Force-7 famously won Young Enterprise way back in 2006, but this week we have two budding entrepreneurs in the office working as summer interns. Jack Moore 17 and Daniel Lockwood 17 are looking to follow in their new temporary boss Philip Batty’s footsteps. The two new interns have recently just set up their own business ‘Kingstone’ just 7 weeks ago, the business is currently looking very promising making a comfortable profit and gaining a positive reputation.
I recently caught up with the boys in the Force-7 office and got to know their story so far.
First of all, what made you want to start your own business?
Jack: Ever since I was young I have always wanted to own a successful business, I don’t know what it is that made me want one so bad but I think the sense of ownership does it for me. All I have ever wanted to be is successful, although there are obstacles in the way that will possibly cause problems for me in the future, nothing will stop an entrepreneur from achieving his goal.
Danny: Ever since I was a baby I’ve had a crazy obsession with money, the way it looks, how it feels and how great it is to have and make money. When I was a kid one of my favourite things was to create and build things, I would make and draw everything, I wanted to be an inventor, I think the feeling of creation is one of the best things in the world, I get such a buzz when I create, design or build something that is appreciated. When I started to get older and could understand the way a business worked it inspired me, I’m a huge fan of Dragons Den, The Apprentice and The Apprentice USA I think if it wasn’t for those television programs and the likes of Alan Sugar, Richard Branson and Donald Trump I wouldn’t be who I am today.
What was your original ideas?
Jack: We held an initial team meeting to discuss what our business could be, what we could do. We had to think of all the current legislations and problems which could arise. My first idea was to have a tuck shop held in the academy in which we attend, selling food such as chocolate and sweets. This would have achieved success within the academy as it is something that we would offer for the students but giving the current climate of obesity and the healthy eating scheme within the city this idea had to be given the boot. Although this would have been a great business idea, we had to abide by the rules and regulations.
Danny: My idea was simply the one we went with, clothing. The world today is simply obsessed with what everyone is wearing. All of us who originally set up the business was a fan of designer clothes and we are all fairly trendy. I based my idea on what I would actually buy and want in the world today, something that is similar to other brands but a name and logo that had its own individuality. I wanted to create a business that could grow outside the Academy and outside of Hull.
How did you look to fund your business idea?
Danny: Originally there was 7 of us in the business so we all agreed to fund the business, gradually we lost numbers until there was 4 four us left, we had meetings and brainstormed how we could raise funds, Jack suggested things like car washes in the school car park and ‘guess how many beans are in the jar’ Lee and Brad made suggested we ask local businesses for funding and I thought of hosting a concert in the school to raise funds from the ticket sales and confectionary, this then gave me the idea for a cake stall, Jack, myself and our families are good at baking so we played to our strengths and baked buns and sold them at brakes times in the Academy. We decided to host a concert on the 25th June at the Academy, it turned out to be our most profitable way of funding, it also was a great way to promote the business, and we have since decided to host events as a part of our business.
What does your business do briefly?
Jack: Since we all started the business we have done a range of different things. The first things we did to make money was cakes sales, it was very successful selling a range of cakes just on brake times at the Academy, we originally agreed just to do clothing but since we hosted a concert that idea has changed, we hosted the concert so well we decided from then onwards to do clothing and events, since the concert we have really pushed forward the clothing idea creating and selling t-shirts on the school summer fair.
What difficulties and obstacles have you overcome?
Danny: It’s actually surprising how many problems we have had, some of the problems we face I still question how we overcame them! The first problem we face was jacks idea for a tuck shop which we couldn’t do because of legal legislations, that was a big blow for us and him at the time but we have faced many larger problems since. Our biggest killer was the fact the school was hosting a production, many of the acts who auditioned for our concert also auditioned for the school production, the problem with the act was that many of them didn’t rehearse for our concert, they had to stay rehearse for Sister Act 2 the school production. The week before the concert a huge three story set was built on the stage we had hired, it was impossible for our dancers to perform, 7 acts had to drop out for that sole reason! The next issue was replacing the acts which wasn’t so difficult as we had to turn many acts down but the day before the concert a few more acts dropped out so they could rehearse more for sister act, we had to replace more acts! The only problem we faced on the night was technical difficulties like microphones not working all the time but it wasn’t a big issue. The only problem we faced with one another and staff wise was the stress levels, Jack is a stress head, he was hosting the concert and really wanted it to be a success but there was tears, tantrums and disagreements before the concert but we would all say it was defiantly worth it.
Does working in force-7 inspire you in any way because of its link to young enterprise?
Jack: Yes! The fact they have become so successful down to young enterprise and that is the programme we are using really gives us a feeling that it is possible. This has inspired me to make Kingstone go further and me to go further as a person too, I want to believe that now that we know it is possible, that we can do it.
Danny: It’s given me an incredible amount confidence in Kingstone as now it can be reality if we work hard. Force-7 and Phil Batty has inspired me a massive amount because of all the success he has achieved in such a short space of time. I am now determined to be as successful as Phil by the time I am in my early 20’s!
For the next few months Kingstone has a list of projects a head, hopefully we will be able to host a boxing sport event in East Hull, we have decided to host another concert in autumn, we will take all of our knowledge from our previous concert to try and improve our up and coming one, we hope we can now attract more people and customers. The biggest obstacle we are facing is the manufacture of the T-Shirts and clothing, we want them to be high quality but also affordable, we need to figure out a new strategy of making and selling the clothes successfully.
The dream continues…!