Anneisha Merryweather has entered her business, Great Park Cafe, into this year's If We Can You Can competition. We catch up with her to find out more about her business ahead of the competition.
What did you do before setting up your business?
I have worked in sales for more than eight years. The job is stressful, but as a single mum, it gave me the income and hours I needed to juggle childcare for my daughter.
What inspired you to set up your business?
I wanted to do something I am passionate about, which is being part of the community! When the opportunity came along to run the local community centre cafe, I jumped at the chance. I love the new development area I live in, and knew that the centre users needed a central hub for teas and coffees. Plus, no more headset and sales targets! I am now my own boss, and use my customer service skills to grow my customer base.
What makes this business different?
The customer service! Because of my years of experience of dealing with customers, it means that each person who comes to see me, whether it’s for a cup of tea or a free glass of water, gets the same smile, response, and customer service.
What inspired you to enter the If We Can You Can Challenge?
When setting up my business, I had help through a wonderful local business support group PNE. They got in touch and told me to apply!
Where do you see your business in three years’ time?
One of many businesses, I want to grow a business portfolio. I would want to team up the coffee/cafe service which I know well with a business service such as softplay/exercise group/shop.
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
The response I have had from my customers! The feedback has been so rewarding. It just confirms that I am good at delivering a service which people want to buy from and will grow.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Doing everything myself! I have worked none stop since the café opened. I run the full show, from start to finish. From dealing with suppliers, to sorting out the books. On top of being a single mum! But I know I must work super hard for the first year, and then I will be able to reap the rewards!
Who/what gave you support or advice?
PNE – a great business support group!
What advice would you give to someone looking to set up their own business?
Go for it! But before you do, run the figures and never make it add up if it doesn't. Even if you love doing something, making a living out of it is a different matter.