Q: What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
The real motivation in starting my business steamed from my youngest daughter being awarded a 3 year dance scholarship to a top performing arts school. Which meant that whilst her training was taken care of I would still incur costs for her accommodation and uniform and equipment. Plus as a result of her leaving home meant that I now needed to either get a job or start my own business to not only keep busy but also have an interest of my own. Knowing that the physical career of a dancer can be relatively short, I decided that my best route was to start my own business within the dance arena which if all went well could result in being taken over by my daughters a few years down the line when they were looking to extend and continue their own dance career involvement.
Q: Tell us about your business:
The business is called ABOUT Dance and was so named as to allow for natural expansion via the introduction at a later date of additional products and services. In relation to the first product a meaningful database needed to be obtained and this is being done by creating a detailed categorised dance directory and charging various amounts for inclusion within the dance directory website, with the amount denoting the content and details allowed.
Q: How did you go about setting up your business?
Prior to setting up the business I tested the water by creating website holding page as a way for people to register if interested in what I was planning to offer. The result was that a number of high profile people and dance organisations took the time and trouble to register their details which confirmed the potential which existed. I also created social media accounts as a way to obtain industry related interest.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge so far with running your own business?
So far I would say the biggest challenge has been in identifying the best and right person(s) to talk too whether that is in the sale of the product or in the identification of a suitable supplier. Plus there not being enough hours in the day to start off with.
Q: How did/have you overcome these challenges?
In finding the right person it’s been a matter of asking a few short questions rather that explaining everything to everyone, as well as creating something which can be viewed by others easily in an attempt to avoid the same questions being asked. Regarding not enough hours it’s down to planning the day and focusing rather than continually trying to multitask.
Q: What do you love about running your own business?
Having something that I am truly interested in as well as enjoy and enjoy doing as well as knowing that the business which I am looking building is for my family’s future.
Q: Are there any top tips that you would like to share with others thinking about starting or growing their own business?
Believe in, and love what you do, and your positive energy will help. Although it can be daunting you’d be surprised as you go through things that you know a lot more that perhaps you may give yourself credit for.
Q: How much did you apply for and over what term?
£8,500 over 5 years.
Q: Why did you access financial support through CWRT?
Because the ability existed for certain decisions regarding my application to be made in house, which I feel made the process quicker as it was the people I was dealing with who ultimately made the decision.
Q: What support did you receive from CWRT? i.e. did you find the process simple? Were you helped to improve your business plan and financials? Anything else?
The application process was simple enough once I had identified the correct delivery partner. The business plan which was originally submitted by me only required a few tweaks from guidance given.
Q: How has the loan provided helped you?
It enabled me to get a website developed and obtain the necessary equipment and software to undertake my own promotional activities.