Advice to a Struggling Business Owner every Start Up NEEDS to Hear

– Well stop because you’re
gonna kill yourself. Can’t do that. Being deadly, deadly serious Kev. I wanna help you out but… But it’s not profitable. – I’m selling my house. – Don’t, please, don’t
– No, please, listen. (uplifting music) Kevin’s come to pitch to me
to invest in this business. He’s brought a basket
with half a loaf of bread and three bottles of… And he’s asked me to help
and invest in your business. And I’ve said I don’t invest
in our own businesses, and not in other peoples
businesses so that one’s cleared there but
nevertheless I wanna help you ’cause I love helping people. All sorts of bread–
– All sorts of bread. – Yeah, well how much do you make a day? – I do, hovers around 300 halfers a day. I do around 30 to 80
loaves of that all by hand. – So every day, so you’re
making about 600 bits of bread a day. – [Kevin] All by hand. – What time do you start work? – 12 to 1 o’clock in the morning. – So you start at
midnight basically, yeah? And what time do you finish work? – [Kevin] Eight to nine. – In the morning? – [Kevin] Evening. – So you start at midnight
and finish at 9 o’clock… So when do you sleep? – One or two hours. – A day? – Go to bed at 11/10. I’ve got a family of three. – What, children? – Three children and a wife. – You’re going to bed at 10 o’clock and getting up at midnight? – Yeah, at the moment it’s crazy. – Do you have a kip
during the day as well? – Maybe collapse on my
chair when I get home maybe. 18 hours a day. – What about Saturdays and Sundays? – Saturday is my worst day. – What do you mean “market?” – The market, farmer’s market. – What, where you sell your own bread? – Every weekend. – Yup. – But you don’t get paid
for the amount of hours you’re putting in? – I’m working a part time job as well. – What? – 35 hours a week on top of this. – What do you mean 30… And what is that? – Cheffing. – So you chef for 35 hours a week? – Pays my mortgage. – Okay, Kevin, I totally understand. So you’re selling loads of
bread, you’re also doing a 35 hour week cheffing
job, you’re sleeping two hours a day. What about Sundays, do you work Sundays? – [Kevin] I do market every
two weeks out of four. – I mean, if you’re working on this, so you’re earning less than minimum wage? – It’s crazy but I– – Why’re you doing this? – Why am I doing it? Because I believe the
business is good, it might not sound good in money terms but I’d rather put the hard work in now than go and work for someone… – But you are working for someone as well. I mean, if you’re
putting all these hours– – [Kevin] I’m only working for that person because I’ve got… I don’t want to do that but
I’ve got to also be sensible. I’ve got a family, a mortgage. – And you’re making 600
rolls a day out of one single oven, or 600 bits of product? So is that why it’s taken you so long, ’cause you have to wait
for them to finish? – Yup, and making it all by hand. – Then the drinks thing,
you wanna now branch out into that? And those drinks are made out of bread? – Yeah, but– – This is made out of drink? – This is horrible, this is
one from Poland or Russia. – But no one’s ever heard
of this before, Kevin. – No, and that’s why I
wanna be the first one– – No you don’t. – I do. – No you don’t. – I do. – No you don’t because you’re
not a multimillionaire. You’re not someone that’s
in a comfortable place. – You do not need money
to start something big. – No but no ones gonna buy it. People you might know, you’re
not gonna sell enough of this. You’re not gonna sell enough
of it and it’s gonna be… Mate, I think you should
get your first business, your bread rolls, sell more that. Get that over the line and then– – [Kevin] Bread’s such a
hard business to crack. – Mate, I’m telling
you now, selling drinks made of bread is gonna be harder. Who? – Kombucha, which is fermented tea, which is– – But I don’t drink fermented
tea, I drink cups of tea with Yorkshire Gold. You know, mate, basically look
at Richard Branson, right? Let’s talk about Richard
Branson, his first business, you know what he did? He sold records. Yeah, he sold records ’cause
everyone wants records back in the 70s. – [Kevin] That’s why I’m selling bread. – Yeah, but then, then he
went on and he moved up and now he’s doing space tourism. But he’s made his billions. – [Kevin] I’ve heard this– – Yeah, but you’re the
same situation, this is, this is not, this, in a
little way, is space tourism. Like, you need to make sure you’ve got a foundation of wealth before you go and do your passions. Like, you’re still passionate
about bread, aren’t you? You say that you love making
your bread, hand-crafted, you know, you could turn
that into 200,000 pound a year business that pays
you 80,000 pound a year. – I dunno how to scale up with it. – Mate, I dunno how to scale that up. Making drinks made of bread,
if you wanna launch a product, it’s like having a baby,
it needs all of your time, effort, and energy, and you’ve already… You’re doing a 35 hour job,
you’re sleeping two hours a day, you’re working seven days a week, you’re running a market,
you’re making bread, and now you’re making drinks made out of bread because
some people in Russia like it. Basically, you know, this
is the way I explained it, there’s six horses at a
race and there’s one jockey, and each six horses
represent an opportunity. And you’re riding your
opportunity, your job that you’re working 35 hours a week. The doors open, the horses
are racing, so you’re riding your job and then you
start riding the next horse which is making bread. Then you go over here and
you start doing market stalls selling your bread, so now
you’re riding three horses, one jockey, and then to top it all off, you now wanna make
drinks made out of bread. So now you’re riding four
horses and you’ve got a family and you’re only sleeping
two hours a night. So to me you need to focus, follow one course until successful. Once that bread thing is
making you money and spinning cash off, then do your
passions and hobbies. Start getting some sleep ’cause
you’re gonna kill yourself. You can’t live on two hours sleep a night. Madness. How can you operate on
two hours sleep a night? – I don’t know. – Well stop, ’cause you’re
gonna kill yourself. Can’t do that. I’m being deadly, deadly serious, Kev. Like, you could easily–
– I’m cursing myself. – You could easy sell 200 grands a year worth of this stuff here in Essex. I’m losing the will to live here, Kev. (laughs) I’ve never ever wanted to… Mate. Now I’m all for entrepreneurialism,
I’m all for going out there, getting stuff done. I am that guy. I’m really concerned. I’m just worried that ya… I wanna help ya but, I like… I work with people that
