Louise Sandor | interiors and gifts
Being an employee restricted my personal development, earnings potential and progression. I was always waiting for a vacancy so I could be promoted. However, through work I saw an opportunity to start my own business, Supernice. Now I am a wholesale distributor of niche interior/gift brands to design-led shops, and a retailer via the web and my new shop in Columbia Road.
I came to HBV for advice and funding, and they were a good sounding board for ideas. Having someone to discuss things day-to-day with gave me the confidence that I was moving in the right direction, so I took bolder steps that led to quick progression.
Going into business puts you in control of your own life; I can make major decisions as to when and how I progress. It’s a process of constant learning and meeting new people, which makes life exciting. It can be stressful, though, having too much to do, and doing everything yourself. I had a major cash flow problem, paying for the first stock order with a 4 month lead before it was even manufactured, which meant no income during that period of time. Also, when technology goes wrong, IT problems are a major inconvenience that affects productivity.
Some things have been easy, though, including my motivation, which has always been high because of self-belief. Sales have always been good because I carefully research the market prior to placing stock orders.
For the future, I have just secured funding from HBV to finance additional working capital and a web site upgrade. I am planning to grow sales through the web site and shop, and I will continue to update and seek support from HBV as my business continues to grow.
What’s my key advice to anyone starting up? Choose something you have contacts and experience in. This should help to make sure that you succeed.