A North Tyneside entrepreneur is raising prospects for his newly launched business after securing a key contract with North Tyneside Council for a project to install and upgrade new lifts at council buildings.
Kris McGough set up Rise Elevator in 2019 following help and advice from the team of advisors at North Tyneside Business Factory. Although initially focused on lift maintenance projects, Kris was able to access additional support to bid for a larger contract issued through North Tyneside Council to install two new lifts at council buildings in the Borough.
Kris McGough, managing director of Rise Elevator commented: “Setting up a new business is a daunting prospect but after 20 years working as a lift engineer with a range of national firms, the time was right to strike out on my own and build a business that worked for me and my family.
“My business plan initially was to create a local firm that could service national customers in the lift maintenance and sales sector. Given my contacts and knowledge, the sales element was a key part of the future of the business but initial demand has been more focused around lift maintenance. I’ve been working all over the UK carrying out lift repairs and general maintenance. Even during lockdown, I have been delivering an emergency repair service to maintain accessibility for workplaces that are currently in use.”
The Business Factory offer a one-to-one consultancy service employing the services of a range of professional consultants from key sectors to help provide practical early-stage support to new businesses. Consultants include professionals from the fields of marketing, HR, accountancy, PR, social media, commercial premises and tendering support and are funded by the Business Factory to work directly with new business owners.
In the case of Rise Elevator, Kris was advised by his original business advisor, Gordon Hanna, to undertake consultancy services with Michael Shiel – a business development specialist focused on helping new businesses to act on tendering opportunities through the public sector.
With Michael’s support, Kris was able to sign up to the NEPO portal to be advised of upcoming tendering opportunities and take part in the North Tyneside Council Aspire programme. The Aspire programme helps new businesses communicate with high-level business people from the local area for advice and guidance as part of a face to face panel. Kris was able to use the Aspire panel opportunity to highlight some of the difficulties facing smaller businesses in tendering processes to create longer-lasting change that would benefit a wider range of local firms.
Kris comments: “I currently work all over the UK but ideally, I would like to undertake a greater number of projects in the local area. Tendering for North East projects to undertake lift installation and maintenance is one area that I would really like to be considered for but quite often the nature of tendering can be heavily weighted towards much larger, more established firms across the country. Unfortunately, it does mean that smaller, local firms aren’t able to apply because although we can carry out the work, we don’t meet the standardised set of criteria.
“I was able to bring up this issue directly during the Aspire panel and consequently the tendering processes have been opened up to a much wider audience. I was delighted to be considered recently for a project with North Tyneside Council which I successfully bid for and won the contract. It just goes to show the real value in taking advantage of any help available from professional business support programmes as well as communication with key decision makers through the Aspire panel.”
Kris has worked with a range of advisors and consultants to get his business up and running. By setting up the business initially with the help of business advisor Gordan Hanna at the North Tyneside Business Factory as well as advisor Janice Ross, Kris was also able to receive external consultancy support directly related to his business needs. Supported by the ERDF, The Business Factory is delivered by TEDCO in North Tyneside to help new enterprises access help and guidance they need to finance and set up a new venture in the Borough.
Janice Ross, business advisor at North Tyneside Business Factory comments: “Kris has translated a successful career developing skills and knowledge in a unique sector into an opportunity for self-employment. He is a specialist in his area and I am pleased that he has not only been able to use the Business Factory support to help set up his business initially, but actually make use of the more practical consultancy support we have available to bring direct leads into his business. Rise Elevator has a very bright future and I look forward to working with him further.”