IT expert beats his personal setback

AN IT expert has overcome a personal setback to open a new chapter in his life.

MARTLESHAM: AN IT expert has overcome a personal setback to open a new chapter in his life.

Property and IT professional Mark Smith decided to radically re-think his career after he found himself out of work in 2009.

He has now set up his own web design and property management company by making use of his expertise in the field.

The 43-year-old, of Martlesham Heath, a chartered building surveyor, signed on at Jobcentre Plus in Woodbridge in June after his most recent job came to an end.

He had worked in the public and private sector advising on everything from computer aided design to installing office printers and was referred to nextstep, the Learning Skills Council's advice service on learning, training, courses and jobs.

He was assigned to nextstep adviser Katrina Evans, who is employed by Suffolk County Council.

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“Nextstep was brilliant for me,” said Mr Smith.

“Katrina gave me lots of really useful information and explained how to go about setting myself up as self-employed or as a limited company. She also introduced me to Business Link which has been equally helpful. They have given me lots of one-to-one help with my business plan as well as running really informative - and free - seminars. They really know what they are talking about.”

After taking advice from nextstep and Business Link, Mr Smith decided to take the plunge and start his own business, PWD Services (East Anglia), offering a website design service for property-related companies.

He now offers everything from building a brand new website from scratch, complete with e-commerce facilities, availability calendars and account management tools, to refreshing existing sites that are in need of a little extra sparkle. He is also working in partnership with a Florida-based maintenance company to offer a complete rental and property management service for holiday homes in Florida.

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