As we continue to take you behind the scenes and shed light on the real-life hurdles that entrepreneurs encounter, in this first instalment of The Diary of a Start-Up Entrepreneur, Marnie will bring you up to speed on her start-up journey so far.

Actions Taken

“It’s full steam ahead and Gavin and I have a list of priorities we are each working on. He is liaising with contractors and designing the build, I am working on some of the operational aspects such as researching till and booking systems, working out staff requirements, writing job specifications, dummy rotas and putting the café menu together to ascertain equipment required.

I’ll be writing content for the website today whilst our niece takes the kids out, but time is against me as its too hot to stay out for too long.

We’ve also developed an exciting new idea for swapping some soft play for an indoor beach so I’m working on what’s required for that. It’s really exciting.”


Site under constrcution

Barriers & Challenges

“With a to-do list that feels pretty overwhelming, I haven’t slept much this week, not to mention my son being up every few hours.

I’ve realised for the business to work, and for my (home-educated) son to get the support and time he needs we need a home rota too so I found myself yesterday with two rotas open in excel, home and business trying to coordinate life.

It’s hard to concentrate sometimes with the boys shouting or running around. Before I know it its quarter to 5 and I haven’t thought about what’s for dinner.

Things will smooth down once we open so we just need to get through the next few months.

All the time all of the marketing requirements are whirling around my head and intrusive thoughts keep interrupting me every 5 minutes with other jobs that need doing at some point.

One thing at a time is my internal chant at the moment.

Imposter syndrome is kicking in every now and then!”

Wins For The Period

“With the final sign off from all Asset agreements, it’s a daunting realisation that were actually doing this, for real. Not me working on a project for a client or bit of Uni work. Its real life, and it’s happening, quickly! Argh!

Having a team around us will help and we’ve already received 8 applicants from the jobs posted on Indeed last night.”

Looking Forwards – What’s Next?

We are looking to start the build in September so we will be prioritising contractor requirements to ensure were ready to go. We also have the website to build and recruitment interviews taking place!

 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

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: / 01872 227 930.