Newtownabbey Businessman Ciaran Duggan tells us why self-employment works for him.

Q&A with Ciaran Duggan of Home Perfomance who received support from Mallusk Enterprise Park to realise his dream of self-employment

Did you always aspire to be self-employed?

Yes. Prior to the recession in 2009 I was employed as a Plumber by various large companies, however the construction industry shifted significantly as a result of the economic downturn and I was moved to a sub-contractor role which I felt was meaningless self-employment.

How long did you have your business idea before meeting with a Business Adviser to discuss?

I wanted to set up Home Performance for many years during my sub-contractor roles.  I had a good understanding of all aspects of plumbing.The catalyst for change was working in London Monday-Friday. The money was excellent, but my home life suffered.

What does your business do?

I enable people to live in healthier lives, in greener and more energy efficient homes.

My services include:

Plumbing & Heating

Modern and accurate heat loss surveys

Thermal imaging surveys

Ventilation & Mechanical Heat recovery

Complete bathroom makeovers

Solar Thermal

Air and Ground source heat pumps, underfloor heating, intelligent heating controls

How long have you been trading?

Home Performance was established in January 2019

Are you happy that you went into self-employment?

Yes, I couldn’t be happier. I have a young family and Self-employment provides me with a better work/life balance.

If you were to give one piece of advice to someone starting up what would it be?

Take deposits from customers before work begins.

Was the Go For It programme beneficial to you? If so, how?

Yes absolutely. It broke  down barriers and showed me that the business was viable. Meike, my business adviser in Mallusk Enterprise Park, guided me through the process and used examples and case studies very well. They helped me to understand other peoples experiences.

What was the best part of the programme?

Bench-marking my business and expectations against what others were achieving, and gaining a realistic expectation of what I could earn by being self employed

How did you finance your business?

I used my own money. I already owned most of the equipment and van which I needed.

Where do you see your business in 5 years time?

I’d like to be a one stop shop for Thermal Imagery, Plumbing &Heating and Ventilation.

If you are interested in exploring the idea of self-employment, simply contact us and a member of our team will be in touch within one working day.