On returning from Japan, Gavin Hugh (29), from Kirkcaldy, decided to launch his own video production business, MidgieBite Media. The company aims to help clients engage with their customers through the use of creative and informative video content tailored to their needs.
What does your business do? MidgieBite Media is a video production business based in Fife. Video can be an incredibly powerful tool for engaging an audience – particularly on social media – and we look to help create that engagement for our clients. In particular, we look to work with small businesses to support their digital marketing and help develop their brand identities.
How and why did you start in business? My biggest motivation was being able to work doing something that I love. I have a background in Scottish broadcast TV production and I’ve always enjoyed filmmaking and creative work. I’d been thinking of starting my own video business for a number of years, and decided to finally go for it as no one else was going to do it for me!
How did you get to where you are today? As well as working in broadcasting, I previously worked in Japan for three years as a teaching assistant in English classes. Those were three of the best years of my life. Adapting to a new environment and a different culture, as well as learning a new language, took a lot of self-motivation and determination. Those are invaluable skills for running your own business. Additionally, I’ve also worked for the Scottish Parliament in research and press roles.
Who has helped you along the way? So many people, but I wouldn’t have been able to achieve half of what I have in my life without my parents and their constant support, patience and encouragement. Business Gateway Fife and the Prince's Trust Scotland have offered invaluable support. My very first step was making a call to them, as I knew they could offer individual advice and support. The one-to-one sessions, workshops and courses I've had have all been extremely informative. In particular, I'm extremely grateful to my adviser Marissa Yassen who helped me work through the detail of my business plan which helped me successfully secure a loan from the Prince's Trust. I'd undoubtedly recommend Business Gateway and the Prince’s Trust Scotland as a resource.
What was your biggest mistake? I wish I’d attempted to set up my business earlier. After returning from teaching abroad in Japan, I spent a few years looking for my ‘dream job’, without realising that I had the capacity to create it for myself.
What is your greatest achievement to date? When I lived in Japan, I set up free evening classes teaching English at the local community centre. I ran these voluntarily on top of my day job and encouraged stay-at-home mums and the elderly to come and take part in English language practice and conversation. It fostered a real sense of community in the neighbourhood and I made some brilliant friendships with people I would never normally have had the chance to meet. The classes are still continuing with new volunteers, and I’m proud to have left a little legacy of my own in a small pocket of Japan.
What do you hope to achieve in the future? The longer-term aspiration for MidgieBite Media is to develop and create sustainable broadcast content in Fife and across Scotland. I’ve always been frustrated that most of our broadcast content comes from south of the border, and the indigenous media landscape that Scotland does have is extremely Glasgow-centric. It’s an underdeveloped industry and there’s huge potential in using local resources to develop home-grown content and brands.
Do you want to recruit in the future? Absolutely. There is a huge wealth of remarkable and talented people in Fife and across Scotland with production skills that haven’t been given the opportunities they deserve. Tapping into this workforce and creating opportunities for it would be immensely rewarding.
What is the hardest thing about running your own business? Ultimately, you are solely responsible for the success or failure of your business. It’s a lot of responsibility and you need to make sure you accept that going in. You may find yourself working long hours and it can be difficult knowing when it’s time to wind down for the night.
Any advice to wannabe entrepreneurs? I’d encourage others not to wait. If you have a vision and want to make it a reality, then only you can make it happen. Believing in yourself and making the commitment to see it through are the fundamental steps everyone needs to take in order to succeed.
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