With the help of the NBV Enterprise Solutions Ltd (NBV) Grow Your Business programme, many new start-up small businesses in the East Midlands are being supported in taking their next tentative steps in growing their businesses, and are seeing fantastic results! One such company is Inspire Retail Ltd, a Leicester based retailer of mobile phone and tablet accessories.

Waseem Ismail - Inspire Retail

Growing from pocket money hobby to full time business

Inspire Retail is owned by Waseem Ismail, who initially started his business in 2002, when it was really just a hobby. Waseem comments: “I started selling mobile phone lanyards (decorative charms) when I was twelve years old; I wanted some pocket money! Later, I went on to sell other mobile phone accessories, which I purchased from local businesses, after negotiating a good price of course! I then sold them to individuals, small shops and businesses.”

After registering as a Limited Company in 2013, ever entrepreneurial, Waseem decided he wanted a business mentor. Some internet research around business support for new start-ups led him to NBV, and to NBV Business Adviser Craig Pearson. Waseem adds: “I was quite attracted by what NBV had to offer: 6 months FREE mentoring! And it couldn’t have come at a better time; just as I started the NBV programme, our main sales channel collapsed. We went from turning over £1,000 a day, and a projecting one year sales figure near £300,000, to nothing at all!”

Creating new opportunities in the face of big challenges

NBV Business Adviser Craig met with Waseem to look at ways to open up new sales channels and boost Inspiring Retail’s remaining channels. Craig comments: “It was clear to me that Waseem had fantastic industry knowledge and a sound business plan. But the unforeseen can happen in any business. I helped Waseem with advise around which areas to focus on in order to rebuild the business; the social media and SEO workshop really helped to focus him on the new opportunities and possibilities that existed for Inspire Retail to grow as a business.”

Craig added: “It was important for Waseem as the business owner, looking to take those next steps in rebuilding and then growing his business, to have someone to bounce ideas around with. Businesses at any stage can sometimes struggle when faced with challenges, I was able to help Waseem think through some of his sales channel issues, and together, we found solutions that enabled him to move forward with this business.”

In addition to the mentoring that Craig provided, he also recommended that Waseem attend Ebusiness Club’s Social Media Marketing: Getting Started and Getting to Grips with SEO workshops, tapping in to further, free support available, to improve Waseem’s skills and assist in growing his business.

As with any business, there have been highs as well as the lows, Waseem adds: “You can’t beat that uplifting feeling you get when you see a project you have spent time developing and succeeding. However, being in control of your own success by default means you’re also in control of sorting out the inevitable challenges that come your way! The lows are the unexpected problems, like the one I experienced with my sales channel. But in getting past these obstacles, you just get wiser and more determined to succeed!”

Waseem now plans to continue steadily growing Inspire Retail, adding: “Six months after the programme, we are projecting monthly turnovers of £15,000 and are looking to fully recover by the end of 2014. The Grow Your Business programme has shown me that a setback, even a big one, doesn’t have to mean the end of your business.”

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If you would like to follow in Waseem’s footsteps and grow your business, contact NBV on: 0844 887 2568 or visit: www.nbv.co.uk