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Research Case studies

Mark Fairbairn

Leeds Beckett graduate Mark Fairbairn is now up and running with his company VFM Media, which operates under the umbrella of VFM Associates ltd. Mark offers multimedia services and e-learning packages to the commercial vehicle, construction plant, and agricultural machinery industries as well as clients in the military. He also offers visual media and marketing work in the form of graphic design, print & publication and mobile device media.

Mark approached the Business Start-Up team at Leeds Beckett University for advice and guidance, and they suggested he was an ideal candidate for the Entrepreneurs Boot Camp. A four day residential course, which takes place in the June of each year, to help aspiring entrepreneurs learn the practicalities and pitfalls of starting and running a business.

Marks experience of working within his father’s company planted the seed of a business idea, he then built up a portfolio of services and finally launched in October 2010. He illustrates his greatest achievement as being when he personally sold products for the first time.

“My goal for the first year was to get my own client, the next goal will be to get a completely new company on the accounts’ and ‘in five years I would like to see the businesses core product being visual media and the introduction of mobile and tablet device electronic training, I would like to see the business recruiting young talent”.

Over the past year a lot has changed for Mark and his business, they have extended their product range from printed media to video. As the money came in, they purchased new equipment and software to increase productivity and project scope. ‘We have also noticed a change in our attitudes, from being students to having to work long days, learn quickly and become very flexible’.

Mark explained that if he were to re-do the whole process he would ‘be a bit more focused on the total picture of running a business. For me, it is very easy to be completely focused on what I am doing, and that I become unaware of what’s going on around me. There are lots of things to think about when running a business, it is important to take a step back and evaluate the whole picture’.

Marks Advice:

"Take every opportunity you get and run with it, network with as many people as you can, as early as you can. Never burn bridges unless you absolutely have to and be prepared to do that little bit more for the client, even if it is at a cost to you initially. Things pay off even if they take a little while.”


To follow Marks advice, visit the Leeds Enterprise Network website and sign up for our next event!

For more information on the Entrepreneurs Boot Camp please contact Business Start-up.

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