Why did you become an entrepreneur? What was your drive?
I think the main reasons I became an entrepreneur was to develop some ideas and interests I had which I was unable to realise working in a standard 9-5 job and to create a better work-life balance. My primary drive is my daughter, who was the main reason for my want of a better work-life balance so even simple things like taking her to school, watching her sport events or seeing her in play is something I can enjoy a lot more now.
How has your business changed since you started?
With the current situation around Covid my business seems to be in an almost constant state of change as our original ‘start’ was sadly completely side-lined at the outbreak of the coronavirus. Our original plan to set up and produce gin has had a few directional changes and false starts but hopefully we are still moving in the right direction for the business to develop and grow as originally planned.
What support did you receive from the BIC?
Very early on in the start-up/planning phase of my business I was fortunate enough to be involved with the BIC and went to some of their events with other start up clients. I also worked with one of the BIC’s business advisers, Ron Anderson, who was extremely supportive and knowledgeable in the early stages of planning and set up of my business.
Who else has helped you to get where you are today?
I’m afraid there isn’t enough space on here to list the family, friends and other businesses who have helped along the way even if it was just a word of encouragement at the right time or pointing me in the right direction for things outside of my expertise. Although I would advise those setting up a business to get involved in networking as early as possible and there are many good groups here in the North East. I was fortunate to get into some groups such as Next Generation and Mussel Club early in my business set up and being part of a larger group of business owners and experts in their fields really helped develop me and my business.
What’s your mantra for business? What guides your decisions?
I wouldn’t say it’s a mantra really but I try to stay positive and be adaptable and at times they are some of the hardest things to do. But setting up a business, especially in the early days and the days when things aren’t aligning with your business plan you need to stay as positive as you can to get through and be adaptable as things will come at you that even with the best plan in the world you weren’t expecting. I guess what guides my decisions is the want to create something better than was there before to create a positive result.
Has the Coronavirus crisis impacted on your business? Have any of your plans been put on hold? How have you adapted due to government guidelines?
Almost from the very offset we have been affected by Coronavirus which resulted in our planned launch of our first product earlier in the year being put on hold and even now months later we are still in the process of getting that back on track in a way which works in the current guidelines. As our first product was put on hold the decision was made quite quickly to start producing hand sanitiser for the local area as one of the few places able to do this and owing to the drastic shortages here in the North East.