1. Starting a business

1. Starting a business British treats by axelsrose

This article was written by Fiona Timba, published on 9th October 2012 and has been read 20081 times.

Sabrina and I have been friends for well over a decade now and have seen each other through backpacking, studying abroad and working in foreign lands. Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity and offers the chance to meet new exciting people but when that familiar homesick feeling kicks in, a Skype chat with a friend from home is just the ticket to set me back on track. It was during one of my Skype sessions with Sabrina that Packed Munches was inadvertently born. I was suffering a particular bout of home-sickness where I found myself desperately craving the comforts of cakes and chocolates from back home (Cadbury’s you are my true best friend!) so Sabrina decided to send me a goodie pack.

The concept

Sabrina sent me a box full of treats that you can only get in the UK. I made the mistake of taking it into university with me where a bunch of the other UK students studying abroad devoured the pack! This mistake turned out to be the starting point of our business idea as when we next Skyped we realised that we had stumbled upon an untouched market. Packed Munches is a service that allows students studying abroad for a term, year or three years to sign up to receive a monthly box full of British snacks, treats and food items that they’d struggle to find abroad.

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Starting a business

Neither Sabrina nor I had ever started a business before – and we had no clue where to start. First point of call – Google! Thankfully there’s a wealth of information on setting up a business on the internet. Our next step was to read - a lot. We had our eyes opened to all of the different areas involved in starting a successful business – tax, marketing, research and planning to name a few! Here’s what we had it boiled down to:

1. Coming up with the idea (well that was the easy part for us!).
2. Market research
3. Developing a name (how did we end up with Packed Munches)
4. Legalities?
5. Funding

This list became our personalised mini-checklist. It was small so didn’t seem daunting and gave us somewhere to start. Below you can find the sites that we found the most informative:

Shell LIVEwire is full of a lot of helpful guides aimed at young people and the Shell Livewire award definitely motivates you to put a great business plan together! Business Link is a government site that makes sure you consider all the guidelines that your business will have to comply with. The website is set to undergo a makeover and we hope that this doesn’t make it less helpful. Smarta has not only useful articles but also organises events that help to grow your business and network. Make It Happen is my favourite site because it offers mentoring support – it makes creating a business plan seem simple and offers amazing webinars.
Come back next week to read about how we came up with the name Packed Munches. Until then feel free to say hello on twitter @packed_munches or search for us on Facebook.

Fiona and Sabrina x

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