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Q&A about running your own business with Barclays business marketing director and founder of Naturally Cool Kids - ANSWERS BACK

(27 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 28-Sep-11 11:50:27

We've got Fiona Wood, founder of Naturally Cool Kids and Barclays business marketing director, Travers Clarke-Walker to answer any questions you have about running your own business and to talk through everything from starting up to growing your business.

Post your questions to this thread before 5pm on Monday 3rd October and we'll link to the answers from this thread the following week.

sfxmum Wed 28-Sep-11 12:14:35

Thanks for this must organise thoughts as I am about to take the plunge with a start up. who the heck is lending these days?
<scared witless>

Imnotaslimjim Wed 28-Sep-11 12:49:48

i'm looking at starting up a cake business at home. I've just applied to the council for it. What else do I need to do? I'm building a webiste and I'm advertising on facebook for potential customers for when I'm up and running. I've ordered business cards and fliers and I'm looking into food handling courses, just waiting to hear from the council as to which one I need

Thanks for any advice you can give me

milk Wed 28-Sep-11 13:06:16

I am in the same position as Imnotaslimjim smile

Tee2072 Wed 28-Sep-11 13:35:00

I have been in business for just over a year and have 2 whole clients. grin

I'm about to start a marketing push and am thinking about apply for a business loan to help me finance it. Any tips on what a bank actually looks at, other than future earnings? Are a Business Plan, Marketing Plan and/or other documents like that really necessary and/or useful?

LoveBeingAMummyAgain Wed 28-Sep-11 13:41:57

What advice do you have for someone who is starting their own business pt whilst working elsewhere. Never ran a business before. Have been told businesslink no longer do the courses for people starting up like they used too so where can we go? When do we need to let the taxman know? What costs can be deducted as currently we have spent money but not yet tried to get any business and therefore not made any. Basically, help?

MediumOrchid Wed 28-Sep-11 14:13:23

I am about to start a busniess making and selling jewellery, alongside my fulltime job. I have a question about tax - how much money do I need to be making before I have to do a tax return and at what point would I start paying tax? And how would this change if I didn't have a fulltime job?

Also, I am hoping to sell my products to shops, do you have any advice about that?


TalkinPeace2 Wed 28-Sep-11 14:40:31

Written for ebayers but generally applicable - and checked by lots and lots of accountants

IrmaLittleteapot Wed 28-Sep-11 15:56:29

Can I set up a limited company with just me as the sole director and secretary? Also where's the best place to look for capital for a national internet start-up with user generated content? One that would possibly like to work with Mumsnet in the future (is not a parenting website!).

Oh and where's the best place to be networking if looking for a business partner because you like working with others and feel you work better bouncing ideas off someone else?

LoveBeingAMummyAgain Wed 28-Sep-11 17:21:21

Thanks takin will take a look

Arachnophobic Wed 28-Sep-11 21:50:37

I really would love to set up my own business but don't know how I go about deciding what I want to do, as I don't know ultimately what would be successful. Ideally would do something kiddie related, what would you suggest in terms of research which may help me make up my mind?

KatyTuncer Wed 28-Sep-11 22:07:12

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

180 Thu 29-Sep-11 14:26:13

I've accidentally started my own business when I created a baby massage poster to remember the massage moves with my baby. It was popular with friends, so I took it further and I get regular orders from ebay and my website, but am nervous to take it to the next level in terms of pushing sales and marketing and getting the product into shops. I'd love some advice as like Katy having small children, running a business and doing a full part time job is very challenging and it is important to work smart.

Baby Massage Poster is my website / product, I really want to start selling it wholesale and market to gift, children and internet shops.

Mollythenia Thu 29-Sep-11 20:29:51

I have been running my business for 3 years now and the sales are increasing incredibly well every year, basically I am shocked that it is so successful, but the problem is how do I move on from here, I employ 2 people part time to pack my cards, but it is marketing, business development, SEO, all the things I never get time for that I find really hard and who do you outsource to. I also have 3 kids, one who has just been in hospital for 5 months with leukemia, so I am a bit busy to say the least. The question is do I get an investor or go it alone.

darthwitless Thu 29-Sep-11 20:46:58

I too have accidently started my own business and now I want to take it up a level. At the moment it is very much a service for friends but I need to raise my game and make myself look and feel more professional by doing IT training, thinking about marketing, pricing my products etc. I also want to write a business plan but I don`t really know where to start. Advice please!

180 Thu 29-Sep-11 21:01:05

Looks like quite a few of us are in the same boat.

ThanksDr Thu 29-Sep-11 21:41:10

I have a startup that has been loss making for 18 months now. I really need a marketing boost (on a shoe string naturally).
1. Could you give any tips on good books to read about marketing and sales?
2. If I wanted a bank loan to help with marketing at any stage what hoops would I have to jump through to get one?

Foreversquirrelling Thu 29-Sep-11 22:24:58

I have a question about email marketing - does it work? Is it worth emailing our marketing, or do people just delete as spam these days?

My business is an online text messaging service for schools TextMine, and I would like to start increasing the number of customers we have (with very little budget!).

xxDebstarxx Thu 29-Sep-11 22:42:56

I want to set up a shop/cafe and would like to know if there is any funding available for me. I am 35, work full-time although I am currently on sick leave, and am a single parent.

pissedrightoff Thu 29-Sep-11 23:54:49

A friend and I are looking to set up our own letting agency. Can you advise us of the first steps needed and the time-scale involved. Initially we would be based at home but looking to get premises in around 6 months time.

firstclassstamp Fri 30-Sep-11 14:13:42

I want to set up business as a professional translator (so I can work from home and look after my family of six at the same time). I can't decide whether to set up a limited company or to simply register as self-employed doing my own self-assessment. I already have a computer and a place to work, but I need to buy a membership (of a translating portal), some specialist software and extra training. Will it still be useful/worthwhile to set up a limited company? Or should I wait till I am making some money? What are the benefits of having a limited company in my situation? Any advice much appreciated!

TalkinPeace2 Fri 30-Sep-11 14:40:04

That is a question for an accountant not a banker!
See what others in your professional body do ....

larakitten Fri 30-Sep-11 17:05:18

I have just started a business too......a hobby that has grown arms and legs to be honest! I found out that the courses that HMRC used to offer have now been stopped so would appreciate some advice about NIC. I think I have it clear in my head but would appreciate some clarification. Plus, how to go about marketing on a £0 budget would be handy too!!!! Oh, and while I'm at it, are there any grants etc available for small concerns starting up in Scotland? Cheers!

180 Sun 02-Oct-11 19:58:54

Two books I can recommend on sales and marketing are 'selling to win' and 'your marketing sucks'. Fairly easy to read and both had some very salient points.

I've got lots of strategies but find it hard just getting out there and following them through!

TalkinPeace2 Sun 02-Oct-11 20:14:39

larakitten - have a look at the page I linked to near the top of the thread
links and information about tax, NI, accountants, all that guff

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