Chartered accountant Andrew Thompson grew up in his father’s restaurants and fondly remembers the aroma of fish, chips and steak. After qualifying as an accountant, Andrew followed in his father’s footsteps and moved into the restaurant and catering trade near thirty years ago.
Having previously run both English and Italian restaurants in the Manchester area, four years ago Andrew bought ‘Flying Sandwich’, a sandwich manufacturing company which currently employs thirty people. Though business is healthy,the thirty strong team of employees began giving Andrew an HR headache which will be familiar to most small business owners.
Cheshire based Andrew commented: “Though I’m doing well financially, I wanted to balance the stresses of employing other people. When you’re working for yourself you only have to pay for the mistakes you make – you don’t have to pay for other people’s mistakes. Ideally, now the grandchildren are starting to appear, I want to be working either from home or from a small office and have more time to myself.”
Sitting down with his wife, Sue, the Thompson’s put their heads together to come up with a new business plan.
“We thought about what we can do — what skills and experience we have,” Andrew continued.
“Starting a business on the internet seemed a natural choice as the start-up costs are minimal, and everyone is on the computer these days. Sue is a qualified beauty therapist and knows a great deal about lotions and potions, so we settled on the idea of selling beauty products through eBay.”
Sourcing products from wholesalers, Sue and Andrew launched their eBay shop –http://stores.ebay.co.uk/suesbeautybiz – in late August. Within thirty days they had already turned over more than four thousand pounds — a fantastic achievement for a brand new shop in their first month of trading. Now the Thompson’s are putting the finishing touches to a stand alone website to trade their goods which will be ready for the New Year.
Andrew is full of ideas and enthusiasm about the possibilities of online trading,
“We feel that four thousand pounds in the first month is a very positive start and are already looking at other internet ventures, possibly involving importing goods from China. Sue and I both work full time at the Flying Sandwich and work on our eBay business for a few hours each evening. Longer term we may sell our share in the sandwich company and focusing on our online business portfolio full time.”
Andrew first heard Nick James’ name at a weekend seminar in Bournemouth a year ago. Following some internet research, and via a host of internet marketing DVDs and products, Andrew arrived at internetmarketingtrainingclub.com and has remained a happy member ever since.
“Nick speaks a lot of common sense”, notes Andrew. “I’m sure that I speak for many when I say that there’s a lot of hype out there and you can spend a heck of a lot of money on DVDs and eBooks but if you don’t do anything with them it’s all just a waste of money. Getting started is all about motivation. You have to ‘kick yourself up the backside’ as no one else is going to do that for you. You could read a book a week on selling but until you actually do something you’ll never see a return.”
Only last week Andrew met up with another member of internetmarketingtrainingclub.com to discuss possible joint ventures and Andrew and Sue have exciting plans for the future. Most importantly though, they have a real income stream already running in the background generated from their eBay shop whilst they plan for bigger things.
Andrew has the final word: “I’ve been to Nick’s seminars and they have been a real help, both practically and motivationally. There will always be shortcuts you have to learn along the way, and Nick can help with some of them. Often you only learn by trying and accepting that sometimes you make mistakes. But the financial and lifestyle rewards are worth it at and, being part of a community like internetmarketingtrainingclub.com, you know there’s always advice on hand if you need it!”