A moody shot of the main barber room at cubed cuts and coffee for the starting a business from scratch podcast.

On the eve of opening up his very own shop, after 16 years in the industry, I have the most amazing chat about starting a business from scratch, With Nottingham's finest barber, Jonny Felstead!

We talk about how every day is a school day; How tax is different on biscuits with chocolate! We discuss the advantages of working for yourself and how having a support network can really help with self-doubt. I wipe my nose too much (as it was freezing in my kitchen). And I also say "amazing" far too often!

Thanks so much to Jonny for this!

Starting a business from scratch and going alone

A blurry shot of the green wall feature at cubed cuts and coffee.

Dan: "You're starting your own barbers, aren't you? You wanna to let people know that you are going on your own?"

Jonny: "Yes. It's always been in a partnership. I've either been self-employed working within another barber shop, or I've been in partnership with other people. I had a small percentage in the first shop we did together and then it was an equal percentage in the second shop. But this time, yeah, it's just me, which is more daunting. There's a lot of mixed emotions about it. It's a strange time to be doing it as well. But I think starting the business is always going to be a bit of a roller coaster emotions wise. With how you're feeling and what goes on with everything that surrounds starting up your own business from scratch really."

Don't always trust what people say

Dan: "What's the one piece of advice you'd give to your younger self, knowing what you know now!"

Jonny: "As a mix of experience from the previous partnerships I've been in, and then doing this on my own is not necessarily to trust everything people say. Especially if they're people that have an interest in making money through you or off of you. So, I maybe put a lot of myself into the partnership before and didn't necessarily get what I felt was an equal reward. Or not an equal reward but a just reward for what went into it initially. So everything was based off what money was put in initially, not the work, that any debt that was accrued to be able to get the business going kind of thing."

Jonny: "On a personal level, yeah. So I felt possibly a little bit short-changed out of that first one we did. And then more with the setting up on my own, there's been a couple of things where I've taken someone's word for something. And I should have double-checked it myself beforehand."

...once I finally got the keys and went and had a look for myself...by that point, it's too late...

Jonny Felstead

Too late

A blurry photograph of designer tiled flooring at cubed cuts and coffee for the Starting a business from scratch podcast

Dan: "Trust is a little bit of a theme maybe? Is that fair to say?"

Jonny "Yeah a little bit To it to an extent because like, when I took the premises on that, I mean, now, it was supposed to be white box ready for me just to start the fit out. Unfortunately, there were still issues that hadn't been dealt with properly. And the premises that then would slow down the work that I could do, things like that. So I trusted, the person who told me the work had been finished, and it was completed and it was ready to be taken over. On the day that I signed the lease, I couldn't get the keys to have a look at the property prior to that."

Jonny: "So I took that word that it had been completed. And it was up to a standard. And it wasn't, and then there were some issues once I finally got the keys and went and had a look for myself. But by that point, it's too late."


Jonny: "I guess we've been lucky with the previous two leases, we've taken on where there was nothing, no major issues with the shops themselves. But I'll probably say to make sure, as a novice, I didn't think about doing it. But to make sure you get like a survey done on the property as well."

Dan "Right, Because it's cost, isn't it?"

Jonny: "Yeah, it's another cost. And but it's probably not a massive cost. That could potentially, because depending on the results of a survey could choose like buying a house, it could change your opinion as to whether you actually want to go through with it was released better prepare you for any issues that might arise once you take it on."

Every day is a school day

Starting a business from scratch podcast image. Cubed Cuts and coffee logo overlaid on a hexagonal light feature in the shop.

Dan: "Good advice. A little bit of don't always take people on face value without doing your own research. You're 16 years, doing what you're doing, and you're still going to find things that are going to trip you up.

Jonny: "Yeah. Every day's a school day. And yeah, never profess to know everything about anything. Although I was involved in brick for a long time, It didn't teach me everything I need to know about opening my own shop or running a business. So I'd say until sometimes if, if no one teaches you something until you live through it yourself. You don't have that learning experience to really and to learn from it. So you've got to make your mistakes before you can improve on them or not make them a second time round."

Dan: "I found out I learned far better from making those mistakes myself than somebody telling me."

Thanks so much to Jonny for this amazing chat, to listen to the whole podcast and other great talks, please visit my anchor page here.

All images copyright of Ben Felstead for Cubed Cuts and Coffee.

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