General Business Forum Brought to you by Salesforce

Expanding my business at 16

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Kyle Curran, May 22, 2020.

  1. Kyle Curran

    Kyle Curran UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    17 1
    Since I was 14, I have been selling cupcakes and cakes from my home to the public. In 2019, I decided to take my business in a different direction - I registered with Companies House and began selling pre-packed baked goods to dessert stores. At one point I had a customer who took £500 a week in orders but this caused problems for me as I operated from my home kitchen which is painfully small, leading to me cutting ties with this customer as I could not keep up with the demand and did not have the space.

    Now I have been working with customers taking smaller orders for the past 5 months and have decided it is right to expand as I am reaching my kitchens capacity. I am going to view an industrial unit next week which, if all goes well, I will move into. The rent and service charge will cost £66 per week (including VAT) and utilities are subject to usage. I have estimated that between £5000-6000 will be needed to buy all the equipment.

    My questions to the forum are:
    1. What are the questions I should be asking when visiting the unit?
    2. Are there any grants or funding you know of that would be available to myself? (Many are not applicable due to my age)
    3. Is crowdfunding even worth a thought?

    Thanks, Kyle :)
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
    Posted: May 22, 2020 By: Kyle Curran Member since: Dec 29, 2018
    #1
  2. ryedale

    ryedale Contributor Full Member - Verified Business

    1,548 369
    £66 a month for a unit including VAT and service charge - are you sure about that?

    Well done on the business growth though!
     
    Posted: May 22, 2020 By: ryedale Member since: Dec 17, 2013
    #2
  3. Kyle Curran

    Kyle Curran UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    17 1
    My mistake its actually £66 per week.

    Thanks!
     
    Posted: May 22, 2020 By: Kyle Curran Member since: Dec 29, 2018
    #3
  4. Scalloway

    Scalloway UKBF Legend Free Member

    16,188 3,420
    Posted: May 22, 2020 By: Scalloway Member since: Jun 6, 2010
    #4
  5. Kyle Curran

    Kyle Curran UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    17 1
    I am in contact with someone at the Prince's Trust and they have arrange a £250 grant for me. Unfortunately their larger grants are only available to those 18 and over and my age restricts me from accessing a startup loan.

    Thanks!
     
    Posted: May 22, 2020 By: Kyle Curran Member since: Dec 29, 2018
    #5
  6. LanceUk

    LanceUk UKBF Contributor Free Member

    61 21
    Unf, under 18, you are not legally capable of entering an enforeceable contract (I recall there being a case to qualify this to being beyond your immedoiate needs - but can't recall it) and this will restrict your funding options. If you haven't already, you may have to appoint an adult as a director/secretary to your company and seek funding through their ability to commit the company (and likely some form of directors guarantee from more traditional sources of income).

    Alterntatively there are crowdfunding sites where you can ask for money literally for anything.. A 16 year old trying to expand business will pull some hearstrings I would guess and you don't even have to offer to repay the money or give equitiy.. Something like "donate £20 and I will send you a card with my picture on it, donate £20 and I will send you a 1/2 dozen Eccles cakes baked by myself from new new kitchen (if it gets off the ground)" will do it.

    Here is a story of a young (although > 18 year old) who started a flight school in Australia doing that; and went to become Australia's largest flight school before getting entangled in a lucrative but rorting government scheme and crashing back to earth...

    www dot smartcompany dot com dot au/entrepreneurs/influencers-profiles/soar-aviation-neel-khokhani-flight-school
    (can't formally post links yet.. have to get my posts up)
     
    Posted: May 23, 2020 By: LanceUk Member since: Jan 8, 2018
    #6
  7. JEREMY HAWKE

    JEREMY HAWKE UKBF Legend Full Member

    5,036 1,682
    Well done it is a good idea to start when your young . It is difficult to raise funding when your under 18 with no track record but don't let anything get in the way if you are sure you have a good business model There is more than one way to get to the top of the mountain

    I would explore the crowdfunding route as @LanceUk has said and see what you think of it

    I hope you will stay on UKBF as it is always nice to see a project progress and the site needs some younger business people as the usual suspects here are the oldest people in the world and can remember Queen Victoria :):)
     
    Posted: May 23, 2020 By: JEREMY HAWKE Member since: Mar 4, 2008
    #7
  8. tony84

    tony84 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    5,754 1,049
    With 1-2 years of doing this, do you not have family who could chip in?
    I would not lend any of my family money for a business as I would not have much confidence in them. However you actually come across quite well and have already proved the concept, if you were my relative I would make a dent in to that £5k.
     
    Posted: May 23, 2020 By: tony84 Member since: Apr 14, 2008
    #8
  9. Kyle Curran

    Kyle Curran UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    17 1
    I did originally have my dad as the director but it offered no benefit as most grants and loans want to know about shareholders as well - and I was the majority shareholder. Although, I will 100% consider crowdfunding and hope it works out for me.

    Thanks!
     
