Starting my own business

Discussion in 'Starting a Business' started by J Greig, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. J Greig

    J Greig
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    I am currently employed and have been at this new job for around 9 months now. At my last job, I was thinking of starting my own business but never really got round to making it happen. I also didn't have any partners to do it with. Due to certain circumstances I was forced to leave that job and go to the one I'm in now and since then have made some great friends. Two people in particular are interested in my idea and have actually asked me to start the process of looking for investments.

    One of them is a marketing and sales graduate and is able to make our business plan and promote the business while the other has vast knowledge in customer experience, which are both essential for the business. We are all above the age of 20 and I must say to you that we don't want to start a business just to get rich. We want to start something which will benefit the community.

    The business itself will be a takeaway or sit in specifically for baguettes, sandwiches and rolls. You can either order hot or cold fillings and all fillings are fresh and are prepared right in front of you. You will have the choice of choosing what you want as the fillings will be laid out in front of you in a counter. We will also offer soft drinks, crisps and maybe sweets. In this building we will also have WiFi usage which customers can use if they have bought something and are willing to sit in. We are also thinking of having games consoles which people can use for varies amounts of time and if the building is big enough, maybe a pool table.

    I am basically asking, is this idea good? Would I get grants or investments for this? I must stress that there is nothing where we live that does this and the only place to get food such as that is at a local garage which people only really use for fuel (petrol and diesel).
     
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  2. Ted

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    J,
    I think it would be wise to try to judge how much demand there is in your own local area for this type of business. Your business idea sounds good. But whether or not you succeed will depend on how willing the locals in your community are to come do business with you. Their willingness to do business with you will be based around what benefit they get out of your shop compared to all the other options they have available to them. Why will they want to come to your shop? Are those reasons strong enough reasons? It will also depend on your ability to run and manage your business and meet your customer's expectations.

    Your customers are going to be local people. So, I would ask around locally. Ask your friends and neighbors about your idea. I would also find a local accountant and ask him or her about the idea and how viable they think it is. Figure out who your potential customers would most likely be. What kind of people go to a place like that? Ask them about your idea. Listen very closely to their feedback and suggestions.
     
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  3. J Greig

    J Greig
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    Well we can offer something nobody else does, that's a start, right? I asked round 45 people last yer if they use our services/shop if it opened and they said yes because we'd be selling something no other shop does here. We all have experience in dealing with customers and we all have the appropriate health and safety certificates. We have everything needed to start, except investment/funds.

    As I said above, we asked around and the idea was a big hit with those we asked. We would target schools and workers generally. As a place to come for lunch and also for a break afterwards. At the current time, workers are going home for lunch simply because they have nowhere else to go. I have asked some of them if there was a place to come each day for refreshment and it wouldn't cost too much would they come to it, and they said yes.

    Also, I have started asking school children where they go for lunch and the majority said they use the school canteen for their meals. Needless to say, but they said they wished there were some place to go other than school because firstly, they spend nearly all day there and would like a break from it and secondly, the meals aren't that good, in their opinion.
     
  4. Ted

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    Well it sounds like you have done a lot of the research already.

    One other question that I would like to ask is "Do any of you have an experience working in a restaurant?"

    If someone has a lot of experience, that would be really beneficial. If not, then you might want to seek some experience before trying to launch your own restaurant/cafe. You could approach a some other local business owner and explain that you would like to learn how to run a cafe/restaurant. Offer to work for them part time for free if they will teach you everything you need to know. It would be helpful if all 3 of you had some experience in that field. If you don't have any experience, you will probably find that the business is a lot different than you are imagining it might be.

    Then the next step for you would be to complete your business plan and begin seeking either a loan or some investors.
     
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  5. J Greig

    J Greig
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    Yes I have experience working in this field, and so does one of my partners. The other as I said, will be doing the marketing and sales for the business, but also has experience dealing with customers.

    The business plan can be completed fairly soon and since we live in Scotland, my first port of call would be to Business Gateway, which offer grants to new business start ups. As for investors, we don't want this until we get off the ground basically. The business is already going to be split 3 ways, so adding one or more people to the line would only decrease our percentage, which none of us want as we'll be doing most of the work. We don't want people thinking they can just put money into it and think they can take our hard earned money.

    A loan is our more preferred way of getting funds, since we can pay it back (if the business works) and then they don't ask us for anymore, which is what we find more attractive over an investor.
     
  6. noreturn

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    Those are some of the best questions to every ask when you are about to open a business, and if you answer all of them and get the right location you will be set off to a rocking start. Also when you first open make sure customer support is your number one support because if they have a good experience, then they will tell their friends about it. Then you will have more customers.
     
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  7. J Greig

    J Greig
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    Definitely. Customer support and experience is one of our many qualities, and I'm always looking to help people.
     
  8. EKey.biz

    EKey.biz
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    Could you start with a small food cart to test out the popularity of the product? Wifi and all the other features of a retail location sound good but are pointless if people don't love the sandwiches and rolls.
     
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  9. J Greig

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    That is something we hope to start on a trial run once we propose our business plan.
     

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