I was self-employed from 1970 when I started my first business, Bedford Audio, selling hi-fi, televisions (including Bang & Olufsen) and amateur radio (which necessitated becoming a registered radio amateur) for over 20 years. I was lucky to have some amazing members of staff over the years who helped me provide a friendly and knowledgeable service.
I also helped two local young men form a company to manufacture and distributing their SMC high quality loudspeakers throughout the UK and abroad. They receive excellent reviews in the hi-fi press and were exhibited at hi-fi exhibitions in the UK, Paris and Las Vegas.
Having taught myself basic programming I was able to customise a database program as my first application for the stock control in my hi-fi business. It proved invaluable. Other business friends asked for advice in computerising their businesses so I started an IT consultancy called Computer Solutions. I acquired the Sage Accounts software dealership and was one of their first dealers in the country. I had a number of assistants over the years looking after up to 50 customers, most of which were small businesses in the Kempston and Bedford area. Using a variety of database programs I created applications for many companies - some of them became the main IT solution for automating the entire company. In later years I was also able to produce web sites for some local businesses. I also ran training courses for my customers.
Nowadays, since retiring, I have created websites for friends or non-profit making organisations - mainly to keep my brain active! I do not charge for my time. I also enjoy designing posters and programmes, using desk top publishing, for local drama and musical organisations.
Lately I have become a volunteer for AbilityNet, a charity providing support to handicapped and/or elderly people. This is done via telephone or remote control during the Coronavirus pandemic precautions.