Tuesday, 28 February 2012

By Invitation Only

Last night we held our event and it was really successful and we couldn't be happier. A lot of people turned up, enjoyed themselves and bought some prints and T-shirts. We also got a lot of great feedback, people asked us when our next one is going to be and for our website. We have a few orders for extra T-shirts and prints to fulfil, including one large one- 100 band T-shirts (their design) which we are charging £3 a piece, a total of £300. 

As people are keen to go to more of our events, we have set up a Facebook page as our website won't be up and running for a while yet.

The manager of the Library pub (where our event was held) has also asked us to hold a monthly event there. This is very flattering and this is something we are going to discuss. However, I like the idea of it being a bit less often so that we have more time to actual design work as well. 

Sunday, 26 February 2012

InPress... Revised finance

After meeting with the business manager at Natwest I decided to revise our figures to follow her advice and make them more accurate.
These are the differences I have made-

  • We are now using the city car club (car rental) instead of using Kirstys car.
  • We no longer need public liability insurance as we won't be hiring out our equipment.
  • We no longer need our own screen printing equipment as we will be using the colleges for the first year.
  • We need to pay to register as a limited company.
  • We are now hiring an accountant instead of using Sage One.
City car club: £60
Computer rental: £4,288.44
Paper, ink etc: £130.04
Adobe suite: £1,238.40
Business insurance: £30
Professional and product liability insurance: £100
Rent, including bills and internet: £3,420
Solicitor: £70
Computer repairs: £300
Furniture: £110

We got a quote from Nialls dads accountant and also asked him how much it would cost to register as a limited company. These figures don't include VAT, but as we will be VAT registered we would get this back anyway.
Accountant: £850
Register limited: £75

TOTAL: £10,671.88

yearly costings: £10671.88
estimated yearly turnover (based on first 12 months): £90671.88 (earning £20,000 each)
required monthly income: £7555.99

...meaning that collectively we would have to work 76 hrs per month at £100 per hour, which is 19 hours per week.

Charging £25 per hour as individuals we would have to work 302 hours per month between us- 76 hours per week. Which works out as... 19hours per week each.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

InPress... city car club

Here is the price list for the city car club, which we have decided to use instead of Kirstys car as it will be more cost effective.

Friday, 24 February 2012

InPress... registering limited

I have gone on to the Companies House website to download the application form needed to start our business. They also have a very useful FAQ page.

Here is the application form that needs to be filled out and sent to Companies House.

InPress... company name availability

Now that we decided to make our company limited, I decided to check our name availability in the UK. The website warned that there were some similar names which might mean that the application for ours may be rejected by Companies House. I don't think this will be a problem, as none of the companies mentioned are graphic design studios.

InPress... bank meeting

Today me and Kirsty went to Natwest to have a chat with their bank manager. She was really helpful and gave us some great tips for starting up our business. She didn't really have any criticism over the figures that we showed her except that we may be aiming a bit high charging £100 an hour. So we decided to say that we will charge £25 an hour per designer, as not all four designers will be working on a project at one time.

She also mentioned that we should be a limited company as our estimated yearly turnover is £89,074 which goes over the VAT registration threshold (£73,000) we will then have to be VAT registered, the best way to deal with this is to get an accountant. We will also have to register our company by filling out a form IN01 application to register a company and send to Companies House along with a registration fee.

She also mentioned that our figures on car insurance, tax and MOT can't go through the company books unless its a company car. We decided that instead we will use city car club, as we won't need a car the majority of the time as we are based quite close to the train station.

She told us to take advantage of anything free, which reminded us that we are able to use the college facilities for a year after we graduate. So we do not need to buy any screen printing equipment until we have started to make an income, this will cut down our start up cost by about £300.

She said to take advantage of any chances to do work experience, wether it be doing free design work to get ourselves known both as individuals and as a collective or working in studios to watch them, learn how they run and even learn from their mistakes.

She told us about the Leeds uni and Met business sectors that offer advice and mentorship. Here are a few other names, websites and places she told us to check out.

Spark and business innovations- Barry Blake
Yorkshire enterprise- Owen Jackson 079515293865, 01132470000
Chamber and Government are trustworthy places to get loans
Natwest.com- start up business.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

InPress... Competition

We researched into what would be our potential competition. We based this on who are similar graphic design studios that use similar processes to us in Leeds.

