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Starting a successful business

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"My name is Will King, and I'm the founder and CEO of King of Shaves. I started up King of Shaves because I didn't like shaving and used an oil - a bath oil - to shave with, didn't get razor burn, gunged up my razor a bit and I thought well ok, if I come up with an oil that doesn't gunge up my razor, maybe I'll be able to create a shaving brand, and that's when I decided to found King of Shaves which is the name of the brand. The name was originated after playing cards with my dad and he said, call your brand King of Shaves, it's your surname, and then grew it to where it is today which is a global challenger brand. In terms of securing funds, I mean that was pretty tough at the start. I'd been made redundant so I had no money whatsoever. Mum and Dad were kind enough to loan me £2,000 for a small equity stake in the business. I decided I needed a business partner and basically I had a potential business partner - Herbie - and then my best friend from university, a guy called Patrick. On the basis that both of them would put in a bit of money, they both agreed to invest. Because obviously we all had little or no assets then I was renting my house, Herbie was renting his house so we didn't have any hard assets to put down but over the course of the year, banks viewed King of Shaves as quite a nice growth business. Bids would grow overnight they could see the products on the shelves so they were able to then provide funding to allow us to grow the business. In terms of securing funding, a business plan is absolutely critical when you're going out to what I call a formal, structural funding partner. So if you're approaching a bank, the bank will need to see a three year business plan, it will need to see a profit and loss, it'll be very interested in what your cashflow is, or your cash burn, when are you going to go into profitability, how are you going to fund and finance that, how much equity you've got in the business that you've raised from personal or other sources, and that needs to be very locked down, because as soon as you start borrowing money off somebody who's lending it to you, then it gets very serious and I think anybody who's looking at starting up a business, if your product or brand or service isn't great, then don't bother, because we live in a very fast world now, where if things are average they don't go very far, if things are fantastic they get picked up on very quickly. It's got to have a large addressable market. It's got to have the profit margins in it that allow you to reinvest the profit in marketing, and you've got to be able to scale and grow the business, ie not just be a busy fool, running around, trying to keep on top of things, chewing up the most valuable resource which is your time. There would be two parts of advice I'd give to somebody starting up a business. Firstly, impossible is nothing - just do it, and then secondly embrace what I call 'SPACE', which is satisfaction of success, passion and persistence, walk the talk with the attitude of action, display confidence and common sense, and then enthuse and exceed and enjoy. What surprised me most about setting up a business is the surprise of it actually working, because you're very nervous at the start that it's not going to work and that people might not enjoy your product, and I think the satisfaction of seeing millions of people enjoying the King of Shaves that's a pleasant surprise every morning but it's taken 17 years to get there.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 46 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Producer: BusinessLink.gov.uk
Director: BusinessLink.gov.uk
Views: 46
Posted by: vecttra on Apr 14, 2012

King of Shaves is a toiletries company started by entrepreneur Will King in 1993, which now has its products stocked in approximately 33,000 stores worldwide.
Here, founder and CEO Will King talks about how he created King of Shaves and how he secured funding to grow the business.

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