The Indytute is an experience gift company; we pride ourselves on curated experiences. Experiences run by people who love what they do. They don’t cost a fortune but the most important factor is they have to be fun and they should inspire you to do something a bit different. Maybe a tour of London gin bars in a Classic Mini Cooper (don’t panic we provide the driver) or you could consider bending a neon sign, or perfecting your hula hoop technique. This summer’s hot favourite took place in Kew, London where Indy customers learnt to Paddle Board. I hate cluttering people’s cupboards with unwanted gifts I would much rather give someone an afternoon out - and if I can go with them so much the better!

A gin tasting experience is right up our street!

A gin tasting experience is right up our street!

Although entrepreneurship is not a guaranteed road to fame and fortune you can have a very exciting and hopefully profitable time trying.These are my 7 top tips to get your business off the ground.

1. Decide on what you want from the business before you start. It may sound obvious, but a lot of people don’t consider the basics. Are you looking for a steady income that may only require you to work a day or two a week- a lifestyle business - or are you going all out to be a millionaire?

2. Get a plan together. I’m a fan of a the one page business plan. There are a few templates out there and you need to get thinking about marketing, customers, cash, product ideas and initial goals. I used the ‘Lean Canvas’ method to start The Indytute. Forget the long lengthy documents that take an age. They need endless updating and once you are up and running what you thought was a good idea might have changed.

3. Start small. You don’t need all the bells and whistles on your website or a huge product range to get out there. It’s great to talk to people about your ideas (please don’t worry that someone might steal the concept - that’s a long way off) but be aware that in the initial stages your mother, daughter, best friend are all going to say ’it’s a great idea’. Just start getting it to market in its cheapest form to find out who your customers are and gain feedback.

4. Don’t be frightened to make changes to the original idea. The Indytute has had a few reincarnations, I have actually kept on simplifying the concept. There is no shame in change. It means you are always considering the brand, and thinking of ways to improve the offering.

5. As a mother of a two year old I know the frustration that comes of wanting to do it all. You need to prioritise. Making an endless ’to do’ list does nothing for your sanity. From the list pick two or three that are most important and will push you forward then do the one you least want to do first.

6. Use accounting software, they are so automated and you can really see what’s happening in your business. We use Freeagent and I’ve gone from mainly being a creative, (which meant hiding from numbers) to actually enjoying cash flow. Now I know my business inside out. I would also get matey with your accountant, they really can give you the best advice.

7. Believe in your product and yourself! You’ve got to really get out there and push it with endless enthusiasm. There’s no point being shy and retiring about it. Be shameless

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