Starting a business with just £500
For those who don't know, Snaffling Pig started with just £500 on the back of a bet. The bet was simple; Could I start a business with £500 and turn it into a £1m
Now we're a long way from being valued at a £1m but we're on our way. So how have we done it?
First and foremost although the bet was about money, that is not my main focus. Yes I want to be financially secure, I would be lying it it wasn't up there with the reasons why I would rather do this than be on PAYE, but the number 1 reason is that I wanted to create a business I loved, I was passionate about, my customers loved and I had a lot of fun in the process.
So with that objective in mind what business would tick those boxes?
Food. Food creates emotion and we can all get very passionate about it. But what food? I then thought about the best times I've had and they normally involve being in the pub, with my mates, drinking beer and eating pork scratchings. So that led me to pork scratchings. But what could I do to make them better than they are already? It dawned on me that nobody had ever flavoured them before and so I set out on a mission to find a supplier and get things moving.
The £500 went very quickly, mainly on artwork for a name and brand that just didn't cut it. I do not confess to be an expert at marketing, I understand the basics but in food world you need to be really good to make a limited budget go very far. Luckily I had just the guy; one of my best mates Andy. Not only is he a brand guru, he's brummy and loves pork scracthings. He really didn't take a lot of convincing and within a few days he'd done his own research and set to work at redoing all the branding. Yep as heart breaking as it was to see my brand renamed and redesigned his creativity was so much better and he built a brand and a tone of voice that would allow us to cement ourselves into the overcrowded world of snacks.
The next step was to sell. With no money left we took the last lot of product, packaged it and I went from pub to pub in Henley. It took us 4 hours to pack the product and I sold it in 30 minutes. Weird feeling to be happy I've sold out but gutted that we had another 4 hours of work to pack products!
We used the cash we made in the beginning to buy more stock. We made enough money to buy foil packaging and that allowed us to sell more product. I've learnt a lot of business lessons from another company I co-founded and used these to ensure Snaffling Pig grew as fast as it organically and sustainably could. There's no point starting a business half arsed, you have to throw yourself at it. All I needed to do is convince our customers to believe in it as much as I do. I make mistakes everyday, its how I learn and how we have been able to grow so quickly. There's always a bigger fish out there swimming around copying ideas but we will always stay ahead though our relentless drive to take this little piggie to markets he's never been before.