Hi, my name is Matthew Travers and I am 24 years old. I was working in a cheese factory in Mouseville but was made redundant. My sister and I are quite determined individuals and we decided to grasp the nettle and start our own business to be named The Cheese Mall.
Before we could start up our own business, we had to put together a business plan that would impress our bank manager and persuade him to consider us worthy of investment – quite a tall order in these recessionary times. But we did it!
We had never written a business plan before so it was all new to us. It was quite scary to start with but as we each tackled different aspects of the business plan, it became much more manageable.
How to Build a Brand:
My favourite part of the business plan was the section on ‘Building a Brand’. We needed to identify how we could build our brand so that customers could identify us easily with our brand, become loyal to our brand and not switch easily to our competitors. We decided that what would make our business special and build our brand was our added value. It wouldn’t just be added value to our cheese product but added value to our shopping experience such as a Cheese Museum for children, a cafe for teenagers, a bookstore with cheese cookery books, express cash points for ‘time poor’ shoppers and much more for the various market segments.
Therefore, we didn’t just create a shop that we think the market wants, but we created a shop that the market told us it wants when we completed our market research.
Not only have we created a business for ourselves and we’re creating employment but we also wrote a book detailing our experiences of starting a business and preparing a business plan.
If you would like to purchase a copy of our book which outlines how we put our business plan together before securing funding, you can buy The Cheese Mall as a paperback and as an e-book.