Starting Again

Starting Again

Author
Discussion

DSLiverpool

Original Poster:

12,246 posts

158 months

Friday 6th November 2015
quotequote all
Justayellowbadge said:
Sorry, I meant the client, I have just finished a little bit of work with a company that does beauty products and hoverboards, seemed an unusual combo.
Ah sorry two different companies, the hover board one is named after a infamous taxi competitor (and also the same name as a poster on here Hi Lee) and Naymar has one on his instagram (a great coo) the eyebrows are another Liverpool company.

CHIEF

2,270 posts

238 months

Wednesday 11th November 2015
quotequote all
Lexual said:
...wish you hadn't gone to vistaprint for your business cards.
Do you do wide format media?

  • *Edited***
Just looked at your website.
Where do you get your media from?



Edited by CHIEF on Wednesday 11th November 22:15

DSLiverpool

Original Poster:

12,246 posts

158 months

Tuesday 17th November 2015
quotequote all
OK so LTD company in place, sole director and my accountant is the reg office, bank visited today, 2 years free, new account, merchant facility for card, debit and credit cards applied for. They ask for intimate details regarding the new business and I had to wing it as I am making it up as I go along.

Before I start "trading" in anger I am doing a few weeks of R&D for my new venture which is very tax efficient and would need to be done anyway its just I am recording it to make a claim.

The lovely cheap office in the Big Padlock Champion spark plug building is out as the address is ACME c/o Big Padlock - no use. Or possibly a PO box - I am caught between thoughts.

Phone will be a landline number forwarded to my mobile and infinitely portable throughout the new venture.

FSB will be joined (its been real value over the last 10 years) and I am looking at BNI networking.

We expect to be exhibiting at business shows from Blackpool to Stoke Q1 2016


jammy_basturd

25,342 posts

168 months

Tuesday 17th November 2015
quotequote all
Sounds like good progress. Just opening a bank account can be a marathon in itself!

Can you elaborate any more on the R&D? I did have a look into it myself, but the tax rules for what you can write off as R&D seemed to be very strict?

DSLiverpool

Original Poster:

12,246 posts

158 months

Wednesday 18th November 2015
quotequote all
James I am getting a "do this do that" guide from my accountant as I DO need to attend shows, speak to SME online traders, purchase market number data etc but your right - HOW you do it is critical - ask your accountant.

DSLiverpool

Original Poster:

12,246 posts

158 months

Thursday 3rd December 2015
quotequote all
Well things are slightly off course I have a "well paid gig" that I cant turn down its near full time and may last a while, however my "partner" can still start it / run it so I will keep the thread updated.

DSLiverpool

Original Poster:

12,246 posts

158 months

Friday 4th March 2016
quotequote all
Its so easy to get in a "do nothing" rut. I havent actually done nothing but I could get used to not doing much!
Ok so we have secured a office in a large building in the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool, its big enough for 4 people and a bit of stock, has free car parking, included electricity, it just needs phones. The car park is a bit wild west but the owners have a large gated car park that I can rent a spot in for £30 a month - truly brilliant.

What will we do? three of us will work together initially leveraging contacts, exploring ideas and brainstorming. We have a ecommerce analyst / consultant, a very talented web programmer and me (!) we will probably pore over Terapeak for few weeks looking for the lost diamond in the rough.

We have one paid in client who is a 12 month contract that will cover the building costs entirely so now we just need wages.

If all else fails we can do ecommerce which I prefer not to do as I am sick of it (my 2 associates have not been at the sharp end of ecommerce before).

My preference is to revisit an old business I had called voucherpromotions that did stuff like 2 flights to NYC for £10, free golf rounds when one pays, free spa days and stuff like that real business boosters if used the right way - I stopped doing it when the main channel for the NYC flights (ebay) stopped allowing this type of product on site. But we can do a website and relaunch it I feel.

We move in next week, will do sporadic updates ......




Frimley111R

10,708 posts

190 months

Friday 4th March 2016
quotequote all
Thanks for the updates. So are you all 'wageless' for now and if so, how long can you stay that way?

DSLiverpool

Original Poster:

12,246 posts

158 months

Friday 4th March 2016
quotequote all
Frimley111R said:
Thanks for the updates. So are you all 'wageless' for now and if so, how long can you stay that way?
Well outside of "the cooperative" the other two guys have a level of default work paying a basic wage, and I am busy looking at how we all pull together to make the whole more than the sum of its pieces.
If I hold off on the Veyron I can go a while wageless, in fact I budgeted nothing for a year from when I sold DST and I have 4 months left but its not a concern (I got an unexpected 3 months work over the summer). (however we may be camping in Rhyl this year - lovely)

trowelhead

1,622 posts

77 months

Saturday 5th March 2016
quotequote all
Best of luck with your new venture.

Sounds like fun and great you have the freedom to do something new from scratch!

DSLiverpool

Original Poster:

12,246 posts

158 months

Friday 18th March 2016
quotequote all
So we have been here for a week - see the arrow thats where we are however the window office is not ours we are inside of the window office - we aspire to have a window ;o) see the car park on the left? thats a separate gated car park they offer for £30 a month, when the Mustang arrives it will live in that car park!


What does our windowless wonderland look like .....


Its better now with computers and a third desk, we are getting a few pictures but hanker over the window office. The vibe within this place is great, our meeting room is the cafe meeting room so we can have catered meetings in what resembles your mums front room - surreal but its gone down brilliantly with the home made scouse being particularly popular.

