The current owners of The One Earth Shop are moving on to pastures new and we are looking for someone else to take on the baton for vegan food in Birmingham. We have supported a vegan shop in our building for over 20 years and we remain as committed now as we have ever been.
For everyone’s sakes we want to be sure that whoever takes over the shop has the experience, resources and motivation to take it on, along with a vision of how to bring more people to enjoy sustainable food in Birmingham city centre. We have put together an expression of interest form below so you can demonstrate this to us, allowing Birmingham Friends of the Earth to find the best possible tenant for the premises. They need to be returned to firstname.lastname@example.org before the 30th November 2013.
Before you fill it in, we highly recommend that you come and visit us, so you can see the premises and discuss the possibilities. Contact Phil on 0121 632 6909 to book an appointment.
We look forward to working with you.
How will you fund the One Earth Shop for the first 3 months of operation?
As well as looking for an environmentally sustainable vegan shop, we are also looking for a financially sustainable one. We estimate that the total charge for rent, utilities and rates will be around £500 a month, although this will depend on what kind of shop you run and what you require from Birmingham Friends of the Earth. As the first few months of operation tend to be the most unstable, we want to know if you are able to put down a deposit on the premises and if you are able to cashflow the first few months of trading e.g. stock, equipment, staff, insurance.
What are your plans for the shop?
We would like to see a shop that is successful as well as environmentally sustainable. To get an idea of this, please tell us about;
- Any existing shops that are run along the same lines as the way you would like to run this one.
- Which audiences you will market the shop to in order to attract people in.
- How you are going to market to those audiences.
- What hours are you planning to open.
What business model will you choose?
We’re interested in the business model because your choice will reflect your ethics, your ability to attract capital and the amount of risk your creditors are exposed to. Please tell us which model you are choosing and why you have made that decision. For example, you may be looking to become a Community InterestCompany with limited liability in order to attract grant funding and to use trade surpluses to invest in your social goals or you may be looking to become a private limited company in order to attract capital from private investors.
If its a private business, will it be a Sole Trader, a Limited Company, or a Partnership?
If its a Registered Charity, is this incorporated or unincorporated?
If its a Co-operative, will it primarily serve its employees, its customers, or the wider community?
If its a Social Enterprise, who will appoint the Directors or Management Committee?
Is your business already trading, or is this a new-start venture?
If you are going into this as a partnership with others, then how will disputes between partners be resolved?
Things can often start out rosy, only to become messy later on when people realise how different their vision is from their business partners. It can help if there is a way of resolving difficult decisions from the start. Will you have 51% / 49% split; an arbitrator, a management committee or another way?
Do you have the experience necessary to take on a shop?
Running a shop requires many different skills. We would like to know what experience you have of marketing, ordering, customer service, book keeping, business administration, stock taking, managing people, contracts and finance. Where did you gain this experience, how can you demonstrate it and would you be happy for Birmingham Friends of the Earth asking for references to qualify it?
How will you staff the shop?
What role do you see yourself playing in the shop? For example: Will you be actively working in the shop or taking more of a hands off role? How many membersof staff will you recruit and what roles will they play? Would the staff you employ adequately fill your own skills gaps? How will you manage the wage bill?
How will you ensure that you are able to control your finances?
It is very important that you have your book keeping processes and procedures from the start. Without them, the business will not have good financial control, leading to poor decision making. You may be well rehearsed in doing this, but if not, a good accountant will be able to set up your chart of accounts, train you in how to carry out the book keeping, ensure that you are carrying out your statutory reporting and generate the reports you need to manage your finances.
If you believe you are capable of doing it yourself, please state your experience and / or qualifications in this area. If you are not, then please tell us who you will appoint as your accountant.
Why do you want to run a vegan shop?
Birmingham Friends of the Earth is committed to creating positive environmental change and one of the ways that we do this is by having a vegan shop in our building. We want to know a little bit about you, your ethics and your sources of motivation.