Living the dream
With his idea ready, Adrian approached the Bright Ideas Trust after reading about the organisation on a sixth form newsletter. “It was quite a long process – because of me – so for just under 6 months until I got the loan Bright Ideas Trust was really supportive, giving me good advice and generous amounts of time.
“My mentor, Olga, has been very involved and helpful. I’ve really appreciated her input, most significantly steering me away from a premises I’m so glad I didn’t take a lease on. Without her I might have made that big mistake.”
Jack of all trades
However, it has not been all plain sailing for Adrian who’s had to tackle the challenges of planning, organising, co-ordinating and managing financial priorities. This meant investing time, effort and personal resources before knowing if the business would go ahead. “It’s been lots of hard work, but really fun too. There seem to have been countless steps in getting here. I started by doing lots of research into government regulations, which are arguably excessive and make it particularly hard for start-ups to do well on a low budget.”
Even after successfully opening his café the work didn’t stop, with Adrian juggling various roles from bookkeeping to building work to keep costs low. “The balance between what I do and what I get professionals to do is hard to get right, but starting a business can be done on a small budget, with a lot of hard work and selective use of costly professionals.”
Never ending journey
Adrian has big plans for Blue Turtle Oasis’ future: “I plan to operate an efficient and smooth-running cafe, employ people, open up at least five outlets in London and have my face shining like a lightbulb!”
Have a clear vision, think of partnerships to spread the work/keep costs low and write stuff down so that your brain doesn’t explode!