They are Factory 4, Catalogue and Craft.

Factory 4 is a studio that lets out its screen printing facilities for various prices. Initially we wanted to let out our facilities to the public as an extra way to make money. However we discovered that this only caused more problems, we would have to figure out whether we would teach people and how much we would have to charge. It would also limit the time we had to use our own equipment and we would have to get different types of insurance to protect the public. Also it would increase our start up costs, as we would have buy or rent more professional equipment, rather than making our own at a smaller price.

Catalogue is probably the most similar to us out of all of our competitors. They are a graphic design studio that are mainly print based. They own all of their own screen printing equipment and influenced a lot of how we want to run our studio. They have made a lot of their own equipment, which is something we intend to do with InPress to cut our start up costs.

Craft is a design studio being set up by four of our fellow course mates- Charlotte Bourke, Luke O'Brien, Max Gregory and Joe Warburton. We had a look at some of their research posted on their blogs and discovered that they were considering renting out studio space in the same space as us. They would be major competitors being in the same building, also the fact that we would be launching our studios at the same time would make it very competitive.

InPress... Presentation

Today we all sat down and started mapping out our presentation. We decided that me and Niall are going to be the main speakers and we will all answer questions at the end. We made notes for each slide, outlining roughly what we are going to talk about. There are ten slides in total each for a different aspect of our research-

  1. Logo and advertisement
  2. Competition
  3. SWOT analysis
  4. PEST analysis
  5. Funding
  6. Studio space
  7. Equipment
  8. Finance
  9. Marketing and promotion
  10. Summary of previous nights event

Doing this also prompted us to finalise any research that was missing. Me and Kirsty researched more into funding and what loans and bursaries would be available to us. This is what we found.

There is a grant scheme by Leeds city council that helps out small businesses starting up. You have to be an established business for at least 6 months, so it would be good for upgrading our equipment once we have our studio up and running. As most of our equipment is going to be second hand or made by ourselves, this would be very useful.

Loans of up to £5,000 are also available for people to help finance the initial stage of their businesses.

befund.org is another website that offer different loans to new businesses. They have low rates and also offer mentorship included in the cost of loan.

They also provide a calculator to work out your credit, this could be very helpful to people handling their own finances for the first time.

Monday, 20 February 2012

InPress... Finance and equipment

On Friday me and Kirsty finished off working out our final figures for InPress. We started off by filling in the yearly expenses sheet that Bridget gave us. We based this on my findings on equipment expenses, Kirstys findings on insurance, Nialls decision on which studio space to rent and some estimations suggested by Bridget.

The studio space that Niall found includes bills and wifi, but has no furniture. So me and Kirsty started by looking at freecycle to see what we could get for free. We decided that we would need two desks and computer chairs (for our two iMacs), one sofa, a large table to work on and a filing cabinet. Here is what we managed to acquire for free...

We also managed to find a whiteboard, some scrap wood for Niall to build our exposing and screen washing unit, a colour laser printer, a kettle and printing cartridges.

Niall says that he has a spare massive dining table in his garage at home that would be ideal for working on and a spare computer chair.
We also looked at Gumtree and IKEA for all the bits of furniture we didn't manage to get for free, and added this to our start up cost and first 12 month outgoings.

We also looked into getting a Sage one account for our accounting, also we looked at solicitor costs and different insurance costs.

MOT: £40
Tax: £120
Car insurance: £385
Business insurance: £30
Professional and product liability insurance: £100
Public liability insurance: £35
Rent including bills and internet: £3,420
Accountant software: £144
Solicitor: £70
Computer repairs: £300
Equipment- computer rental, screens etc: £4,320
Furniture: £110

When all added up this makes our yearly outgoings £9,074, minus the materials and printing costs.
We decided that £100 an hour would be a reasonable price to charge, considering that their is four of us so the work will get done more quickly. We thought that the best way would be to charge the client material and printing costs, as it may vary from customer to customer.

Assuming that we want to earn around £20,000 a year each, this would mean our estimated yearly turnover is £89,074.
This would make our required monthly income £7,423, which would mean we would have to work at least 75hrs per month at £100 an hour plus cost of materials and printing.

We also decided that we would all earn the same wage, owning a 25% stake in the company each.

We emailed Jane to double check our figures, and also to see if our rate of £100 an hour plus material costs is acceptable.