It’s quite a milestone when your first baby turns 5, and after initially offering UK wide franchises in 2012, Pink Spaghetti’s very first franchise in South Hampshire has now celebrated its 5th birthday.
To mark the special occasion, we’ve asked Andrea, our first franchisee, about her business and her plans for the future.
What did you do in corporate life before Pink Spaghetti?
I worked in Financial Services for 12 years and as an Internal Auditor for 8 of those years.
Did you always want to run your own business or did circumstances dictate a change in direction?
I always liked the idea of having the freedom to be my own boss, but it was falling pregnant with my third child whilst also having a 2 and 4 year old and needing that flexibility that really pushed me to look into the possibility of doing it.
Why did you decide to buy a franchise rather than setting up from scratch on your own? What attracted you to Pink Spaghetti?
I was so keen to be a Pink Spaghetti franchisee I stalked them online for a year before they even started franchising! I found them online when I was searching for ideas to bring more flexibility into my working life, and I really fell in love with the Pink Spaghetti branding and offering, and felt that I could take huge advantage from learning from Caroline and Vicky who had been through the process already.
Did you have any doubts before you started?
None! I was nervous starting out but just totally focused on building a really successful business from day one. A press release to my local paper brought my first customer on my second day of business and things took off from there. I broke even in my fourth month and now employ staff.
What was the toughest thing about starting up, and how did you overcome it?
It’s a steep learning curve running your own business and being responsible for all elements of it. I was so passionate about making it work that I took a lot of things personally if they didn’t go to plan. I think confidence grows in time and you are able to be more objective about things, think with a “business head” and realise that everything is an experience you can learn from.
What changes have you seen take place in your business over the last 5 years? What changes have you seen in Pink Spaghetti as a whole?
This year I’ve just become an employer myself and have 2 employees and a freelancer who work for me. I’ve grown a team so that I can take my business to the next level.
Pink Spaghetti as a whole have become much slicker in their processes. We have regular training and a whole community that supports and helps each other. They are continually refining their offering to reflect what our customers want.
What advice would you give to new franchisees, or people setting up their own business?
I think you need to just go for it 100%. Believe in yourself and what you are doing and be committed to making a success of your business every day. There will be ups and downs but if you are consistent you will achieve your goals and be successful in business.
What would you say are your regular tasks? Have you been asked to do anything particularly unusual?
I do a lot of social media for clients and regular admin tasks, such as sending out newsletters, updating websites and publishing blogs.
I’ve been asked to do a few random tasks like sourcing 1000 unbranded chopsticks for a client’s promotion or the time I needed to phone around women’s prisons for a client’s charity work. No two days are ever the same which is what I love about what I do.
How do you see your business developing in the next 5 years?
I want to continue to grow Pink Spaghetti. I now have 3 amazing team members who all work virtually and all bring their own skills and experience to the team, and I want to utilise this and be able to offer my clients a wealth of knowledge and experience. Who knows we may even be in our own offices in the next 5 years!