As a keen live sports fan, John Morris knows a thing or two about getting from A to B on time. After honing his skills arranging match day travel for fellow Aston Villa supporters, John decided to turn his knowledge into a business. With support from the experts at the Enterprise Hub, Wayfarers Travel now delivers minibus hire for sporting events, among other things, with plans for further growth already in the pipeline.
How John started out
John has always been enthusiastic about watching live sport, nowhere more so than his beloved Aston Villa FC. For over a decade, he had taken on the responsibility of organising transportation for his friends to and from all kinds of events, including regular trips to Birmingham for the North West Lions club.
He wasn’t just good at the logistical side of things, though. More and more he found he really enjoyed it, and this led to the idea of establishing his own travel business. There were plenty of challenges to consider. John had the commitment of a full-time job, and had no prior experience starting or running a company. He quickly realised that he would need some professional advice if he was going to lay the foundations for a successful venture.
“I knew it was really important that the business had a plan, and I needed to work out if my business idea was feasible before committing to it.”
How the Enterprise Hub helped
Looking for expert support and a sounding board for his idea, John approached St Helens Chamber, which is part of the Enterprise Hub – a gateway for business start-up support in the Liverpool City Region.
Offering expert advice and support to anyone thinking about starting a business, Enterprise Hub helps entrepreneurs overcome a range of challenges, from understanding the process of starting a business to researching their idea and applying for funding.
“Working with Steve Mather at St Helens Chamber, we put together a detailed business strategy that looked at finance, marketing and business administration and as a result, Wayfarers Travel was born.”
Initially running Wayfarers Travel part-time alongside his day job, John set about executing the business plan he had produced in conjunction with St Helens Chamber. Before long John was able to gain his PSV Operators Licence and had acquired his first 16-seater mini-bus.
He was in business and began generating a turnover providing minibus hire for nights out, sporting events and airport runs.
How the business has grown
During its first year of trading, Wayfarers Travel has grown steadily. Alongside managing the business, John has been advancing his business knowledge through a range of courses held at the Chamber, giving him the insights he needs to take his business to the next level.
“The support I’ve received from St Helens Chamber has been essential. The demand for our service has increased so much that I’m delighted to announce that as from December this year the business will be full-time. Without support, it would have been really difficult to transition from being employed to running my own company. It’s been challenging, but equally, it’s immensely rewarding to think the hard work is paying off and I’m doing something I love.”
John is already looking to expand the remit of Wayfarers Travel, and has the education sector firmly in his sights. Having approached local schools to canvass interest, John is planning to provide transportation for school sports teams and tournaments in the near future.
“It’s great news that John is taking Wayfarers Travel full-time and this is a testament to his hard work and dedication. His business can certainly look forward to a bright future.”
Steve Mather, Business Start up Adviser at St Helens Chamber