Q: What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
We were approached by a company that operates in a very similar market with a detox product. We researched the sector and couldn’t find anything similar in the UK, so we then noticed a gap in the market, and decided to set up the company.
Q: Tell us about your business
Nouveau Health is a sales and marketing company operating in the health industry primarily selling to small independent health food stores. We source products from other countries that aren’t in the UK. We’re looking for unique products for the natural health sector. Our detox range removes toxins and this hasn’t been available in the UK before.
Q: How did you go about setting up your business?
We were approached with the product range and conducted a lot of research by reading through all the studies. We looked through the market for similar products, and couldn’t find anything, so decided to set up the company and start supplying to retailers. We both come from business backgrounds, and understand marketing. One of us handles the numbers, whilst the other one is more creative and comes up with the ideas. We plan everything, and make sure the ideas match the numbers.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge so far with running your own business?
Cash flow has been the biggest problem so far. We didn’t have the money at first to cover marketing or PR campaigns, as we didn’t have a big lump sum of cash from the start.
Q: How did/have you overcome these challenges?
To overcome the cash flow problem we went to CWRT, who we had heard about through a friend. They helped give us the capital we were always lacking, which made a huge difference to our business.
Q: What do you love about running your own business?
You can control the direction you are going in. With the health industry you can go two ways, big stores or independent small stores. It was our decision. We decided to go with the small independent stores as the community is different, and it is not as cut throat.
Q: Are there any top tips that you would like to share with others thinking about starting or growing their own business?
The top tip we would give is ‘plan, plan and plan’. Your market research is core to any start up business, if you don’t know your industry or who your competitors are you won’t go anywhere. If you don’t know your market research it doesn’t matter if your idea is the best in world, ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’. Preparation is everything, know your industry, know your customers and make sure you are organised.
Q: How much did you apply for and over what term?
We applied for two separate start up loans as we are two separate directors. The first start up loan was £25,000 over 60 months, while the second start up loan was £25,000 over 60 months – we have had £15,000 of it so far, and are waiting to draw down the remaining £10,000 when the business needs it.
Q: Why did you access financial support through CWRT?
We tried banks, but the interest rates were too high. CWRT were better than traditional sources, interest rates were low, support that we received was fantastic, and the organisation offers so many extras, including industry contacts.
Q: What support did you receive from CWRT?
Financial support. We were also offered business advice, but we have our own board of directors with 40 years of experience behind them so didn’t opt for the business advice. Sheridan herself, however, was absolutely fantastic in terms of support.
Q: How has the loan provided helped you?
It enabled us to give the stores we are supplying the ability to be able to push the product through marketing, leaflets and Point of Sales displays. It also allowed us to launch a PR campaign, targeted at trade press to boost distribution.
Q: Has the loan helped you to create any jobs?
We have created two jobs, an in-house administrator who has kept control of finances, and an in-house designer, who has designed everything, including all our marketing. Both of these jobs are part-time. We are also looking at a third person to come in and focus on the social media side.