Co-creator Ventures is a series that will look at some of the great projects, businesses and initiatives that our co-creators have set up by themselves. Next to share with us her business is Megan from our 2013-14 Star Track programme.
Can you explain your business in less than 140 characters?
Meggie’s Cupcakes is currently a home-run business providing bespoke cupcakes and treats using finest quality ingredients. We are passionate about offering a high quality service meeting the needs of our clients.
What inspired you or how did you come up with your business idea?
Quite simply a passion for baking. Before Meggie’s started I was always baking for family and friends. It was last year when I was baking cupcakes for a friend’s birthday, I realised that it would be amazing and satisfying to do this as a job! It’s fun, creative and let’s face it, who says no to a cupcake?! It all started as an idea in my head and grew from there.
What do you wish you had known before you started it?
Research everything first! Make sure it’s all in place before you start the business. Having a business plan is key. I didn’t realise how much research needed to be done in the first place. Knowing what is and isn’t necessary is important otherwise you waste valuable time.
What keeps you going when you meet challenges?
We have met many challenges since we started but so far none of them have stopped us from getting what we want! We were teaching one of our cupcake decorating classes recently and didn’t anticipate just how many people would turn up. There turned out to be over 20 people! I started to worry and get a tiny bit stressed as we didn’t have enough equipment. However we did manage and it turned out to be an amazing evening with really positive feedback. It’s times like this you feel great satisfaction when a challenge yields a really successful result. All I can say is keep going!
Has social media helped you in any way with your business?
Social media has been our best friend! We started a Facebook page and it currently has over 100 likes. We also have a Twitter page and website. Our pages have really helped to promote us and brought in business.
How important is it to have a team of people around you in what you do?
Initially it was just me as the owner of Meggie’s Cupcakes; however I have the privilege of having a business partner now which really helps. It makes a huge difference to have someone you can rely on and who shares the same passion and commitment to the job. We both bring forward different skills which we can take from each other.
What has been a highlight so far for you?
One of our highlights was participating in a promotional video for a generosity campaign called 40acts. This had a following of over 40,000 people worldwide, which isn’t bad exposure for a start-up business!We also ran a cupcake decorating courses for corporate business and local community.
What have been some of the hurdles you have had to overcome to get to where you are?
As there are so many people starting up cupcake businesses, it was important to find our correct niche in the market. We still are developing ideas as we want to remain competitive. It requires time and research to ensure that our business is successful.
Have you had any training along the way to help you to do what you do?
Currently we have only attended one cupcake decorating class. Since then we have experimented and come up with lots of different techniques that suit us. We have also attended baking events in which we gained a lot from. We are hoping to try some more specific classes such as a wedding cupcake decorating course as this is something we are looking to offer in the near future.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone who’s just starting out?
It can be daunting if you are thinking of starting up something from scratch, but don’t let that put you off! Having the dreams and aspirations to start something is the most important first step! Also, go for your dream and make sure you really do believe in it. Don’t let anyone out there put you down. You will have knock backs along the way but you learn and grow from them. It’s important to tackle them with a positive attitude. Go for it!