    Posted: May 23, 2020 By: Kyle Curran Member since: Dec 29, 2018
    #9
  10. Kyle Curran

    Kyle Curran UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    17 1
    Definitely a mixture of family donations and crowdfunding will be my way to go. I'll keep the thread updated.

    Thanks!
     
    Posted: May 23, 2020 By: Kyle Curran Member since: Dec 29, 2018
    #10
  11. billybob99

    billybob99 UKBF Regular Free Member

    1,555 465
    Post me a cupcake son.
     
    Posted: May 23, 2020 By: billybob99 Member since: Apr 23, 2013
    #11
  12. Kyle Curran

    Kyle Curran UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    17 1
    My family are super supportive and I'm sure they will give what they can to support me, after-all they might be wanting a job someday ;)

    Thanks!
     
    Posted: May 23, 2020 By: Kyle Curran Member since: Dec 29, 2018
    #12
  13. Kyle Curran

    Kyle Curran UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    17 1
    Send me £5k and you can have free cupcakes for life ;)
     
    Posted: May 23, 2020 By: Kyle Curran Member since: Dec 29, 2018
    #13
  14. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Legend Full Member

    9,991 4,065
    a. The name of your company has not been trademarked - do that now! There are three businesses trading under that name and you need to register it asap! The company name alone ain't enough!

    b. Go easy on the investment - as nice as it may be to buy shiny and new mixers and ovens and worktops from Nisbet, start with some domestic stuff, prices for basic domestic ovens start at £120 and you should also do the rounds at the charity shops to see what they have got. Spending money is easy! Someone out there had a perfectly good chest freezer or ovens or tables or mixers that they want to be rid of. You just have to find them!

    c. Used professional kitchen stuff is available all over the place.
     
    Posted: May 23, 2020 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #14
  15. billybob99

    billybob99 UKBF Regular Free Member

    1,555 465
    That's a good deal, post me the agreement along with the cupcake.
     
    Posted: May 23, 2020 By: billybob99 Member since: Apr 23, 2013
    #15
  16. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Legend Full Member

    9,991 4,065
    d. Call the local council and find out what local health and safety laws apply to food manufacture.
     
    Posted: May 23, 2020 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #16
  17. Opinion87

    Opinion87 UKBF Regular Free Member

    529 154
    @The Byre has posted very good advice as usual. You can get second hand equipment really cheap if you spend some time looking around, and a lot of the time it just needs a really good clean and a little bit of love. Even if it only lasts you a year or two, at a fraction of the price of new stuff, it'll be well worth it.

    Also, it might be worth approaching local businesses that already have a commercial kitchen that don't use them all day, every day, to see if they might let you use it when they're not. A lot of pubs don't serve food all day so the kitchen sits empty, some cafes may close at 17:00 etc.
     
    Posted: May 23, 2020 By: Opinion87 Member since: Jul 1, 2015
    #17
  18. tony84

    tony84 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    5,754 1,049
    If you do crowdfunding, post the link on here.

    There are hundreds of posts on here from people starting out who have terrible ideas or want everything handed to them on a plate.

    You have just got on with it and given it a go and now you know it works you are looking to build on it. I am obviously not offering you £5k, but happy to give a little bit to help you on your way as I think you are probably more like to make a real go of it than most people I see wanting to start out on here.

    You come across far better than I did at 16 and probably far better than I do at 35.
     
    Posted: May 23, 2020 By: tony84 Member since: Apr 14, 2008
    #18
  19. BusterBloodvessel

    BusterBloodvessel UKBF Regular Free Member

    236 94
    Good luck to you - and as said, spend wisely on your equipment. I own a bakery& shop that developed out of an at home food delivery business - only now 4 years into the business are we starting to buy new equipment. Just bought a new double freezer that broke my heart at almost 2k!

    There is lots to be had second hand - I suspect especially at the moment as a lot of catering businesses will not be re-opening. Fridges and freezers are difficult because often they’re f*cked and the gas has gone but still deals to be had if you can see stuff working or buy from “professional” refurbishers.

    try to get everything in stainless steel and if you can, on wheels - hygiene inspectors much prefer the stainless and the wheels make it easier for moving everything out and doing your cleaning behind it. Stainless tablets and shelving can be bought cheaply on eBay - either second hand or new stuff which is of limited build quality but certainly usable to get you going. Again we just ditched some stainless tables we had that were finally giving up the ghost after 2 years - but from memory they were only about £80 each and have been great for us until we could start to get beefier and heavy duty.

    Happy to help if you’ve any other questions and again, best of luck!
     
    Posted: May 23, 2020 By: BusterBloodvessel Member since: Jan 22, 2018
    #19
  20. BusterBloodvessel

    BusterBloodvessel UKBF Regular Free Member

    236 94
    Apologies for some of the spelling & grammar above, typing on my bloody phone!
     
    Posted: May 23, 2020 By: BusterBloodvessel Member since: Jan 22, 2018
    #20