How long have you been freelance?
I started my business in March 2011 at a time when everybody was telling me I was crazy with the economy at that time, but hey, it’s even worse now and I’m still going!
What made you start your own business?
It was kind of a natural progression. My father had a fish and chip shop for 20 years and my father in law has also been in his shop for 30 years. I was working with my father in law but the plan was always to expand and get my own shop.
What did you do before you started your own business?
Funnily enough my dad sent me to university to study so I did not have to sweat in a chip shop, so I graduated in Hotel & Catering Management at Portsmouth and ended up going back to Cyprus where I ran hotels. I then met my wife, and the long and short of it is we ended up back here, doing what I do now!
Do you have any tips for anyone looking to start out in business or looking to grow an existing business?
When opening a new business, you need patience. It is important to have a long-term outlook – too many businesses close after one year without giving it a real go. Real strong businesses that have been around for ages have been there through good and bad days, you just need to stick it out.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
Trying to continually think of ways to better the business and take it further. But also what the next day will bring – will things pick up in this current market? Will they get worse?
What are the perks that come with your job?
The perks for me are that I meet so many people from across the board so my day is never boring. Sometimes I feel like an agony uncle, marriage guidance advisor, sympathizer, the lot. I love it.
How do you tend to find new business?
One of the main ways is through the magic of social media. I have found it an invaluable tool if used correctly. Secondly, and probably not what you would expect from your average chippy, I have started networking through local groups in the area, which has also proven fruitful.
What advice would you give to aspiring freelancers?
For retailers like me, if you want to be part of a community and serve it, then give back to it, because your success is ultimately in their hands.
How can our readers find out more about your business?
You can go online to our website www.andys-fishbar.co.uk, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at Andy’s Fish Bar, 78a St.Pancras, Chichester, PO19 7LS.