Sending gifts to friends, family members can be a pain sometimes, sometimes we mess up the gifts, other times its the presentation that lets us down.
I quickly had a chat with someone who knows all about gifts and presentation. Today, I interview the founder of Biscuiteers - a company that bakes beautiful, hand iced biscuits and have recently introduced hand-iced chocolates and cakes to the mix.
This is our conversation below.
Can you give you some background information about yourself, were you the entrepreneurial type growing up?
Well I started my career in publishing and then subsequently spent ten years running the consumer brands division at a top 20 PR consultancy. I worked with a number of internet start ups during the dot com boom years and I think that the excitement of that period inspired me to want to launch my own online retail shop. I was interested to see if I could and I thought my background in PR and marketing was a good starting point.
Tell me how the idea for Biscuiteers came about?
My husband runs a London based catering and events company so food was obvious starting point and I thought there was an opportunity in the food gift sector
What is Biscuiteers?
We hand-make a number of different collections of beautiful themed iced biscuits to send to friends, colleagues and family as gifts. We have also recently launched hand-iced chocolates and cakes.
What are you trying to solve with Biscuiteers?
The gifting problem! How to send the most original, thoughtful and lovely present to people you care about.
Talk me through the first few months of running the business? What would you say was the hardest part of starting the business?
The business took off really quickly so our early problems were mainly logistical – breakages in the post, meeting demand and managing customer expectations.
How were you able to fund the business?
We put in the initial investment ourselves and have grown the business organically since then.
How has your market changed in the past few years? How has your business changed to keep pace?
We are evolving our business all the time – introducing new product ranges and new services and delivery options for our customers. I think as customers have got more used to online shopping, their expectations have grown. They don’t make any distinction between shopping on huge retail sites like Amazon and a small boutique site like ours so there is constant challenge to deliver comparable levels of service, website and delivery excellence.
Would you say the initial idea for the company, or that your business model has changed since starting the company?
No although different areas of the business have become more important as the business has grown like our growing corporate business and wholesale outlets.
What would you say has been some of the most crucial that you've done to build the company to this level now?
Very concentrated focus on PR and marketing. PR in particular is the most fantastic and relatively inexpensive way for a new company to make an impact.
What’s been your most memorable moment so far on your entrepreneurial journey?
There have been lots of good moments – the publication of our first book, our nomination as one of Britain’s most innovative, creative and disruptive brands in the Real Business top 50 and we are quite pleased to have a whole page in Glamour magazine this month!
What pieces of advices could you give to aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
Have a clear idea of your market and your USP’s and be prepared to take a risk. Starting your own business is a challenge but it is also can be a really great experience.
What can we be expecting from you and Biscuiteers in 2012?
Expansion - increased product range and offer online and we are also exploring some new retail opportunities. The second edition of our book will be out in October.