Kevin Paver from Gomersal, West Yorkshire had an enviable 15-year career working at several market-leading commercial radio stations where he was responsible for creating and delivering creative content and engaging audiences. But in August 2013 he was made redundant.
However, rather than let it be the end of the world, for Kevin, 38, this was the necessary shove he needed to set up his own company, Big Zoo Media, with the support of the West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency. The organisation has the contract to deliver the Government’s New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme helping those out of work start their own firms.
He says, “Big Zoo Media was an idea that was floating around between myself and my business partner for some time, but actually doing something about it is very difficult when you have a steady job, reliable salary, a mortgage and two young children (with nursery fees!).”
Big Zoo Media help businesses with animated explainer videos, web videos, podcasts, internal communication audio, content creating educational courses, website design and social media strategies.
Kevin had known for some time that the industry he was in was changing and the number of available positions was dramatically reducing. He says, “I also wanted to be more in control of my own working situation.”
The idea for Big Zoo Media came from seeing the need for businesses to engage better with their customers across multiple platforms, says Kevin: “In the last five years, we have seen huge advances in technology and the way we consume multi-platform media. However, many businesses have not moved at the same pace. Now, businesses can interact with their customers, employees or fans using creative media. Research has shown than this kind of engagement makes the customer feel more connected with the company, more trusting of them and more likely to recommend them to others. With our vast experience of engaging target audiences, we can help business achieve this.”
Kevin joined the NEA scheme in October 2013 and during this time, he says the mentor support he received was invaluable. He adds, “Regular sessions with my mentor Rachel were essential, certainly in the first three months. She helped me focus on the right things, at the right time and how to best manage my time. We had quite a lot of work in the first three months, and for a new business, at times it was a little overwhelming. Rachel helped me get through that with her logical approach. She also helped me with the more serious things such as legal documents, insurance and even figuring out if we were actually making any profit.”
The company is currently working with many businesses across West Yorkshire on their multi-platform content, including Kirklees Council, Olympic Gold Medal-winning boxer (and Dancing on Ice finalist) Luke Campbell MBE, a large Yorkshire shopping centre on a monthly online TV series, Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, the BBC and lots of schools across the whole Yorkshire region. Kevin says, “We’re excited about the future and how using multi-platform content can enhance any business brand. We also feel very proud of our education projects; giving children the skills to be able to create, manage and distribute their own engaging content. After all, they are our future right?”
Kevin’s aims aren’t modest. “In five years, our vision is for Big Zoo Media to be the ‘go-to’ creative media company for Kirklees, Wakefield and Calderdale,” he says, “We want to be famous for delivering exceptional results in helping our clients grow their business, using multi-platform media. We also want to be a big part of the local business community, supporting events, charities and those that are not fortunate enough to have had a great start.”
You can find out more about Kevin’s work on his website at www.bigzoo.co.uk.