For IT expert Gavin Bain, 3D modelling had always been a creative outlet – something to take his mind off his senior management position with one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies.
The 51-year-old got hooked on the hobby a decade ago but it was not until he was gifted a 3D printer in 2014 that he could start to see the potential of his work.
So when he took redundancy last September he decided to turn a past-time into a profession.
After contacting Business Gateway Aberdeen City & Shire for advice on the best way to market his firm Celtic3d, an adviser helped him identify new online markets.
Gavin, from Aberdeen, said: “I’d read the tea leaves and knew there were major changes on the horizon within the oil and gas industry which made me think about my position and what I wanted to do.
“If the security of my job hadn’t been in question I don’t think I’d have taken this opportunity because I held a senior position and had a good salary.
“But redundancy happened and I feel invigorated. My package gave me the initial investment I needed to get started and now I am getting paid to do something that I have spent years doing for fun.
“I have big plans for the business, including developing and selling a WordPress plug-in to display and sell 3D objects, and back end software services for processing 3D models but, for the moment, I am going to take my time, building my reputation and take every opportunity as it comes.”
Gavin was given advice on finding new clients and partnering with established retailers and developing B2B markets.
An action pan followed, allowing him to narrow his target market, which now includes construction firms, architects, and product development companies.
Gillian Macdonald, Start-up Adviser at Business Gateway, said: “Gavin needed help to identify the best way to digitally market Celtic3d.
“By introducing him to a DigitalBoost specialist he identified potential new markets, he had not originally thought of. The process gave him more confidence and armed him with new ways of thinking. As a result his business is now starting to make in-roads with local firms seeking his expert knowledge and skills.”