So guys this is such a realistic way of me telling you how it all starts, this isn’t going to be the same for everyone but, the general way and things of what I’ve had to do will be very similar.
So if you caught my last post, I ended up moving back home to my hometown to Middlesbrough. I moved back in with my parents. Initially this was a huge deal for me like a million steps back kinda deal. But I knew it would lead to bigger and better things. Once settled for a few weeks I knew I had to get looking for a part time job, I secured a decent job about half an hour away from where I lived in a retail shop, I knew this was too far and Id spend too much on petrol but it was a job for the time being.
Then I had to start thinking about, how do I even go about starting my business. One of my sisters friends who has her own business, recommended The Princes Trust to me, so I started with this and enquired online. To receive a phone call the following day about signing up to a 4 day course at their center in Middlesbrough. Things were going well so far. So I signed up to it and there were many other business start ups there or people only just thinking about starting a business so very new to the business world. The course went through everything from accounting, time management, advertising and marketing. But if I’m honest because your so new to it at this stage you can’t really take much in. It’s all a bit of a blur when I look back on it now.
One main thing that attracted me to the The Princes Trust was that they offered funding, through a loan scheme that had to be paid back over a few years. I knew I needed capital to at least buy an industrial sewing machine and an industry mannequin, along with stationary bits, stock to start with and many fabric sample books (which cost a lot may I add).
So I intended to follow through with the course then go to monthly meetings with the designated person who got us through from the course, to business plan to applying for the funding. So basically you had to have a fully completed business plan to be able to apply for the funding. Which is absolutely fine that’s pretty normal, if you went to a bank asking for a business loan you would need exactly the same thing it may just be a lot harder. So I started the process of the dreaded business plan, if you haven’t seen one go and check it out, they are hefty as hell. But very in depth which is only fair to be honest. So after a few months of planning and sorting the business plan out, I was ready to go in front of a panel, so a panel meeting just to talk about my business and a few things in the plan to make sure it was all legit. (I was successful in the application for funding)
This process of the Princes Trust was the most deflating if I’m honest, it took so long to get to this stage, it was actually quite deflating to me and my business as starting up, I was literally raring to go but I knew I needed capital to get it up and running properly. It was so frustrating because it was out of my hands I couldn’t make them go any quicker.
So lets plan this out, I moved home in the February, I went on the course about May time, I had my business plan completed by August and was ready to go in front of the panel. I didn’t go in front of the panel until late October and I didn’t receive the funding until November. So anyone looking to go through this process I would recommend, however, I would push like crazy for it to happen as quick as possible. It was just way too slow.
An amazing thing that came out of it though, they assign you a mentor for up to two years. I have had one since the month after I received the funding and he’s amazing, so much advice and motivation to help and see me succeed I couldn’t ask for anything better.
Since I received my funding, I got started by purchasing everything on my wish list. Including many advertising things, like leaflets and business cards. Advertising takes a good 6 months to get a return on anything so its a long stretch of wait before you see any orders come in. But perseverance is key.
That’s how I started my business in a short snippet of it really, if anyone would like any advice or help if they feel like their in a similar situation then just drop me a dm through my Instagram or Facebook page @HallieCouture