In the October update of The Diary of a Start Up Entrepreneur, we continue taking you behind the scenes and bringing you up to speed on Marnie’s progress.

Actions Taken

“The website is now live! We also released the booking system and our Early Bird ticket sales which have been popular, with 30 bookings within the first couple of days.

It’s surprising just how many systems and integrations we’ve needed. The number of connection setups I had to do in one day was a bit overwhelming – ensuring the Booking System, Payment System, Website, CRM system, Bookkeeping System, Bank, Google Business and Facebook/Instagram were all ‘talking’ to one another other.

It’s been such a progressive month. There has been a lot of progress with the site, and the concepts are really starting to take shape now.”

Site under development

Site under development

Barriers & Challenges

“Mail strikes have caused a bit of a headache; the solicitor’s paperwork was delayed, and this has had a ripple effect on our production timeline. Gavin and I have had to work extra hard to keep the project timeline on track.

The Vinyl is up on the unit, finally! After being stuck in customs, we have had to reschedule the installers twice.

The recruitment process has been up and down. Lots of applicants not showing up to interviews, some really great interviews that we’ve been really excited by, only for them to have taken another job elsewhere.

As always, it’s been a challenge progressing our business while looking after our two young children, however, with a schedule for both home and work, we are managing to keep on top of everything.”

Wins For The Period

“Despite the issues we faced during the recruitment process, we’ve secured two great full-timers and a part-timer, and we’re back to looking for a few more positions.

Getting the website live and all of the systems integrated was a big win for us. We spent hours and many late nights tirelessly working through this. Gavin, who is a bit of a technophobe too, has said he never wants to touch the back of a website again!

All of the concept shells have been built. We’ve been so impressed by our contractors, and our Carpenter fitting the frames and building the additional elements such as the Jurassic Jungle Lookout and Space Rocket.

Deliveries of all the play equipment and props are turning up thick and fast. The house is crammed with boxes whilst we wait for the builders to finish up the unit. The boys are going to be pretty unimpressed with Christmas after seeing the number of toys we’ve got currently stacked everywhere!”

Looking Forwards – What’s Next?

As the builders vacant the unit, we will be transforming each concept with painting, vinyl murals, décor, props and equipment. We also have the coffee machine and kitchen being installed. We are in talks with an authentic Italian pizzeria to provide woodfired pizzas too!

About SWIG Finance

SWIG Finance is a non-profit company which supports viable Southwest businesses that can’t secure sufficient funding from their bank. By empowering underserved SMEs to overcome their financial barriers, we are working to create a more balanced financial eco-system.

We’re growing every year. In 2021/22, we lent £10.8m to 502 businesses, helping to create and secure over 1,000 jobs and generate £32.3m. For more information visit https://www.swigfinance.co.uk/social-impact-report-2022/

If you’d like an informal chat about your funding requirements, get in touch with our friendly and professional team to see how we can help: info@swigfinance.co.uk / 01872 227 930.

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