BT Business recently commissioned a number of case studies on successful start-ups from across the country, in order to give budding entrepreneurs a valuable insight into the world of business start-ups. For more case studies and further information on this topic check out www.insight.bt.com.
1. TAPE STUDIO LIMITED Tape is a high end boutique Recording studio offering a range of studio services
2. What made you want to start a business in your specific field? I have always held a huge passion for music and have spent my twenties working in and around the industry, which is where the idea of Tape grew from. I had this field in mind as a long-term project. However, I was aware that there was a gap for a serious, high end recording studio in Edinburgh and our space has been designed with this in mind. Was your business influenced by identifying an untapped target audience or did you always have your specific field in mind? 3. How did you finance your start-up? I was gifted money through inheritance and I also had money saved from income I receive through properties. Did you make use of start-up funding? Were you aware of the options? No. I was aware of a number funding options but, I did not require them. How important was researching your competitors before launching? I have created my business based on what feels right to me never mind what other people are doing, do what feels right for you. I wanted to create something different from what others in the field do and so I suppose I did research a bit in that I saw what I didnt want in my competitors. It has been important though to research pricing among competitors in order to build a market ready business. 4. HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON THE BEST PLATFORM FOR YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE? The nature of the business meant that a permanent physical presence was always going to have to exist however; we knew it would be important to have a great website as first point of call for potential clients. Do you have a website optimised for mobiles and/or tablets? How important do you think it is for businesses to have this? Yes, I have a fully responsive website. Design and ease of use is very important to me and the ethos of my business. I personally, can be put off a business if their website is bad to look at and/or hard to use. Is there enough support for new and growing SMEs? I cannot really answer this as I did not apply for any outside support. I do however feel that it is hard for new businesses to survive the first few years when business rates are sooo high. I would like to see a reduction of these rates for new small businesses - lower rates means businesses can get off the ground, employ staff and ensure less empty commercial property. 5. Whats been your biggest mistake, regret, lesson or struggle? I have no regrets, you can only learn from your mistakes. It has taken 5 years from initial idea to launch of my business and although the length of time has been frustrating and stressful at times, looking back it has all worked out for the best. There is no right or wrong when it comes to your own business, do what feels right for you and what feels comfortable Whats the best piecE of business advice youve been given? 6. What one bit of advice would you give other start ups? Get a good accountant that you enjoy meeting with right at the start. They will make sure you are completing all the right paperwork and they will also help you to understand good bookeeping etc. You have to make mistakes sometimes huge to learn how to work better. Do not give yourself a hard time for making mistakes; they only help you understand your business better. Given the industry you have gone into, do you think you are at a disadvantage being so removed from London? I have long held the belief that creative businesses should not feel disadvantaged just because they are not located in London. I dislike the idea that it's London or nothing as there are so many wonderful, creative businesses and projects happening all over the UK. I hope that, once established, being outside of London will be a key strength for my business mainly due to pricing/costs of London compared to other cities. 7. Being in such a specialised field, how important was it to find the correct premises to run the business? It was very important to me as I have such a keen interest in design/buildings/interiors. For me the whole concept of my business is based on thoughtful, craft like ideals and I spent 2 years actively searching for the ideal base the operate from. Im not sure how important it is to other businesses but for me it was key. Do you think there is scope for further expansion of music industry based businesses in Scotland? I definitely think so we are a very creative, enterprising nation. In order for this to happen I do think we need to see some changes in rates for new businesses across the board though. We need less start-ups relying on loans or small, token grants instead start-ups need to be able to support themselves quicker. 8. www.insight.bt.com