Can you start with a brief introduction about yourself and your business?
Scott Anderson, owner of the Gentleman’s Social and Vigour Kitchen in St Helens.
The Gentleman Social is a premium barber shop, we offer premier quality mens barbering, we are all about not just offering a cut, but an experience.
Vigour Kitchen is a health and lifestyle concept which is a alternative to fast food to support a healthy mind and body.
As a child did you have an entrepreneurial attitude?
Yeah, it was mainly from wanting more than I had and always having a good work ethic and a family who also have these attributes. I think a good understanding of if you want something you have to work for it really helped.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
The Gentlemans Social – At the time there was a gap in the market, people wanted a better quality and service than what was being offered and everyone in the industry was doing the same thing in a saturated market.
Vigour Kitchen – To match my own needs, I wanted something quick, healthy and affordable. In my area there was only the likes of Subway and McDonalds for quick food and with no healthy alternative, again we spotted a gap in the market.
Why are you in business?
It is all i know, i had a few part time jobs but they never lasted longer than a few shifts. I always felt like i knew better and wanted more. I like being responsible for my own failures and success. Nobody else. I like to be in control.
What was your mission at the outset?
I was naive, initially it was just to make as much money as possible, I guess I was being materialistic, but after growing up it was for fulfilment and loving what you do and what you will do for the rest of your life. Fulfilment.
How do you advertise your business?
To be honest we were and are mainly social media based, it is a massive platform for us and many similar business owners. The demographics that it gives to you can really help you to pinpoint your target market and audience.
Then by offering a great service we also get a lot of work from referrals and repeat business.
Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next ten years?
The Gentlemans Social – There will certainly be some new branding, innovating, and going further away from the general way of barbering. We are planning to offer more knowledge and awareness to barbering in general, I also think we will re-launch our product range.
Long term I would like to not only build a brand, I think we have already started to do this, but to grow this into leaving a legacy and something that can be passed down or franchised.
I personally would like to be a venture capitalist in the future and help people with their dreams and ideas.
Who do you seek advice from for your business?
Nobody personal really, but I learn a lot from my mistakes and to keep me focussed and to find new strategies i listen and read many self help books and audiobooks.
Why do your customers select you over your competitors?
We don’t compromise on quality, we are diverse and our social media presence creates a buzz.
What are the biggest issues for running a business?
You can’t predict the business climate, you have to prepare yourself for the best and worst and make sure you have a strategy and an end goal. Everyday is a rollercoaster.
What is the future for healthy eating businesses?
I think it will be ever-growing, people are becoming more aware of what they are eating, the benefits and the issues associated with poor eating. I do think though that the industry will become quite saturated so it is up to us to keep innovating.
If something happens to you, what will happen to your business?
You can’t be sick, you sort everything out first and then you are ill. I struggle to miss any work, there is a lot of guilt if i miss any work, but I believe in my team and business partners so the businesses would be fine.
To what do you attribute your success?
I wouldn’t say that I am successful, especially not yet, I just think I am doing what I have to do, there is a lot to do still and there is a lot to do to before I could see myself as a success. To go along with this, everyone see’s success in different ways. This also changes as you grow as i said earlier even over a few years my idea of success went from money to fulfilment.
Have you ever turned down a client?
I don’t like letting people down and the only way I have had to is if we are fully booked in the barbers, however we have never had to turn anyone down for any bad reasons.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
If you have an idea, go with it, if you want to make something successful you will find a way, it might not be glamorous all the time but eventually you will find out a way, keep going!
You might fail more times than you succeed but its all got to be worth the win.
Obviously we have spoken about Vigour and it’s safe to say that the place has really taken off, one of the main reasons for that was social media……how did you do this?
We haven’t done anything special, we just created the image we wanted for ourselves and how we wanted people to view us, we wanted to look clean, minimal but professional. People really like your message.
How do you hope or expect that social media will keep you busy, growing and keep the buzz around your company?
We will be keeping persistent, consistent and innovative, constantly bringing out new ideas to keep us fresh.
Do you have anymore exciting marketing plans for Vigour?
We have a full plan for the next year and how we want to continue to grow, but we have to drip feed it. We can’t give everyone everything at once can we haha, otherwise we will get boring but you can know that we will be mixing things up. Keep your eyes open.
I don’t think my team or I are doing anything special, everyone should want more from life and you shouldn’t settle for less than you want.