It’s thought that everyone has one great book idea inside them, just waiting to spring out onto the page. At NBV, we believe the same principle applies to business.
Ann and Mark’s entrepreneurial adventure began when they were unable to find decent raspberry vinegar on the shelves. They decided to go-it-alone and create their own using an old family recipe. Seeing how popular their vinegar became with friends and family, they recognised it as an opportunity to go into business.
“My husband and I still have our jobs,” Ann begins. “He’s a farmer and I’m a bookkeeper. So when the children both left home, we decided to start a small business.”Ann and Mark attended Barclays Get Ready For Business Seminar before meeting one-to-one with their Business Advisor. Advising start-ups in Lincolnshire, their adviser worked with them to create a support package tailored to their individual needs and business requirements.
“He listened and put things into perspective so we could move in the right direction,” Ann explains. “He gave us lots of information and put us in touch with really useful contacts which have helped the business financially. He’s brilliant.”
In November 2012 they officially set-up-shop in their hometown of Boston, Lincolnshire, and have expanded their range to include a new Blackberry Vinegar. Handmade from whole fruit, their flavored vinegar is used by chefs locally and is also available in local stores, as well as online.
“Moving from an idea to actually developing the product into something real was amazing,” said Ann. “We were really busy before Christmas, with the product being sold as presents and going into hampers.”
However, Ann and Mark have their work cut out for them.
“Carrying on with our jobs and everyday living while trying to get the vinegar business running can be hard.”
Thankfully, the Ready For Business Programme doesn’t end when trading beings. NBV’s advisors continue to mentor small business owners, helping them develop and meet new challenges as they expand.
“If you want to start your own business do lots of research on your product or ideas beforehand,” Ann advises. “Create a detailed business plan. Also, get other professionals on board.”
With continued support in business planning, access to local networking events and links to Barclays Bank and trade partners, the Ready For Business Programme is a great first step on your journey to self-employment.