We’re chatting with one of our Scotland-based entrepreneurs this week for ‘One Year On’, the series we’ve created to catch up with our loan recipients a year (or so) on from their original application. Simon Forsythe is the owner and director of For Fike Sake, “Established in 2016… we are an artisan cafe with a social heart based in the middle of Partick in Glasgow’s West End.” With stunning photography on their website we really feel as though we’ve been able to get a true insight and feel for the place. Here’s what Simon had to say about his first year or two in business...
What is the nature of your business and why did you choose a Start Up Loan over other types of finance?
For Fika Sake CIC is a community interest cafe which holds workshops, events, gigs, clubs and provides a great space for people to relax. We chose a Start Up loan basically because it was one of the only options available to us under our current financial situation, not having any capital to begin with so it was a great opportunity!
What has your business achieved over the last year? What is your favourite success story to date?
The main success for me is to see the cafe and space being used for what myself and the original founders had planned. A space for the community to feel comfortable, relaxed and welcome. Also providing the community with many opportunities to learn through the workshops and events that are held here. I smile every time I hear people enjoying themselves during these events!
I also think being able to survive the first year is a challenge for any new business, especially in the current climate and with all the challenges it presents. So I’d say surviving the first year and coming out of that strong was a great success.
What have you learnt from the first year in business? Is there anything you would do differently?
I have learnt that fast decision making is key and to be able to be flexible with current events and situations, especially within the service industry. In the future I fortunately have the power hindsight so I would definitely have a more structured plan if I was to open another venture like this one!
Would you recommend a Start Up Loan from Transmit Start-Ups to other businesses? How beneficial was the free business support?
I would recommend Start Up Loans from Transmit Start-Ups, for those interested in opening their own business.
If you could give one tip to a new entrepreneur, what would it be?
I would say, if opening a business in a partnership be prepared for compromise and always have communication at the heart of the business relationship. Also be prepared to work your ass off!
If you found Simon’s story an inspiration and are looking to set up your own business, register with us now to get the ball rolling!