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Okay guys, I want to introduce to you my friend Bex Walker.  You may know her and her business BEXFAST already, but I love her story and how she started her business. Bex makes oat based breakfast pots, they’re vegan, all natural with no junk and the best bit… they literally taste like cake. She is hands down THE MOST hard working person I know.

Bex has gone from making pots of breakfast oats in her kitchen at home to winning London’s hottest food entrepreneur, raising over 20k on a crowdfunding campaign to scale production on her incredible business AND she just had her first £10k month in sales.

I asked her to share this journey and her business tips exclusively just for you guys in the NBBS squad…

“Before having my daughter and starting my business, I was a singer and songwriter. I always imagined I would be doing music for the rest of my life. But I had this thought in the back of mind that getting back to long studio sessions didn’t feel right for me any more once I’d had her.

During this time I got into fitness and started running everywhere. (I ate a lot of cake while pregnant and I wanted to live a healthier lifestyle after my daughter was born). I set up an accountability group of about 30 women when WhatsApp first became popular and we would motivate each other to work out and eat good food.

SIDE HUSTLE

After posting daily pics of my food on my very young Instagram I had people asking to buy the breakfast pots I was making for myself at home! I thought they were joking…
What I hadn’t realised at this point was that I had created a little side hustle for myself.
I had been hashtagging my pots #breakfastbybex. Then someone said you have to call it Bexfast! The name for me made it come alive and everyone started to think it was a product.
A while later my friend started a bootcamp. I asked if I could try selling the pots there to see what happened and they would sell out almost every week! Then people started showing up from Instagram to get them too. It was at that point I started to think about how it could grow.
Being honest, at the start I had no budget and no real clue about what running a business entailed. I completely winged it for a while, learning and researching as I went. My younger brother, Nate, is way more business savvy. He made sure I was doing things the right way and helped me turn it into a proper business.
So I got registered with the council. Did my level 2 hygiene and safety certificates and got insurance. I was hand writing all the labels for about a year. I would drop the pots off to customers out of a suitcase at tube stations all over London with my daughter in tow! It was knackering.

I documented every late night, early morning and pot run on instagram as we went. I hoped it was exciting for people to see how 1 little idea was now taking shape and becoming a real thing.

 

LONDON’S HOTTEST FOOD ENTREPRENEUR

One of my friends sent me a link to a competition. It was being judged by Westfield and Levi Roots, one of the UK’s best known food entrepreneurs. I just applied on a whim and didn’t think much more of it. Over 85 businesses applied, so you can imagine how amazing it felt to win. I won 2k towards my business and mentoring from Levi Roots himself (for most of our sessions we ended up cracking jokes and laughing more than anything)!

I used that money to make my first order of a pallet of glass jars for my breakfast pots. At this point I was still making them in the kitchen of my flat in South London. I also set up a proper website to take online orders and my pots starting flying out.

I quickly learnt that I had to learn how to get organised!

I had never been very organised before but I can’t stress how important is to get everything in order. To know what you are doing. It is SO stressful when you have a lot to do. You can’t forget to do something – you gotta keep all your mental tabs open and keep checking them. And also, doing things right – some things are very important to do by the book! Be professional, you are the brand – take pride in how people feel about what you do.

GETTING OUT OF THE KITCHEN

After a year or so of doing this I realised I needed to get OUT of my home kitchen. My hallway was full to the brim of boxes full of jars and oats. I had two fridges and my neighbours were beginning to wonder what on earth was going on! I needed to find investment for a working kitchen, so I decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign.

It took so much planning and a hell of a lot of effort to run the campaign. I had to get my head around promoting something every day and asking people from the bottom of my heart to donate every day. It was a lot!

My audience were so supportive, sharing it all the time, putting money in – we even had Ed Sheeran donate two VIP tickets and backstage passes that we could use as a reward in the campaign! It was incredible. I set my target at 20k. At many points throughout the campaign I didn’t think I’d make it… but a month later we closed the campaign. 3 grand over!

I moved into the working kitchen and used the money to hire two staff members to keep up with the ever growing orders.

LEARNING TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR

The fear of not being good enough is a killlller.

It makes you do weird things to prove you are capable (even though everyone else already knows you are). But every single entrepreneur/small business owner has to battle that.

I have picked up some great advice along the way. I like Sarah’s ‘under-promise and over-deliver’, and I have had some support especially from Sarah and NBBS.

My husband Jovel has also helped me hugely. He is ridiculously clued up with business (even though I have only just started listening to him lol).

I have been fortunate enough to meet lots of great people along the way too. People who are experts in different areas and I ask loads of questions. Always ask questions!

 

MY FIRST 10K MONTH

After 4 years of running the business, we had our first month of taking over £10k in orders. I can’t believe it! I’ve imagined this moment over and over in my mind and at times it has felt so far away.

I am blown away by the support for my business that began with such humble roots in my kitchen in Woolwich. We have so much planned for the future.

The driving force behind my business? I bloody love what I do and I want to make a difference in the world!”

Check out Bex’s amazing breakfast pots by heading to www.bexfast.com – my personal favourite is the caramel crunch! Her date caramel is incredible..

If you want to learn how to take your side hustle or take those ideas you have flying around in your head into a solid business plan then find out how my No Bull Business Academy will help you do this.

S x