Business Startup

Discussion in 'Off Topic / Chit-Chat' started by Tom, 18 Sep 2008.

  1. Tom

    Tom Member

    I've just started up my Aquarium Design business, and I'm currently looking (quite desperately) for some companies/charities that might be willing to help "young people" start up in business. I've tried the Princes Trust who basically told me I don't qualify because I was employed for more than 2 hours a week, and had half a brain tucked down in my foot (and I'm not a single parent). I've also tried a local charity shop who do this kind of thing, but not heard back yet.

    Anyone know of something/someone that might be able to help financially, just for starters? Just so as I can buy the necessary equipment I'm going to need, put a down payment on leasing a van, or help with advertising costs (which have cleaned me out!)?

    I know there are organisations like this out there, so if you know of any please let me know and I will apply!

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  2. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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    Well i don't know about cash as such but what "equipment" do you need, no doubt some of us, certainly me, have some things going spare???

    I'll do the graphics on your van for free, i can also do your design/advertising but after seeing your ADA assignment i don't think you need it ;)
     
  3. Tom

    Tom Member

    That sounds like a great offer Dan, very kind of you :D I might have to take you up on that when I actually have a van - my Micra might not quite cut it! I have a brochure and some flyers ready that I have designed, as well as a general aquarium care guide for each customer not requiring my maintenance service.

    I wasn't intending to scrounge off of the forum, but it's basic things I'd need to buy such as test kits, various hosing (for both water changes and also filtration), reel of airline, silicone, maintenance tools etc etc etc.

    The main thing really is trying to get some sort of a grant to start leasing a van as I know the money is available. Just don't know where to apply to. Until then, I'd have to have the supplier deliver larger items (tanks/cabinets over 3') to the customer's door.

    Tom
     
  4. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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    No probs pal, just let me know when, you'll have to spend an evening at mine though ;) i know how much you wanna critique my tanks :lol:
    Thats not ideal is it? maybe the lease company would give you discount if we advertised the lease company on the back doors "this van for only £250 per month (logo)" kind of thing and then your logos and info on either side?
    If you like that idea i can knock up a design for you to send in your proposal.
     
  5. Tom

    Tom Member

    Ohhh I'll survive!

    Not ideal at all, nope. Might be able to pay a man-with-a-van as an alternative for now. I will check the lease pricing. I've got an idea on monthly figures, but not sure about down payments yet, and of course discounts! I'll get in contact with the companies aboot that...

    Tom
     
  6. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    I don't have any help that I can provide. I just wanted to give a bit of a moral support by saying I have the utmost respect for anyone that sets up a business for themselves. I wish you all the best with it :D
     
  7. Tom

    Tom Member

    Thank you Matt :D
     
  8. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

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    I don't know of any companies or organisations really. I know that there is definately somewhere out there though, it's just finding it. You've probably dont it a thousand times already, but Google?

    I'm crap with graphics but I could design a website for free if you'd like?

    Good luck with everything. :D
     
  9. Tom

    Tom Member

    A website is one thing I will really need to do, but just don't have software or knowhow to get it on the web. I'll PM you! :D

    Tom
     
  10. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

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    Don't worry about that, I could set it up for you so that you've got a control panel type thing where you can just edit the plain text of the site etc.

    But sure, PM me. ;)
     
  11. Tom

    Tom Member

    Just have, but now you've said that the first half of my PM is irrelevant!

    Tom
     
  12. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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  13. Tom

    Tom Member

    I've literally just been looking on there. Looks like a lot of very good info. Quite surprised as it's a government site! :rolleyes: Must be about a year's worth of reading though.

    Looking for public liability insurance too now by the looks of things.
     
  14. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    Don't be so surprised. The better you do, the more the tax man sees... ;)

    Yes, you need insurance. I learnt the hard way and have my own now too.
     
  15. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    so what are you going to do?

    Help other people set up a fish tank?
     
  16. Joecoral

    Joecoral Member

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    Try an get some empty 25kg salt buckets from an LFS, most will probably give you them for free. One thing you will ALWAYS need is lots of buckets! Charity shops for old towels/bathmats to put on the floor too. Sponges, gravel syphon, razor blades, pond dechlor etc etc (im sure you know all this )
    Friend of mine has a similar business, I think the liability insurance comes to either £30 or £50 a month (i forget which) and covers him up to something like £5 million (although I may have dreamt this, I cannot remember lol)
     
  17. JamesM

    JamesM Member

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    Good luck Tom :)

    I'd like to hear more of your plans, and if you need a hand with any web or graphics work, I'm happy to help :)
     
  18. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

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    I just thought, couldn't somewhere like Aqua Essentials help you out a bit? I thought they were always helping PFK and UKAPS out
     
  19. bugs

    bugs Member

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    Apologies if I've missed the point but...

    ...you have a car but want to buy/lease a van? Why not keep your costs down and use your car to start off with?

    Spend your money on targeted advertising. You can get on the web for the cost of a domain name and some free web design I've already seen offered (hosting can be had for free too) so that's one avenue. Don't waste any money on it though - it's the equivalent of putting a post-it note on a tree in the middle of a forest if you don't have good advertising directing people to the site where you can then showcase your work.

    Do you have a portfolio or are your literally at the start-up stage?

    Who are you targetting as customers? If it's commercial - what are you citing as the commercial benefit? In the present climate they'll mostly be looking for a return on the investment. Are you limiting yourself to planted tanks? I think it's Elemis that has cichlid tanks in retailers stores - is there any mileage in latching on to their business for your area?

    Still thinking...
     
  20. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Sounds like a good venture Tom, good luck with everything, if you need help setting up the website let me know also.
    I have setup a few for friends, nothing too fancy but something that works well. All the best :)

    Also if you need cheap realiable hosting I know a good company, they also sell cheap domains.
     

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