A view from one of tomorrow’s business leaders
This month we hear from Ceira Townsend, winner of the Young Entrepreneurs Award (for years 10 to 12) at the 2021 Concierge Medical Business and Young Entrepreneurs Awards.
In this article Ceira provides us with an insight into the whole awards process and, as a new business-owner, the benefits she gained from the experience.
Here’s what Ceira has to say…
Some things I learnt from entering the Young Entrepreneurs award:
My experience of entering the Young Entrepreneurs award was very positive. I learnt so many new things including: ways help my business to grow, dealing with pricing, and things I could do and improve on in the future. I am very thankful to have been able to participate in the Young Entrepreneurs award, since getting advice I now have a full waiting list of people wanting commissions, compared to before when I was getting a couple of commissions here and there.
I decided to enter the Young Entrepreneurs award as I thought it would be a good experience, and help me to learn more about managing my business, CJT Animal Portraits (CJT Art). I create portraits of people’s animals so that they can have a memory of their pet for a lifetime. In future I am also hoping to create different products with some of my work on, such as: cards, key rings etc.
The judging process of the Young Entrepreneurs award included creating a presentation about your business that had details about your business such as: what is your business, what you are doing with your business at the moment, costs and profits you’ve had, some things your business has taught you and what you hope to do with your business in the future. As well as any products or examples to do with your business. After giving your presentation to the judges they asked some questions and gave some advice.
Some key advice that I was given/ key things I learnt from entering the business awards was:
- Never underprice your products. It is really important to ensure that you don’t undersell what you are offering. Ensure you are getting a decent profit for what you are doing, including: any materials and time spent on your products. By increasing your prices you are also more likely to attract customers. (For example: People are willing to purchase something slightly more expensive for it to be high quality, than purchase something cheap that isn’t of high quality.) By not underpricing things you will attract this bigger audience that is willing to spend more for high quality items.
- Require a deposit. (Depending on what your products are.) For me requiring a non – refundable deposit before I start a portrait ensures that even if I am let down, I still have some money for the portrait I produce. Requiring a non – refundable deposit also makes the customer less likely to let you down as they have already paid a fraction of the price, tying them in. Also, it decreases the amount of time wasters, saving you materials and money in the long term. So, requiring a non – refundable deposit is definitely worth it, depending on the business being run. (some businesses are unable/don’t need to require a deposit).
- Save some of the profit you make. Saving some of the profit you make is a really good idea. It allows you to save some money that can be put back into your business whenever you need to buy new materials etc. Which can help expand your business and improve the quality of the products you provide. In addition, it is not only good to save some profit to put back into the business, but it is also a good idea to be able to budget for things you may want/ need in future.Those are the three main/ important things I learnt by entering the Young Entrepreneurs award. However, some other key things I recommend to help expand your business are:
- Creating a business email. I have found that creating a business email has allowed my business to grow, as customers are able to contact me more easily. It is also more professional than using your personal email.
- Creating a website. I have also found that creating a website has been very helpful and allowed people to see my previous products/commissions. It is also very useful as it has everything about my business all in one place, such as: key details, pricing, previous work, contact page, and much more. Having everything in one place means it is easy for customers to navigate and learn more about your business so I would definitely recommend this.
The business awards ceremony was held at the Cotswold House Hotel and Spa. I really enjoyed hearing about everyone’s businesses. Especially the inspiring stories of what they had done throughout the pandemic to help their customers, and the people behind the businesses. It was lovely to see everybody being recognised for all the hard work they’ve done. The awards were presented by Loyd Grossman.
Overall I had an amazing experience and would definitely recommend the Young Entrepreneurs award to any student who owns a business. Not only do you learn more about running a business, but you also get to learn about other businesses and other student’s businesses who entered. I found the whole experience very inspiring, and worthwhile as the knowledge I was given has really helped my business to grow.