Following completion of a BTEC in Business Studies, John was keen to enter employment; however he found the job market tough. After several months of fruitless jobsearching, John decided to turn his hobby of buying and selling fashion items on eBay into an online fashion wholesale business. After discussing his plans with his Jobcentre Plus adviser he was referred to Prevista’s New Enterprise Allowance programme for specialist business advice and support.
John was paired with our Business Adviser, Stephen Kain, who recalls:
“John was referred to me and a diagnostic was carried out at our first meeting at Hayes Job Centre. We discussed the proposed business venture in great detail. His experience using eBay meant he already had relationships with suppliers and a firm idea of the type of items that would sell.”
With John’s knowledge of fashion and Stephen’s business expertise the next step was for Stephen to assist him with the development of a rigorous business plan. Stephen explains:
“With my support, he developed a business plan and cashflow forecast, which helped him develop an understanding of his business model, objectives and competition. We discussed target client groups, routes to market and innovative features that would differentiate his website from the competition”.
A lack of finance was a potential stumbling block; he needed capital to invest in stock, website maintenance and marketing. Stephen advised him to apply for the maximum £2,500 start-up loan available to NEA participants. John applied for the loan and received the funding.
Following completion of the business plan and receipt of the loan, John was able to sign off Jobseeker’s Allowance, purchase stock for his business and commence trading. Thanks to Prevista’s NEA programme John is optimistic about the future:
“I am very grateful to have had access to an expert who helped me raise the start-up capital I needed. My focus is on the long term and I appreciated Stephen’s ability to tell me what ideas would work now and what ideas should wait until the business becomes more profitable. My ultimate goal is for levelupstore.co.uk to be one of the world’s largest online suppliers of fashion apparel.”
To see how John’s venture is progressing visit www.levelupstore.co.uk
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