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Five minutes with: Newtone Strings GB


First Voice catches up with Neil Silverman, of Newtone Strings GB, small business owner and FSB member.

Tell us about your business
We make custom strings for musical instruments; mainly for guitars, but also other steel-string instruments.

How did you start this business?
I didn’t. It was started by a man called Malcolm Newton in the mid-1980s. I joined in 2000, falling into the job straight out of college. When Malcolm decided to retire in 2015, he offered me the chance to take over.

How has your business developed since then?
We’ve worked on our social media presence and increasing awareness of what we do. 

What’s the best thing about working for yourself?
Being in control.

What’s the worst?
Being in control! There’s only you to make decisions.

What would you say to people keen to start a business?
Don’t undervalue yourself and your skills. Don’t go for all work that’s offered just to make your way. Consider the long-term benefits.

How has FSB membership helped you?
The resources available are a great help. There’s always someone you can ring to talk through any advice you need. 

Tell us something fun…
A few days ago we were contacted by a lady who told me she was in her 70s and wanted help picking mandolin strings. She had recently started playing and had decided to learn the instrument, rather than the ukulele, as it would look good hanging on the wall if she couldn’t master it.