So what are we doing? well leveraging our contacts to be honest, between the two (possibly three) of us we have a sort of "we will help you sell more stuff in exchange for a cut" type of operation. This has resulted in a few people who needed help with small issues which we have done for free (carrier deal, eBay issue, sourcing hassle etc) but we have the one landed project for website and marketing for a year where unlike a emarketing company we have pledged to handle all on / offline sales activity for a retainer and a cut of sales - the site goes live end of April.
I am loath to do any ecommerce / sales ourselves but we have been offered a UK distribution on a outdoor cable management system for festivals and fairs etc, this requires modest investment and I am trying to make this a "self funding" company so it needs further thought.

DSLiverpool

Original Poster:

12,246 posts

158 months

Thursday 18th August 2016
quotequote all
I guess I should update this a little even for my own amusement.
We have a window !!



So after many false starts and dead ends we came up with a name, we got clients and we have our own projects and we have the all important window.

We came to the conclusion that we must be a type of web agency / consultancy but so are lots of companies so we needed a USP but more of that later. We needed a name, personally I love the name of a great Manchester agency called Lakestar (then Lakestar McCann then just McCann) and as this is a three way decision we got nowhere for a while until we all agreed on Velostar which is good BUT I traditionally like a number plate matching my company (!) so managed to buy VE15 TAR an convinced my partners it was a better name - luckily they agreed and Velstar was born.

That was in May, now we are just about to send our own site live after many "creative" differences we agreed to combine websites with consultancy as personally I had so many stty experiences of commissioning a new website and being thrown the keys and offered a 30 day snagging service and then nowt. Not for us. Our service had to be more than that so we finally agreed that each site would include 90 days business partnership / consultancy / help after "go live" to make sure it was doing whats required and the business as a whole was "working" from logistics to email marketing to order processing we would be available.

Currently we have 7 sites in development admittedly 2 of those are build only for larger agencies that we have done to get cash in and 2 are projects of our own for ecommerce (one is a fully automated no touch drop shipping website that we are very excited about) the other is a vinyl / music site that is a labour of love for the three of us.

We have 2 shared revenue ventures about to materialise in beauty and fashion which we feel will pay all three of us a basic wage on their own so we are keen to get them launched.

All rosy then - not quite - we badly need a PA but we have no money for one (total investment so far is £5k) so I am setting up the VAT, applying for parking permits and rate relief etc its been a LONG TIME since I did this sort of stuff and I hate it but it needs doing.

Where did we get the business from? well two 50 year old blokes have a few contacts over the years and Dan the developer has some good large agency contacts so the secret of getting going has been to leverage our contacts and ask for work. I have also been pleased to help a few PHers out with my contacts for eBay and Amazon data entry services, nothing to do with Velstar but we may add it to our portfolio in future.

The next stage is to launch our own ecommerce, launch the joint ventures and launch our own website with associated marketing and this is the GROWING PAIN CRUNCH - thats a lot for 3 blokes to do (coding and design are done overseas we dont do the main coding in house) and we will need at least two staff at circa £30k each (Liverpool, remember) this is when we either invest ourselves, borrow or get creative - I will update this (if anyones reading) with what happens next after its happened.

Cheers

Rangeroverover

1,465 posts

67 months

Thursday 18th August 2016
quotequote all
Do you want VE057AR

its on a mates van, PM if you want it

Rangeroverover

1,465 posts

67 months

Thursday 18th August 2016
quotequote all
sorry VE05TAR

DSLiverpool

Original Poster:

12,246 posts

158 months

Thursday 18th August 2016
quotequote all
Rangeroverover said:
Do you want VE057AR

its on a mates van, PM if you want it
Were ok thanks - the other guys will just be AB12 CDE on the company Dacias

XMT

2,731 posts

103 months

Thursday 18th August 2016
quotequote all
I am very curious to see what you do and how.
Like others being reliant on marketplaces/google is quite stressful. One day you could be doing 2m turnover and the next day your accounts are closed due to silly reasons and your doing 100k.

Managing to get a website up and running is great but its still an issue of being off the back of google so its just as bad.

Plan for me is to build up a business big enough and good enough that someone is willing to buy it at a decent price and I will do something else hence my curiosity of what you are doing!

smile good luck and we look forward to your updates.

jammy_basturd

25,342 posts

168 months

Thursday 18th August 2016
quotequote all
Hi Dave, I think you're going about this in exactly the right way. My ex business partner went off to start an agency focused strictly on ecommerce work and he's growing fast. He probably hires a new employee every 3-4 months and has moved to larger offices twice in two years.

I think an ecommerce focused web/digital agency would work well for you guys - there aren't many out there that 'eat their own dog food' by having personal and current experience of running ecommerce sites.

I also feel your pain with employees. For about a year now I've been at the position where I'm extremely busy for myself, probably on the cusp of taking that first person on, but it's quite daunting in case a quiet period arises and to take the hit on overheads by hiring!

snobetter

906 posts

102 months

Thursday 18th August 2016
quotequote all
I'm enjoying the thread!

janesmith1950

7,224 posts

51 months

Thursday 18th August 2016
quotequote all
Really enjoying seeing that familiar enthusiasm and mucking in attitude on the thread. I've just gone through similar, starting from scratch and building a business. We're predominantly getting our business through PPC, so as you can imagine cashflow is king when you're facing £2k invoices from search engines every day.

After 4 months we're just generating the GP to be entirely self-funding, but it's been hard work and a learning experience.

The new office thing very much resonates, too.

Good luck with the venture DS!

JPJPJP

8,984 posts

124 months

Thursday 18th August 2016
quotequote all
janesmith1950 said:
Really enjoying seeing that familiar enthusiasm and mucking in attitude on the thread. I've just gone through similar, starting from scratch and building a business. We're predominantly getting our business through PPC, so as you can imagine cashflow is king when you're facing £2k invoices from search engines every day.

After 4 months we're just generating the GP to be entirely self-funding, but it's been hard work and a learning experience.

The new office thing very much resonates, too.

Good luck with the venture DS!
£14k per week on ppc is a fair whack