they’ve got brewing companies, they struggle, they’re really tough, you gotta go really big. It looks great, this looks
like proper homemade bread. – It is. – And you should be
focusing on that because it’s easy to get customers. Here’s the great thing about
that, you get a restaurant on board, they’ll keep your
people in from you, won’t they? – I’ve had people buying. – So people would look at me
and go, well, it’s all right for you, you’ve got day
nurseries, you’ve got farm parts, you got indoor place. I spend a million pound
a year on managing them. So these are people not
to service, I’ve got a fully qualified accountant. We have a strong management
team which costs a lot of money, but it’s just
you and you and you. – That’s why I’m trying– – And you, you’re only having
two hours sleep a night. This is gonna add another
load of thought dimension, just stop it. Just do this. Trying to find a way of how you can do all of this with more sleep
because, yeah, I’m sure you can live on two hours
sleep for a period of time but eventually you will crash. Well I would put a finish
day of when the bread business is finished. You say, what I want the
profit to be when the business if finished, then you
work out when the revenue you need to bring in to
make that profit happen. Then you ascertain what
you’re team looks like, what the culture of the
business looks like, and what do you need to do. What do you need to
become, what do you need to behave and do to have
all those things to happen. You know, I work hard, don’t get me wrong, but I do have some down
time, thinking time, where you’re resting your
body because then you’ll be re-energized to think
and do better next time. Then you need to think, right, where’s the margin in my business. If you’re passionate about
making all these homemade products and stuff like
that, I applaud that. But all of that becomes a lot
easier when you’ve got a core, base business that drives profit
so can really spend time– – [Kevin] It doesn’t make a profit. – You’re not paying yourself a salary? – No. – Right, if I wanted to do
the hours that you are working I’d be probably paying
you 60,000 pound a year. I’m just telling you how it is, ’cause you’re not
accounting, you’re not even giving yourself minimum wage for the hours you’re putting in are you? And I can see you’re
passionate about bread, you’re a fully qualified
chef, you can sort it out. Don’t mess around with this stuff until you’ve got the first thing over
the line, finish successful. You have to start in
the easy stuff, build up some credibility, build
up some profitability, build up some turnover,
build up some customers, and if they love you that much, they’ll come buy from your market stall. You need to be in one
place selling to many. You don’t sell bread one-to-one. How much is a loaf of bread? One pound fifty, yeah? – [Kevin] To sell to? The public? – Two pound/ three pound? – [Kevin] About three pound. – Three pound? So you go and deliver a three pound loaf of bread door-to-door? You need to get them to come
to you, you need to find a busy market stall, you
need to be going to food and craft fairs, and selling en masse. – I do use, my big ones are– – You’re not doing this
delivering door-to-door stuff still are you? – Yeah. – So you go deliver a loaf
of bread for three pound? – It’s just the same. – Just stop doing that, just stop it. But it’s not profitable! You must be just, do you
not just feel exhausted? – Yup, I’ve had so many
people who say I cannot do it and I’m– – No, listen to me,
please, Kev, listen to me. You will make more money
by turning less money. If you stop delivering to
people for one pound fifty you’re gonna make more money. Less fuel, less tires on your car. You’re gonna start sleeping
a few extra hours a night, and you’re gonna be thinking smarter. You gotta work hard, and you
gotta think smartly as well. They both have to go hand in hand. All them people don’t wanna
spend one pound fifty, get them to come to
you, get a market stall in different places, you
should be doing that stuff. – I always have a hunch
that I’m on to something and I’m always then going
back from what I feel. And every time I do that,
I look and I see it, and I’m like damn, why did I
just talk and not go ahead? And that’s why– – What you talking about, this? – [Kevin] Yeah. And that’s why this one– – Listen to me, I don’t
know how many times I’ve got to say this to you. This is not finished, this business. You don’t start a new business until the last one’s finished. No, no, no. Please, mate. Get this one over the
line, get it finished. Forget this then in five
years time, three years time, two years time, and you’ve
got a bit more time back and you’re thinking smarter. – I’m gonna throw a curve ball in here. I’m selling my house. – Don’t, please.
– No, listen. – Don’t put any of your money into that. So strongly advising you,
I never usually tell people not to do this, do not
put house money into this. If you’re gonna put
any money in something, get yourself a bigger oven for this, and do this en masse, and
get yourself some sleep. Any money that you get
now, put into sleep. I don’t know anyone
that’s living on two hours a night of sleep consecutively,
and happening all the time. I really wish you the best, I don’t think you should sell your flat, I
think you should keep that, rent it out and move in with the in-laws so you’ve got income. ‘Cause I think if you
just get a lump of capital you’ll start bloody
spending it on (word muted) that doesn’t work. And you haven’t got
something over the line yet. – [Kevin] So your advice is? Don’t sell, rent? – Yeah, never sell your properties. – [Kevin] Forget about the drink. – Do not do the drink. Sell this more. No one gets a single loaf
from you delivered ever again, unless their spending a hundred pounds with you, don’t deliver. You’re obviously such a
lovely guy but I hope that you have picked up some stuff
from me, like don’t deliver to anyone for less that fifty
pounds/a hundred pounds. And I’m being harsh on ya
because I don’t want you to forget what I’m
saying, I don’t want you to carry on with this folly. You know, I wanna see
you in five years time and you say yeah, I’m having
eight hours sleep a night, seven hours sleep a night, I’m spending quality time with my family. The drinks thing, mate,
just push that to one side. Sort out the bread business first of all. There’s miles more that
you can do with that. Mate, I’ve gotta go now
but hopefully I’ve helped you enough.
– Yeah, you’ve helped me mate. I probably spend more time
of day drinking cups of tea than you do asleep and that ain’t right. (laughs) – That’s awful.

