Business Mentor

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Michael East

Free Member
Aug 18, 2020
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Hi guys,

My business plan is two thirds complete, company registered, website domain secured and lots of other things in progress.

I think now may a good time to speak to a business mentor for some additional advice, I’d really appreciate any suggestions/names you may have.

Finances are pretty tight so pls bear in mind

Many thanks for your anticipated responses
 

The Byre

Legacy Full Member
Aug 13, 2013
11,838
5,131
Have a look through my videos on how to start a company (link below) and ask questions here. Also read all the usual books, starting with 'Starting a Business for Dummies' by Colin Barrow. Remember to register your trademark!

A business plan must contain five things and each of those issues must be addressed fully and completely if you are to stand any chance of success.
 
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cts1975

Free Member
Apr 29, 2012
269
58
You would be hard pushed to find as much free information and advice than is available on this forum. There are some genuine experts in their field on this forum and a huge wealth of experience.
May be tell us a bit more about your business and somebody more suitable will post.
 
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Michael East

Free Member
Aug 18, 2020
11
0
Thanks for the responses, also thank you to the byre, watched 3 of your videos and particularly enjoyed writing copy.

So, in terms of the business...

It’s a vitamin, minerals and supplements business, nothing unique there, lots of companies are already doing this.

I guess the main “unique” (so far I’ve come across only one other company that does the same and to an exceptional standard I might add) aspect is that it focuses on purity of ingredients, zero animal traces, environmentally friendly packaging AND is registered as a B-Corp company. Essentially it’s a business that places an enormous amount of emphasis on ESG philosophies - people, planet and profit.

It’s something I’m passionate about and something that I believe will only grow. Not just my own belief but lots of market research also supports this.

The fundamental issue I have is that locating suppliers who fit this model is extremely difficult, so far I’ve found only one.

It makes it difficult to “test” the products in a live environment as the MOQ ( minimum order quantities ) are relatively high and would basically eat away at most of the initial capex fund.

I will attempt to negotiate a smaller MOQ with the supplier but they’re used to much bigger businesses than mine.

Slight impasse as it’d be extremely sensible and logical to test first rather than plough thousands into a bespoke range of products that may fall flat on their ar$e.

Thanks again
 
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fisicx

Moderator
Business Listing
Sep 12, 2006
35,647
10,804
Aldershot
www.aerin.co.uk
Well done for getting this far.

The products are secondary to your marketing. You need to put all your efforts into marketing. If you can do that well the products will sell.

if you can’t afford the MOQ then you won’t have enough for marketing as this will be a far bigger cost than anything else.
 
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Michael East

Free Member
Aug 18, 2020
11
0
Thanks for the encouraging words fisicx

Understood, my good lady friend is head of marketing for a large firm so I’ll have some expert advice to lean on regarding the marketing element.

I’m hoping to receive a government grant as well as my own contribution, if this doesn’t materialise or is still not enough then I may apply for a business loan or crowdfunding, we’ll see
 
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fisicx

Moderator
Business Listing
Sep 12, 2006
35,647
10,804
Aldershot
www.aerin.co.uk
I doubt anyone will help you with funding. To get money you need to offer something of value. Vitamins and supplements aren’t anything special. Especially as your business model can be replicated overnight by anyone.
 
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Mr D

Free Member
Feb 12, 2017
28,614
3,551
Stirling
Suppliers often agree to send samples - often for a small fee. So you could test them.
MOQ is an issue when buying, tends to (not always) be bigger when dealing with an overseas company.

Generally to raise funds - friends, family and fools.
The first two will invest / lend / grant money because its you and they know you. The fools will invest in the business - but to start off with its not worth much.

Until you start selling you don't know what the market you can get is. The market for the product type may be tens of billions, the sales you get reflect what you can sell to the market.
Tends to be harder for new products to sell - they aren't known. And to be honest the existing companies may well outsell you for quite some time - they sell what the customers want.
 
