience in doing, but for the rest, she needed a little help. When it came to checking for intellectual property rights and the legal aspects of creating a new business, she wasn’t entirely sure where to start.
“What I really needed to know most of all was about copyright and patents for the company name and logo. I began by searching the gov.uk website but I couldn’t entirely find out what I was looking for. It wasn’t accessible. Google wasn’t much help but a friend of mine recommended I contacted BIPC Devon. I must admit I’d never heard of them, nor was I even a library member!
My first contact with the BIPC was a 1-1 meeting with BIPC Barnstaple Champion; Sophia, who guided me through the resources available to me. I was pleased to find out that my local library had access to a searchable database of business names. Using this meant I could be sure that I was choosing a business name that wasn’t being used by someone else, for a similar service. Sophia also explained how to find out whether I needed copyright or a patent to protect my business name and logo. She even talked me through how to create a business plan.“
Jo has now been self-employed for 13 months and her new venture has recently celebrated its first birthday! She’s launched her website, chosen a logo and is absolutely smashing social media, and her customer feedback has been excellent.
You don’t have to be an expert in every area of business to make it on your own, but it’s handy to know there’s somewhere to go when you have questions or need advice!