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Meet the employer that encourages its staff to run their own business

Are there advantages to supporting an employee’s side hustle? We meet one Gateshead company that encourages its staff to become entrepreneurs and urges others to do the same.

From music touring and marketing to greetings cards, video games and pet CBD supplements, the past and present businesses of staff at Transmit are as diverse and creative as the people themselves.

It’s perhaps no surprise that such an entrepreneurial team have been attracted to working for a company that specialises in helping people to run their own business, providing finance, support and training.

But Transmit’s Commercial Director Richard Myers says all companies can benefit from nurturing the development of entrepreneurial skills in their teams.

“It might seem counterintuitive to some, but there are significant advantages to supporting an employee’s side hustle and encouraging them to develop entrepreneurial instincts”

“At Transmit we positively encourage our team to pursue their business ideas and it’s always something we’re attracted to on CVs when we’re recruiting because we know how valuable that self-starter mentality is to an employer.”

Richard says the skills employees learn building their own business help how they approach their day job - whatever that job might be.

“The real-world, hands-on experience and commercial awareness they earn means they’re better equipped to understand the business as a whole - outside of their own department,”

“Building a side business helps employees develop creative, innovative thinking, meaning they can come up with cost-effective solutions employers might otherwise have overlooked.

“And by fostering a culture that values and respects employees’ own business ambitions, they’re investing in employee loyalty - something that’s not to be underestimated in the candidates’ job market we have today.”

Me and my side hustle: Alan Tweddle

My day job: I’m a Business Advisor at Transmit Startups which means I work directly with entrepreneurs who are about to start a business or have been trading for up to three years and who require a loan.

My side hustle: Where do I start?! I opened my first store back in 2012 - a video game store selling consoles, games and electronics. I went on to have several other businesses off the back of that and ran multiple businesses all at the same time. I had a burger van in a layby, a deli and a printing business. After a change in the market for video games I pivoted and became one of the first suppliers of CBD oil products and even launched a CBD food supplement for pets. I am currently working on two additional businesses to take advantage of the subscription-based model for recurring monthly boxes and I’m hoping to launch both this year.

How I run the two side by side: I’m the kind of person who likes to be busy. The businesses I now run are all online and I take advantage of parcel delivery services I can access 24/7 at a local garage so I’m not restricted to going to a post office during my normal day. I manage my business by setting good expectations for customers with set postal dates for orders which allows me the flexibility of posting at a time that suits me but still meets my customer expectations.

Why other employers should support staff side hustles: If employees take on more of a business mindset it helps them understand their role within the business. Whether they’re working in a small team of 10 employees or a large organisation of over 1,000 staff, the business would have started with just an idea and developed from there.

A business is only as good as its employees and everyone contributes to its growth whether directly or indirectly. If employees learn and develop themselves they are improving the workforce of the business. It’s a win-win scenario for everyone!

Me and my side hustle: Adam Clements

My day job: Senior Business Advisor at Transmit Startups.

My side hustle: I used to run a music touring business. I had a touring van that I used to take bands around the UK in and hire the van out to other bands. I’d like to do something similar again in the future but more on the management side of music.

How I ran the two roles side by side: I worked full-time and then did my own jobs on a weekend, whilst sorting the admin and marketing out on evenings. I also coordinated drivers to take the van for longer jobs, when I couldn’t do it. This meant that I was gaining an income from the business whilst working in my full-time position.

Why other employers should support staff side hustles: I 100% believe business owners should be empowering their staff to explore self-employment as it allows staff to experience things that they may not in their employed role and also it will help in the current economic climate and make staff members happier and more financially stable. Employers need to trust their staff members and people who feel empowered and supported will give their best in their employed job roles for the company that supports them.

Transmit has helped 12,000 businesses off the ground and grow in the past ten years, providing Start Up Loans and mentoring through Transmit Startups. And now the team has poured all of their knowledge into developing a suite of courses for sister company Smarta, to help give businesses the best chance of success .

And Richard says those courses are just as useful to career climbers who want to develop their professional skills and understanding of how small businesses work as they are to those with entrepreneurial ambitions.

Feeling inspired by Transmit’s experience?

If you’d like to develop entrepreneurial skills in your business or progress the development of your team, then you’re in luck!

Transmit has just announced plans to sponsor 1,000 businesses to access its courses, ensuring UK entrepreneurs can gain confidence and commercial edge, without paying a penny.

What courses are sponsored?

On-demand courses include:

Smarta Business Fundamentals. Learn the skills you’ll need to start or grow your business - from testing out your idea with market research, to writing a budget and business plan. Smarta Startup Essentials. Learn the legal requirements for starting and running a UK business. Crack on with confidence knowing your business is legal and compliant. Smarta Marketing. Learn how to plan, create and implement your marketing strategies and grow a profitable business. Smarta Digital Marketing. Get the skills and tools to create a digital strategy that gets results for your business.

A range of other courses designed to grow businesses and accelerate careers are also available and funding from the European Social Fund means some North East postcodes can access fully funded places on these too.

Want to know more?

Take a look at our sponsored courses, and register your interest, here:

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