Describe your business
I create my own argan oil-based aftershave balms, aftershave lotions and beard oils, all available in eight scents. I currently sell my products on my own website www.bartsbalm.co.uk, Amazon and in several independent shops.
How did you come up with your business idea?
After becoming bored of the same old scents in male grooming products and finding that the products I really liked were very expensive, I started making my own aftershave products.
I was curious as to why argan oil, available in a multitude of female products and considered one
of the very best products that you can put on your skin, was found in so few men’s products. I wanted to change that so decided to use it in all of my formulations.
Latterly when I became a follower of fashion and grew a beard I also started to create beard oils.
I used my products daily and felt that they were better than many other products on the market and at least on a par with many high-end products.
I believed that I could create a high performing product, available in a range of scents and at a reasonable price.
After carrying out lots of consumer testing, I finalised my formulations and brought them to market.
What challenges have you faced?
Starting out there was just so much to do!
All of my products had to be independently tested by a qualified chemist which takes time and money.
Then there is the product research, product branding, packaging, marketing, social media, website design, customer queries etc.
Juggling all of this with a full-time job and three-yearold son was and still is a challenge!
How did you come across the 12 months free business support in partnership with TSB?
One of my friends and fellow TSB customer recommended it to me.
How long have you banked with TSB?
What are your thoughts on a high street bank offering business support?
I think it is a good idea as you can access advice conveniently on the high street rather than having to travel great distances.
What is your next business goal?
My next goal is to have barber shops use and stock my products. I hope to have a couple on board soon and hopefully more will follow suit (if you’re interested, please get in touch).
I do sell internationally at the moment but I am looking to establish my brand further in this regard and will be looking for stockists in the near future.
What are your tips for business success?
This is a tricky one as I have only been trading for around a year. I’m not sure I can qualify myself as a success yet!
Running a business, especially when you are doing it with a full-time job, is a lot of hard work so you really need to have an interest in the market you are serving.
You need to be willing to learn about a lot of aspects of business such as marketing, social media, bookkeeping, tax returns; the list goes on!