A Newport-based events company decides to diversify during the pandemic to help protect other businesses from Coronavirus.
Introduction to business
MJ Lights provide innovative event design and technical production services throughout the UK and Europe.
The business specialises in providing a vast range of technical event equipment including lighting, rigging, temporary power, staging, LED video displays, PA and audio-visual systems. Working from their in-house workshop in Newport, the creative arm of the business also offers turnkey production services, creative projects and bespoke products made with their own CNC machines.
What challenges and opportunities did you face during the Coronavirus outbreak?
To start with, the outbreak affected us in the same way as much of the hospitality industry. We lost all of our work from the beginning of March until September at the earliest. However, we have also had jobs cancelled in November and December. By the end of March, we had decided to write off getting any work for the rest of the year and planned as such, in the hope that this would be a worst case scenario, but one that the business could weather successfully.
We spent the first few weeks cleaning and repairing our equipment and our premises. In late April and beginning of May, we decided that we needed a little project to keep us busy, so we decided to use our existing equipment and workshop to help other businesses become Covid-19 secure. Therefore, we started using our onsite laser cutter and CNC machine to make protective screens.
How has the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service helped you?
Business Wales has helped us understand how we are able to market and advertise our products. This is an area that we as a business have never needed before, so we were lacking the skills. Our adviser, Miranda Bishop, was extremely helpful and gave us lots of advice and avenues to take that we would have never thought of.
What advice would you give to other business owners who are struggling through the crisis?
Our advice to other businesses and business owners would be not to panic. There will be difficulty ahead. However, there will be a lot of opportunities, too – as long as people understand and accept that they will not be able to open or go straight back to trading in the same way as before the pandemic hit. If they factor this in, then they should be able to make a success of the current situation.
If you want to read more success stories of how Business Wales has helped other people like you to start or grow their businesses, visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/case-studies or follow @_businesswales / @_busnescymru on Twitter.