Has anyone ever set up their own business?

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Dizzy, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    I have an idea for a business... However I have no idea what to do with it.

    I'm pretty good at sitting and working out all the areas I need to research. I am going to make a mind map of things, and work out priorities. My main starting point is seeing whether I can find suppliers and whether they can produce what I want and at what cost... Basically if I can't provide what I want cheaply enough there's no point perusing it.

    If I find a supplier who can offer what I want at a good price, the rest should fall into place... But I don't really know how to approach suppliers, I certainly don't feel professional, and at what stage do you do that...?!

    I don't have a business plan laid out, although have ideas of grandeur about how the business could expand in the future (nationally if it came to it, but I want to start very simple and if all it does is cover my bills with a bit to spare then that's cool too!!!). I have no idea how to write a business plan :/

    I don't think the overheads would be THAT much, but again, I suck at maths :/ I do have a friend who is training to be an accountant who could help me though maybe...!

    I feel the product is something I could sell well, as I have a vested interest in it, as a lay person too, so I know personally what I like about it and what I found a pain in the arse. My plan is to challenge the pain in the arse bits to make it much more appealing to everyone at the right price.

    It revolves around premade raw dog food :) it is very hard to come by in the uk, and it's very un user friendly when you do find a supplier... I have NOTHING locally, I travel very far to get mine as its too expensive to deliver here.

    My plan is to sell online (if I can find a good courier) and have a store front. But there's other stuff I want to do too, to make the raw experience more accessible :)

    I would like to start with market research before I do any of the above... Again, no point perusing if people can't be swayed. But I have some ace ideas of marketing it too, so would like to see if it appeals to anyone once I have that more solid...

    I do feel like I want to take it seriously though, I have a good job, good income, and security, but I feel quite passionate about it!

    Any ideas???? Anyone set a business up??
     
  2. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    I've contacted my website building friend, my graphic designer friend and my accountant friends. Think that's most bases covered lol

    How DO you write a business plan.... Who do I go to for advice.... The bank??

    I originally discussed the idea with a friend who was interested, we discussed it on a car journey solidly for 3 hours lol. I don't know if she's still interested, but I still want to do it! Work for myself. Set my own agenda. Awesome.
     
  3. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    There are lots of free websites out there on writing business plans and including free templates and stuff. They can also help guide you in your market research. You can talk to banks about getting business loans, but in order to get one you will need to have a business plan and be able to talk numbers or they might not take you seriously.

    I would generate a rough business plan - obviously without numbers it will be rough as far as costs and sale prices go, but after you've done some market research you'll have a few ideas, like "there are X dog owners in this area. people here spend X amount of money on their dogs per year." and you might also have researched the existing options (if any - try looking at US and other international companies for examples, like maybe Australia has some??) and figured out some ideas of where you'd like to price to be competitive, and what what would mean for your costing hopes. And then start approaching suppliers to see how far off you are and if it's something that can be worked out. A lot of the questions they might ask will already have been answered by that point, and after working out a business plan on paper you'll feel more confident in talking to them and answering questions!

    You already have a great story for the business - "as a dog owner myself I know how challenging it can be to feed quality raw food successfully and affordabley - that's why I created such-and-such to help you and your dogs thrive on raw!" Something like that.

    It takes a lot of research just to get a business like this off the ground but it sounds like a good idea and like you've got some passion for the idea! I say go for it!
     
  4. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    I have trouble with Chaz all the time so I don't know if this goes through.

    I work as a distributor so I have a pretty good idea about this. It could be a little different depending on what you are wanting to go into but might be a good outline to think about.

    We sell to the trade only. It isn't necessarily 'hard' to get us to provide you with product. It's literally a one page application. The two things we ask for are your resale certificate or business license and 3 trade references. I don't know if those would be needed for what you are going into but I know with what I work with we are to the trade only so we have to make sure that the person purchasing our product is in the trade and not a regular consumer trying to go around people we have accounts with.

    If you don't have those we usually recommend finding someone already in the trade who is willing to help you out and provide you with stock for a while and who would be willing to become a trade reference to you after a set period of time. It helps both of you since you establish yourself and have someone there who knows what they are doing so they can give advice while you are starting and they earn a little bit by doing a few percent mark up for you. You are paying a little more than them but still well below retail price and they earn money, not as much granted, but get customers outside their normal business area. *Where I work retail is double wholesale standard but some unscrupulous people like to make retail up to 3X wholesale*

    But like I said earlier without knowing what you are going into I'm not sure how helpful this is or not to you. I'm pretty well versed in 'to the trade' suppliers but if you are wanting to go any other route I'm not too familiar with finding sources to get stock from.
     
  5. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Thanks!

    Yoko, I'd be looking for suppliers to actually provide me direct (meat processors), not distributing another product (if possible!!!). I've found a body that represents meat processors in the uk so will start there...
     

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