Chris puts his passion into gear to launch new business

Downpatrick Motorcycle enthusiast Chris Howard has turned his passion for motorcycles and motorcycle racing into a business, with the launch of CHP Motoworks a mobile motorcycle repair business.

Chris launched his business in March thanks to the help of the Go For It programme in association with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and delivered through Down Business Centre. In just 5 months word of Chris’ mobile service and expertise has spread and he’s now in demand across Northern Ireland to carry out motorbike and trike repairs, servicing, recovery work and MOT preparation.

Chris explains:

“When I finally found the confidence to turn my passion into my very own business, I felt very nervous but at the same time hopeful and excited for what was to come. I’d say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

It’s the flexibility of running my own business that I enjoy the most. I’m a father of two, so being your own boss means you can fit work around family life.

The style of my work also means ‘normal’ working hours don’t suit many of my customers, so I can work my schedule around them. Being able to accommodate my customers is something I take pride in, and they really appreciate that.”

After seeing an advert for the Go For It programme Chris got in touch with Newry Mourne and Down Council and hasn’t looked back since.

Chris continues:

“The Go For It programme offered me a range of fantastic support. I was provided with a business advisor – Joan O’Hara of Down Business Centre – and together we created a business plan. We considered all aspects of the business such as financial forecasting, sales strategies and insurance requirements like business insurance and liability insurance.

“We went through areas of the business I never would have thought of. I still use the business plan and keep it as a guideline which I can refer back to regularly. It keeps me on track and gives me an idea of what I should be doing and when.”

Commenting on Chris’ new venture, Councillor Valerie Harte, Chair of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council said:

“I’m delighted that the Go For It programme has enabled Chris to take his business idea and turn it into a viable business.

“It’s imperative that we continue to see people like Chris take the leap into entrepreneurship as this is vital for our local economy. The Go For It programme is an excellent source of support for aspiring entrepreneurs and I encourage anyone with a business idea to contact the Go For It team.”

Down Business Centre’s Business Advisor Joan O’Hara said:

“It was fantastic to work alongside an entrepreneur like Chris who had a real passion for the business he wanted to set-up.

“Through the Go For It programme we developed a business plan which focused on areas such as financial planning, sales strategies and marketing while also allowing Chris to set achievable goals and milestones for the future.

“We wish Chris all the best for the future and we’re looking forward to watching CHP Motoworks thrive going forward.”

If you have a business idea you’d like to develop or if you are thinking about starting a business, please contact Janice at Down Business Centre Tel: 02844616416 to find out how Gor For It can help you.