Food for thought: entrepreneur’s root to success based on building a hub for the community
Sandeep Bains, owner of Simply Fresh Faversham; talks about how mixing family expertise and education has been the recipe to success for his convenience store business.
I gained an invaluable knowledge, made contacts and created networks which have helped in making my store a success
Tell us about Simply Fresh Faversham and what it offers?
I’m the owner of Simply Fresh Faversham, a convenience store specialising in fresh produce and locally sourced products. We pride ourselves on being a hub of the local community, by supporting schools, sport clubs and community groups.
What was it that inspired you to set-up your own business?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and I’ve always known I wanted to work for myself. Our family expertise lies in convenience retail, so I combined this knowledge with my Masters in International Management to launch my first store.
Do you think an Entrepreneur ISA and a Small Business Savings Allowance would have helped aid your company’s growth in the early stages?
Absolutely. When a business launches there are always teething problems so any capital to help iron those out will always be beneficial. I was lucky enough to have had funding from my parents, and looking back I would have struggled to keep up with demand without having access to a pot of money.
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced so far?
One of our major supply chains ceased trading without providing any notice. I found myself having no access to stock, and having to find new suppliers and agree contracts for chilled, frozen and ambient products within a day. Luckily, I was in the process of securing a secondary supply chain to protect the business, so this made the process far easier!
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
It’s great to have a passion about your business, but in order to succeed you need to become an expert in your field. I spent a year travelling up and down the country to visit convenience stores, attended retail conferences and spoke to leading members of the industry, before launching my first store. I gained an invaluable knowledge, made contacts and created networks which have helped in making my store a success.
What is your proudest achievement to date as a company?
I won a national industry award at the Independent Achievers Academy. It’s a great feeling to be acknowledged and respected amongst my peers, and following the award win I found a lot of them would ask my opinion on how they can grow their business and increase sales.
Sandeep Bains is the owner of Simply Fresh Faversham.