Starting Up A New Business

Presented with a brand new fledgling business Ruth advises how they can test the sell-ability of the product without investing hundreds. She also advises how start-ups should go slowly and grow organically.

Transcript: Starting Up A New Business

Q: I've got a little jewellery business, called Jemstar's Jewels because that was always my nickname at school. I literally make handcrafted jewellery, accessories, hairpieces things like that. Predominately I've only been doing it for friends and family and on an ad hoc basis so if somebody comes to me and they need something very specific, I will make it, but I'd really like to, kind of, start turning it into a business. Kind of just have some guidance on starting points really…

A: Right, starting points you've got to put some working capital, business has got all these big titles that actually mean simple things, right? Working capital is money you put in, okay, to help the business tick over, so things that you invest in your marketing and your leaflets and all that sort of stuff is working capital okay?

Capital expenditure is what you invest to start your business. So you need to put some capital in to sell things. How I would actually start to build up, now you're lovely to me, because you're what I call an organic business.

So what I can do is, for every pound you make, we can invest and grow, so you've got what I call 'proper growth'. Not: "I'm gonna go and buy ten thousand things and sell them."

Because that way you're just going to have a boom over night, you can go slowly. Is it your main, I say revenue source, but is that paying your bills at the minute?

Q; No.

A: Have you got a separate job?

Q: Yeah I've got a full time job

A: Ok, you are in the best position.

Three tips, firstly don't give up your job, because you're mad if you do, okay, because people who give up their job all of a sudden have this huge thing of I've gotta pay my rent, my this, my this, my this, and you're trying to flog jewellery and all of a sudden you start to undercut the price.

Secondly, don't think it's going to happen within the next six [months] to a year, right, what you want is what I call 'impulse buying'. You want to be able to get yourself in front of a customer, with a table, and I don't care how posh the table is because you're can put a cover on it. Put your jewellery there and say that's how much it is and the people that walk past at a point have a look at it and say "ooh I like that" and that how you get your cash flow going to start to wash its face.

Take that a step on that means you've got to get your brand, get some little business cards printed, have a look in your local area, local events whether its farmers' markets, whether it's, I dunno, crafts fairs, whether its beauty fairs, whether its wedding fairs, and call them, do it methodically, call them geographically, put it into Google, by postcode and see when those events are, and go.

And I'm not talking about walking round going, "do you wanna buy my jewellery?", invest the money in taking a stand.

Why I'm saying go to your crafts fairs, your farmers markets, because people have got time, people have got disposable income. Nobody goes to a farmers market, a craft fair, and runs in and runs out. They run in and they have a mosey, your Christmas markets, you know every single city in this country has Christmas markets, every single city will have ten to fifteen of you in there.

You target those events, and what you will do first of all without putting thousands of pounds in, is establish whether you've got something that can be sold. Alright, because I'm going to give you the reality check here, friends and family might not be the general public, what I'm going to say to you is go out and test it before you invest anything in. You invest, if you've got, if you want to do this properly, put a couple hundred quid to the side, make your jewellery and go and bloody sell it.

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