Realising he wanted to help young people achieve their goals, Tim Mart (38), from Kelty, Fife, launched DotCoach in 2015. The business now has a global network of 150 coaches, providing affordable personal and professional development programmes to those that would not normally have access to them.
What does your business do? We’re a social enterprise that is revolutionising the way young adults think about themselves and what they can achieve. We deliver affordable and accessible online coaching programmes to 18 to 25-year-olds through https://knowyoumore.co/ and by partnering with youth development organisations.
How and why did you start in business? I fell into a career within financial services in my 20s. It wasn’t until over a decade later, after enrolling in a coaching qualification, that I found what I really loved doing. The experience made me see myself and what I wanted for my future completely differently. On having children of my own, it became clear that I wanted to build something that would help young people identify what they wanted out of life much earlier.
How did you get to where you are today? Through continually developing and learning about myself. Through learning you really start to paint a picture of how you’d like to live your life. This applies to my business journey too. Getting real clarity on why I wanted to start a business has provided the road map and resilience to make it happen.
Who has helped you along the way? Business Gateway Fife signposted and connected me to a number of resources and contacts around Fife. This was how I heard about Acorn Enterprise Business Accelerator in Rosyth which helped me develop an entrepreneurial mind-set. We've also developed a strong relationship with Firstport and BRAG enterprises. Both were influential in structuring our social aims, company and connecting us to resources and support. Through a Fife Investment Fund award, secured with the help of Business Gateway Fife, and a ‘Start It’ Award, administered by Firstport, we were able to launch.
What was your biggest mistake? I remember having all these concepts and business models that would be the next best thing so I started building when I should really have been understanding what our target audience really wanted and would pay for. It wasn’t until we brought in an expert and applied design thinking to our model that we started to truly understand who our customer was, what they felt, and how we could achieve the biggest impact.
What is your greatest achievement to date? After a pilot in February, we received endorsement from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and started our membership service to professional coaches. In less than a month of launching, we had a community of 150 coaches who all connected and shared in our vision.
What do you hope to achieve in the future? Our mission is to empower young adults to think differently about themselves, their opportunity, and what they can achieve. I hope that we will continue to be innovative in how we support young adults realise their potential. That our message and story will inspire them to look at the challenges they can solve in their community and, through working with us, go on to make a difference of their own.
Do you want to recruit in the future? Yes! We operate remotely with a team located over four UK cities and, as we look to broaden our message throughout the UK and beyond, we will look to recruit in the key areas of communication and digital marketing.
What is the hardest thing about running your own business? Believing that the business’ success is solely dependent on me. You can also get sucked into spending too much time ‘in’ the business and, without looking up, find yourself at dead ends. That’s why it’s important to step away, speak with people outside of the organisation and invest time in looking at where your business is heading.
Any advice to wannabe entrepreneurs? Really get to understand why you want to start a business and get to know your customer. Test your ideas against them and ask them ‘would you pay for this’.
How would your friends describe you? That I enjoy being in the service of others, that I’m energetic, expressive, and enjoy seeing the good in people.
Favourite film and book? Shawshank Redemption, Saving Private Ryan, and Goodfellas. From a young age my favourite book has been The Hobbit.
How do you relax? To relax the head I use mindfulness techniques and the app Headspace. To have fun I just love getting involved with the kids. Kicking the ball about, going for a walk or just getting together to watch a film.
If you would like to find out how Business Gateway Fife can support your business, please contact us on 01592 858333 or email email@example.com