Posted: Fri 15th Mar 2013
StartUp Saturday alumni Philip Crilly is sharing his progress with Enterprise Nation readers as he seeks to get his gluten-free food business launched in just 12 weeks. Here's week three - and Philip finds himself reflecting on his successes and challenges so far.
Reflecting on the past three weeks I have been thinking about some of the highs and lows of the process of setting up a new business, writes Philips (left). So far there have been more highs but I know from talking to a number of other entrepreneurs recently that owning a business can be both challenging and stressful at times.
Becoming Eatibbles Ltd I received my Eatibbles Ltd certificate from Companies' House this week. Just seeing the certificate is a massive source of pride. In the past registering a limited company was a real barrier for me because I didn't know where to start! At StartUp Saturday and in the StartUp Kit Emma mentions a company called Companies Made Simple that takes the hassle out of registering a business. I am also in the process of setting up a business bank account and have a meeting planned with an accountant to review the finances of the company. Certified Gluten-Free This week I got the results back from the lab that was testing my granola and (drum roll please...) it has passed the test and can now be certified as being gluten-free! This is a really key step because one of the big selling points of the brand is that it is suitable for everyone, even those with coeliac disease and gluten-intolerances. Connecting with successful entrepreneurs Emma mentioned the importance of connecting with successful business people who may be able to act as mentors or who can advise me on building my business. This week I had the pleasure of speaking to Tim Roupell, the founder of Daily Bread and the author of Bread and Butter: Lessons Learnt Building a Successful Company from Scratch. Tim had lots of really useful insights and advice and really helped me to see new ways forwards for the business. I also tweeted Paul Lindley, the founder of Ella's Kitchen, who advised: "Find your sustainable point of difference and find out if the consumer wants what you've got before investing."
And the not so highs"¦
Struggling to sleep Since beginning the process of setting up Eatibbles I have been finding it very difficult to sleep. My mind is racing at nighttime with lots of ideas about how to push the business forward and how to make the company different from the competition. Hopefully as time goes by the restless nights will not be as frequent!
"The time I have to focus on the business is quite limited. This has been a good and a bad thing because it has forced me to really prioritise my time."
Not enough hours in the day While I said in my first blog that I would be creating the business in the hours of 5-9pm, the reality isn't quite so true. On a normal working day, I finish work at 6pm, get to the gym for 7pm, get home for about 8.30pm and then have dinner - so the time I have to focus on the business is quite limited. This has been a good and a bad thing because it has forced me to really prioritise my time and get as much done as possible in such a short time. Branding and packaging - your advice would be much appreciated Some of the challenges I have come across recently have been regarding the branding and packaging of my products, I would really appreciate any advice or recommendations of companies that might be able to help me with this process. Also, I'm keen to talk to as many entrepreneurs and business mentors as possible, particularly in the food industry, about their experiences of setting up such a business and how to create a successful and sustainable brand. Thanks for reading, Philip :)
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