Entrepreneurship – from ideas to reality
Entrepreneurship – from ideas to reality

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Entrepreneurship – from ideas to reality

6 Getting and running a business

What are the core functions and roles that keep a business running?

At this point it is interesting to see how our entrepreneurs started out.

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So when I first had the idea, I started talking to my contacts in the local area about what provision was needed and whether there was any scope to be able to put something in place. And all the schools that I was connected with and senior leaders and people at the council were all saying the same thing, which is there's a shortage, and we need help.
So I took a bit of a leap of faith. I had to give three months notice on my role at that time. So I used that time to network, to talk to different people who were working charities and working with small organisations and trying to learn from them about some of the pitfalls and things to watch out for. And with the support of my family, really, and my partner, who helped cover my costs in the first couple of months of setting up, we were able to get it off the ground.
Basically, it came from my wanting to get out of the corporate world and wanting to get out of the job that I was doing and wanting to do something myself. So the idea of entrepreneurship came about. And since I already had the idea in my head and that the concept coming out and the planning stage of it, I got lots of advice from the Open University, from Business Gateways, Scottish Enterprise. And I just took the plunge and went to start my own business.
We came up with the idea in 2015. And we immediately started to look at ways to get a patent. Because that was what we thought was the right next step. And we spoke to a lot of people actually at Imperial in the business school, and we ended up doing an accelerator with them. We had a purely academic background, so we had no idea what we were doing.
And they gave us advice on how to form a company, how to raise funding, all about the market research. And that was where we started to figure out about the problems with the label. And it was really from there that we started to develop it into a real business with their advice.
So when we first started out, we asked lots of friends if they knew anyone in the industry. That was our starting point. Neither Naomi or I have been retailers before. And so we thought we would try and find people.
We were very lucky. We found a former buyer from M&S who gave us lots of assistance in the early days to help us shape what our brand and our message needed to be. We definitely had an identity crisis early on. We didn't quite know exactly who we were aiming for and how. She helped us shape that.
But in the process of talking to her, we also started to talk to other businesses and ask what they'd done, which is only natural. But we also approached our growth hub for our county, which led us on to speaking to the European enterprise network, and then to the Department of International Trade to start to understand some structures for how we might take the business forward in a bigger way. That led to us getting regular advice from one of the advisors that they send to you.
In fact, we got advice from a whole load of different people from that sort of local government arena. And lots of opportunities opened up from there. We talked to advisors and businesses in all sorts of different ways. We also talked to trading standards to make sure that our website was pitched at the right level and compliant. They just opened lots of doors for us it was very helpful.
End transcript: Video 2 Starting out
Video 2 Starting out
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Next you will think about the benefits of taking on employees as your business grows.


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