Alexandra Thompson
Start-Up Loans

Member Article

Start-up Loans: the case studies

Start-up Loans entrepreneur Alexandra Thompson talks about her experience of setting up a business.

Both before and during University I had worked for small businesses and when it came to deciding what to do after my undergraduate degree I knew that I wanted to start my own business. I started NomSense whilst I was completing my master’s degree in business enterprise at Manchester Business School. I was incredibly lucky in that a requirement of my masters was to research and compose an extremely detailed business plan as well as key action points for a 24-month period. Having the opportunity to conduct my market research within an academic institution gave me access to some phenomenal contacts and resources, which resulted in me having a robust
plan to take to BFS. I knew that once I had graduated I wanted to expand my business from the supper club and catering services that we were already providing to include a range of condiments with the USP of being much more versatile than anything currently on the market. Expanding into this market meant that I needed funding not only to develop an e-commerce site but to create a strong brand image to sit along side the products that I had spent months developing. Being a start up there is no way that I could get a loan from a bank as I did not have the required financial history nor equity to secure a loan from a bank.

As well as financial support provided by BFS the mentoring provided has been invaluable in terms of streamlining my plan for growth as well as sales and marketing strategy. As well as mentoring the access to contacts within
the business growth hub is a huge support in what has been an exciting and terrifying transition from turning ideas and theory on paper into a real working business. I honestly believe that now more than ever young entrepreneurs are key to growth in industry and the bootstrapping mantra we have had instilled in us as a result of the recession means that many young start ups are looking for ways to succeed in new and innovative ways. Rapid changes in technology have also helped as there is nothing to stop anyone from trying to turn their idea into a reality from their own bedroom. With the help of BFS and the Growth Hub I am looking forward to getting my products to market and the continued expansion of my business.

For anyone thinking of starting a business my number one ‘do’ would be to research, research, research. Many good ideas fail because of poor research or lack of market demand. Conversely researching thoroughly will highlight any pitfalls to look out for on your growth journey. With regards to looking at growth I would say that the most useful piece of advice I have been given is to take it slowly and constantly evaluate the positives and negatives of your efforts, as you can learn as much from your mistakes as your achievements.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Start-Up Loans .

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