Brainfood: Decisions - Jennifer Irvine - The pure package - Founder of the Daily Delivery Meal Service

MY BEST ...

by
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Was how I structured the business financially. My clients pay me upfront, so I have an incredibly good cashflow. Once they realise how good the food is, a lot will pay for three months of meals in advance. It has meant that I haven't had to borrow from banks or get any venture capitalists involved - I still have 100% ownership of the business. With this complete control, I can make decisions because they are the right decisions, not because I have to worry about paying somebody back.

One of my other best decisions was moving the business out of the house quite early on. I started The Pure Package with just a fridge-freezer, then I got a walk-in chiller. Then I knew that I had to move the business out of the house because my husband told me that if the business didn't go, he would.

Three months after launch, I was able to move into brilliant premises in New Covent Garden Market. It's fantastic because it's where we source our produce, and we can easily get to our clients from there.

MY WORST ...

When I started out, I made a lot of handshake agreements. For example, somebody said to me: 'I'll do this with your website, and you'll have complete rights to it, don't worry.' It was all agreed and now two years later, they are saying they own it.

There are a couple of things like that. Early on, I was very innocent.

I'd make an agreement with someone and then suddenly get a bill when I thought it was a free consultation. At first, you meet these people and it all goes incredibly well and you're all buzzing off each other - and what they're thinking at the back of their minds is: in a year's time, this girl might be really successful and then I'm going to sting her.

I thought they were on my side, but now I realise that actually, not everybody is just being friendly. If only I'd covered myself with an e-mail ... but at the time I was so busy I thought: 'Why bother?' My advice?

Confirm your exact agreement with people so that it can never come back and bite you. If someone is doing you a genuine favour, they won't mind putting it in writing.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Subscribe

Get your essential reading delivered. Subscribe to Management Today