Jeffrey with his recent Enterprise of the Year award from the University of Huddersfield
What’s your business?
My business is called Twists. It is a healthy fast food restaurant that allows customers to personalise their own hot pasta pot, sandwich or salad, and their food is created in front of them within three minutes.
The business was created back in 2011 during a test-the-market lease agreement in Queensgate market, Huddersfield. Previously called Fasta Pasta Bar, it was then fully rebranded to become Twists during late 2012.
What’s interesting about it?
It offers customers a fresh, natural and healthy option at lunch, moving fast food away from the standard burger and chips options of food on the move.
How’s it going?
It is going well. However, starting a business in the current economic climate is not the easiest. It has been, and will continue to be, a challenging year but we are constantly evolving the business and results are looking good so far.
The business plan is currently under review as the business is at a crucial stage of development. There are multiple options to expand into further retail sectors and to develop the product range.
The launch of our gluten-free pasta is next, on 17th June – this will bring in a new customer base as one in every 100 people has a gluten intolerance. This will continue to make Twists more unique.
What are the highs of running your own business?
The best bit of running your own business is seeing the rewards of all your hard work, and a personal one for myself is walking around Huddersfield town centre and seeing people carrying our pasta pots and sandwiches. It really gives you a sense of achievement!
And the lows?
Long hours! But this can also be the most rewarding and fun part of running a business.
What has been your biggest success in business to date?
The company’s biggest success so far is a hard question and is split between two major points. Firstly, our appearance on BBC Three’s Be Your Own Boss programme and successfully receiving investment from Richard Reed. Secondly, completing a lease on a town centre property with huge footfall. Neither were easy tasks!
What mistakes have you learned from?
I feel it is important to not only accept that mistakes are going to be made but also to learn the lessons available from each one! The age-old saying of no-one can do a job as well as your is applicable in many cases in business. However, learning to delegate is also important. For example, completion of a property lease is something that must be looked over by a solicitor- as I found out early on, it is a minefield of phrases and small print that are just not user-friendly to the untrained eye.
Which businesses/entrepreneurs inspire you and why?
For me it has to be Richard Reed. He managed to create Innocent smoothies along with his friends and it became one of the fastest-growing food and drink companies in the UK.
Subway as a business is also impressive – it has managed to generate a huge customer base and now has nearly 40,000 stores worldwide.
For his public image and huge success across a variety of different industries, Richard Branson is also an inspiration to not only myself but also many other young entrepreneurs that I have spoken to over the past year or so. His name always seems to come up in conversation!
What’s your top tip?
Focus on the small details and keep an eye on the bigger picture. Never leave a stone unturned as you never know what is underneath.
Also, using tools like QuickBooks saves you time on financial admin, leaving you free to get on with other important business tasks. We use QuickBooks Online and find it most helpful for invoicing and billing. It is a great bit of software and is very simple to input data and keep on top of everything.
What would you like help/tips from other small businesses on?
I would like help with social media and online services as that is an area we do not have too much time to pay particular attention to.