Pip & Nut is an all natural nut butter brand, founded by Pippa Murray. Here she talks about the tipping points in her business journey, and the funding choices she made to support her business plan.
Stage 1 funding: Pre-revenue
In the first instance, Pippa turned to friends and family. Pippa started with a £5,000 loan from her father, and a £10,000 loan from the Start Up Loans Company (now part of the British Business Bank).
Pippa says: “This was just enough to do some work on product development, and to trial the ideas.”
Her advice to other start-ups is not to borrow too much until you have a really concrete plan, and know exactly how you will pay the money back.
Stage 2 funding: Going to market
To get their product into production, Pip & Nut needed to raise at least £100,000. They received a lot of “no’s” from potential investors – and in the end decided on a round of crowdfunding. In this way, the risk was spread between 80 investors, all of whom took on a smaller element of what was potentially quite a risky business proposition. As well as raising the necessary funding, Pip & Nut secured themselves 80 strong brand advocates, which helped propel them to the next stage of growth.
Advice and tipping points
Pippa’s best business advice had nothing to do with finance. She says: “I was told that the most important thing I needed to do was to talk less, and listen more in pitches.” She has heeded this advice, and believes it has made a big difference.
The three key tipping points for Pip & Nut in the early days have been:
- Achieving the first round of crowdfunding – about £120,000.
- Getting a product line into their first national retailer, Sainsburys.
- In the second year, getting the support of an angel investor with relevant industry experience to help them strategically and operationally to get to the next level.
Finance at every stage
Business financing is not a one-off decision, but an ongoing and evolving situation. No decision can be made in isolation to the businesses journey. Find out more about what options are suitable now and what might work at another stage.
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