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Michael East

Free Member
Aug 18, 2020
11
0
I think they would send samples if it was an off the shelf product, however, these are bespoke formulations so I’m guessing zero chance

I think the key, as mentioned earlier, is the marketing element. I believe there is a desire for the products and I’m confident that the ESG philosophy pushes the proposition up significantly more

It seems as though the initial investment will need to be relatively high, what would have been ideal would be to push a few test samples out but it doesn’t look like I’ll have that luxury.

I guess it pushes the risk up somewhat
 
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Michael East

Free Member
Aug 18, 2020
11
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Thanks Nick, I’ll take a look.

I already have a supplier in Finland that can meet most of my requirements and they will provide a reasonable MOQ for a start up

However they can’t meet one of my main requirements and can only package using plastic

Drop-shipping would be an added bonus though for sure
 
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Mr D

Free Member
Feb 12, 2017
28,614
3,551
Stirling
I think they would send samples if it was an off the shelf product, however, these are bespoke formulations so I’m guessing zero chance

I think the key, as mentioned earlier, is the marketing element. I believe there is a desire for the products and I’m confident that the ESG philosophy pushes the proposition up significantly more

It seems as though the initial investment will need to be relatively high, what would have been ideal would be to push a few test samples out but it doesn’t look like I’ll have that luxury.

I guess it pushes the risk up somewhat

Have no clue what ESG philosophy is - perhaps something your customer demographic cares about.

Don't believe there is desire for the product. Know it - the marketing costs can be several times the product cost initially.
If you are wrong about the desire for the product (which you have to generate) then the product won't sell as quick as you want.

Build your business plan with assumptions but get someone who isn't as into the product as you are to check your figures.
Business owners can be extremely optimistic about the sales. Its customers that buy though.
If they know about the product...
 
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Michael East

Free Member
Aug 18, 2020
11
0
It’s environmental, social, governance, basically an ethical way for businesses to run. It’s a follow on from corporate social responsibility and more and more people, as well as investors, are turning to companies that operate this way.

There is an absolute desire for the product, backed up with lots of market research

I’ll get additional eyes on the figures, thanks for the steer
 
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Mr D

Free Member
Feb 12, 2017
28,614
3,551
Stirling
It’s environmental, social, governance, basically an ethical way for businesses to run. It’s a follow on from corporate social responsibility and more and more people, as well as investors, are turning to companies that operate this way.

There is an absolute desire for the product, backed up with lots of market research

I’ll get additional eyes on the figures, thanks for the steer

Ah, a niche type of business.

Yes been plenty of those through the years. Some do ok out of the niche.
 
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Clinton

Free Member
Jan 17, 2010
5,271
2,407
ukbusinessbrokers.com
Finances are pretty tight so pls bear in mind
Free advice: Most businesses that fail in the early days fail because of lack of funds.

Your problem is not lack of a mentor, it's lack of money. Instead of sniffing around to get an experienced business adviser "on the free", get some money together and go pay for advice whenever you need it.

Personally, I think you may have your heart in the right place with all this ESG stuff but you have neither the nous nor the capital to pull off what you're trying to do. I believe it's a far, far bigger task than you think.
 
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JEREMY HAWKE

Business Member
Business Listing
Mar 4, 2008
6,306
2,364
EXETER DEVON
www.jeremyhawkecourier.co.uk
You would be hard pushed to find as much free information and advice than is available on this forum. There are some genuine experts in their field on this forum and a huge wealth of experience.
May be tell us a bit more about your business and somebody more suitable will post.

I would agree with this With both of us coming from the transport industry we learn a lot on here and also give back some of our knowledge in return

The best thing you can do is become one of the usual suspects on here and make good use of it
Good luck !
 
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It’s environmental, social, governance, basically an ethical way for businesses to run. It’s a follow on from corporate social responsibility and more and more people, as well as investors, are turning to companies that operate this way.
Totally agree.

We are being asked to source components and packaging from sustainable sources using plant based materials instead of plastic for both product components as well as diodegradeable packaging.

It's where the growth is and probably the future.
 
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