Carl Rafferty, Owner of Jetset RC has built his business through the pandemic with the help of Enterprise Hub and St Helens Chamber.
With a website set up for sales and a shop in St Helens, Jetset RC is a one stop shop for everything drone and aviation customers need; offering a range of services that no other business in the UK can offer to customers.
Carl explained: “Jetset RC supply and build all types drones and model aircraft; we sell for two of the largest drone manufacturers in the world. If customers are looking for something which isn’t on the market yet, we will build it to their specifications too.
“Alongside selling drones and aircraft, we are one of the only businesses in the UK who can give people commercial licencing to fly drones. We take care of commercial training and licencing, repairs and more.”
After becoming one of the youngest private pilots to qualify in Europe aged seventeen, Carl worked overseas for a few years before starting a role in Ibiza for a music brand. Carl decided to return to his hometown of St Helens to continue his career, and found it difficult to find a role similar to the roles he’d held abroad.
Carl explained: “When I came back from Ibiza and I was in a rut. There was no work available which was similar to what I’d already been doing, so I found it quite hard to settle back into life in the UK. While I was looking for work I’d been building my own drones, so I thought that this could be an avenue to explore.
“I rang up St Helens Chamber and enrolled on the Business Start Up Workshop, and took it from there. I wasn’t planning to start up right away and just wanted to get the information, but once the pandemic hit I realised I couldn’t go back abroad and now was the perfect time to get started.”
Carl opened his shop in December, but was only able to open for a few weeks before the pandemic took hold. Despite this, Carl’s determination has meant that the business was still able to grow through his website.
Carl commented: “The shop opened in December, and it gave me confidence because we had we had a good turnout for our opening, the response locally was fantastic; and we got a few sales too.”
“Through St Helens Chamber, I was able to complete a digital marketing course. I wasn’t too savvy on digital marketing but this course increased my confidence. I’ve even built my own website since and have continued to sell my drones through the site. All the courses I attended were brilliant, you don’t realise how useful they are until you get into business and are able to use what you’ve learned like I did.”
St Helens Chamber is part of Enterprise Hub, the enterprise gateway for business start-up support in Merseyside. Offering expert advice and support to anyone thinking about starting a business, including help to:
Understand the process of starting a business
• Research a business idea
• Build a comprehensive business plan
• Develop a marketing plan
• Create financial forecasts to understand the costs of running your business and potential income
• Identify sources of finance to get started
Enterprise Hub is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Carl received a range of support through St Helens Chamber’s start up team, and worked closely with them to get his business started.
Carl commented: “The start-up support from the Chamber was amazing. I mainly dealt with Steve who was fantastic, I couldn’t have done this without him. You can ask him anything and know he’ll get back to you with the answer. Everyone has been lovely and so supportive.
“All the courses were really useful too, like the digital marketing course and the bookkeeping course. The tutors made it really simple to understand and I noticed even when there was 20/30 people on the course it’s still really personalised, which you wouldn’t expect. Each point was directly related to everyone’s business so it was really good, rather than just giving information they helped us understand.
“I couldn’t recommend it enough, its 100% worth it.”
To find out more about Carl’s business, Jetset RC visit https://jetsetrc.co.uk/
To find out more about Start Up Support, visit https://www.sthelenschamber.com/startup