“Self-employment has been the best decision I have made in my career to date.” Christina Dawson (The Protein Bar NI)
Christina, a self proclaimed Health an Fitness enthusiast, spotted a gap in the market for luxurious sweet treats which complemented her healthy lifestyle. She kindly took 5 minutes out of her day to tell us about her business start-up journey…..
Did you always aspire to be self-employed?
Until I came up with my business idea, I had never aspired to be self employed. However, due to my passion for health and fitness, and the clear gap in the market I began to dream about starting my own business.
How long did you have your business idea before meeting with a Business Adviser to discuss?
Once I decided to pursue the idea of self-employment I sampled products and carried out both primary and secondary research. It was then approximately one month before my first meeting with a Business Adviser.
What does your business do?
My business, The Protein Bar NI, provides homemade health conscious treats. The products are designed to cater to many different dietary requirements. The products consist of donuts, protein bars, protein balls etc. All products are made in my own kitchen at home. They are designed to give people the option of a tasty treat without the sugar laden guilt, therefore helping to make a healthy lifestyle more sustainable in the longer term.
How long have you been trading?
My business has been operational for ten months.
Are you happy that you went into self-employment?
Self-employment has been the best decision I have made in my career to date. I have two young children and had previously been working part-time. I started my business alongside this job, but knew straightaway that it was the right decision for me.
If you were to give one piece of advice to someone starting up what would it be?
I would advise you to do as much research as you can to educate yourself in your chosen industry. Most importantly, make sure that it is something that you are passionate about.
Was the Go For It programme beneficial to you? If so, how?
I found the Go For It programme extremely beneficial as I do not have a strong business background. It was helpful to analyse the breakdown for income and expenditure, and to conduct scenario planning for future projected figures.
What was the best part of the programme?
Having someone like my Business Adviser Sandra Young on hand to guide me. She was fully equipped with the expert knowledge and information to help me understand the business side of things. It was helpful and encouraging to have someone that I was able to contact via phone or email when I had any queries or concerns.
How did you finance your business?
As my business is in my own home, start up costs were minimal. I was able to use earnings from my part time job to purchase equipment and ingredients.
Where do you see your business in 5 years time?
I would like to relocate my business away from my home and employ staff to expand the production of my products. Ideally this would be in a retail setting.
Are you motivated by Christina’s start-up story? Then get in touch!! If you are interested in turning your idea into a reality, just like Christina did, then simply contact us now and a member of our team will be in touch
Our team will work flexibly to suit you. Meetings can be conducted either virtually or face to face (Government guidelines permitting), it’s entirely up to you!