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17 thoughts on “Advice to a Struggling Business Owner every Start Up NEEDS to Hear

  1. Bless this guy. He has the hard work down, he needs to work smarter though. Relationships with restaurants, getting the bread into health shops or similar, do farmers markets, get a website etc… save money to buy equipment to be more efficient. Want to see him succeed!

  2. Well done James. Spot on advice.

    Kevin, if I were you I would focus on business to business. Try getting restaurants and cafe's to buy from you who can do so regularly with higher average orders. Maybe take your target customers a basket of free bread so they can see how good it is?

    You sound like a great guy and I'm sure your kids want to see more of you. Work smarter not harder!

  3. I’ve been in a similar position. When you came this see me James, I was doing 100 ish hours per week. It’s not possible. My advice would be to sell products to local shops, restaurants and delis. Markets are really hard to crack. As a chef, you can build relationships with local restaurants, offer to create unique bread just for them… the bread is a massive opportunity but YOU HAVE TO GET REST! Happy to chat about this Kevin (former restaurant owner, chef and street food vendor). Please pass on my details

  4. 😂 James… I'm disappointed… you didn't try the drink?! Or did you? I'd love a 1-2-1 with you I'm feeling a bit like Kevin right now and can feel myself getting burnt out with all my projects. Sometimes it's hard when you see so many opportunities everywhere. I always try to do too much and suffer from shiny object syndrome.

  5. Great video. So many lessons here.. focus on one course until successful! Ps Jimbo do you think your shorts were making him nervous? 👀👀😁

  6. So sad 😔 I love his optimism and drive though!

    Needs to focus on specialist breads and gluten free, or low calorie bread. Maybe see if he can trial it in the restaurant he works at first?

    Also, no one is going to buy bread water!!! 🤦🏼‍♂️
    I would never buy it, thinking it would be high carb and make me fat lol! Just sounds horrible too. There’s no need to make a drink out of bread, plenty of great drinks out there already!

  7. Firstly Kev you need to stop talking for atleast 30 seconds and LISTEN PLEASE 😂
    I'm actually worried about him on a serious note. Lack of sleep aside he is delussionally thinking.

  8. Kevin is brave allowing you to publish this but seriously the guy should see a Dr. He is physically and psychologically shot! He could easily drop dead and your advice is absolutely spot on! Everyone loves fresh homemade bread…

  9. Oh Christ! The poor bloke is already on his way to crashing by sounds of it. He is so consumed with work he has lost sight of rationale.

    Hope he listens.

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