This week I had a cuppa with Ollie Forsyth, founder of Ollie’s Shop, The Budding Entrepreneur Magazine and the TBE Club. He started his first own business when he was 13.
What provided you with the inspiration for you starting your own business enterprise?
I have always wanted to start my own business ever since I was really young but never knew where to start. So I started my first business aged 13 which was an online gift shop for teenagers, Ollie’s Shop, the media were picking up on the story and a lot of young people were asking me, how do I go and start my own business, so I started my own entrepreneurs magazine, The Budding Entrepreneur Magazine and having launched that, many people were saying, how did you get to meet that person, can you put me in touch with that person you know, so I started my own entrepreneurs club, The Budding Entrepreneur Club.
Sir Richard Branson was my role model, school was never for me, I could not read until I was 15, I left school without qualifications so University was never going to be for me but there are plenty of alternatives out there. I always had that hunger to make a success, it was just a case of working really hard.
What has been your biggest entrepreneurial achievement so far?
Surround yourself with the right people! To begin with, I had no clue how to reach out to people but having built up a good network, you have fantastic people around you constantly hence why I start TBE Club.
What are some of the challenges you faced in setting up your business and the top 3 tips you give to those thinking of getting into your industry?
Tip 1) DO your market research and develop a full business plan so you know exactly who your competitors are.
Tip 2) Find a market with huge profit margins
Tip 3) Work seriously hard to be better than your competitors.
I work from 5am – 10pm every day as I want to be better than the competition but if you create a unique concept and have a good USP and your business is something needed then customers will come to you.
In terms of developing your network of contacts, what steps did you take in order to facilitate this?
I went to every event and took a ton of business cards and made sure they all went before I left the building. I also started The Budding Entrepreneur Club which is a network of the most entrepreneurial individuals so anyone wanting to network with amazing entrepreneurs, apply now and become a member!
Tell us what the future holds for your business.
Time will tell but have lots of ideas!
If you are also interested in starting your own business or exhibiting at the next Migrant Business Show, check out our websites http://www.mi-hub.com and http://migrantbusinessshow.com and contact me!