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Turning the tables with a vinyl revolution

Maria has a background in music retail, working for big names like Beggars Banquet and Virgin Retail, plus a degree in Radio, Film & Television Studies, and made the decision to play her part in the vinyl revolution by setting up Tallbird Records.

Maria explained “I started my own business because, quite frankly, I was a bored housewife who had a dream of owning and running a record shop.”  This led to Maria doing some internet research on setting up a business, where she found NBV (part of the Nwes Group).   “I only attended a one-day seminar about starting a business, but it was there that I was introduced to my East Midlands Business Advisor, Anna Sywyj, who became such a support to me” said Maria.  “She was the one person I could discuss my business planning concerns with; she was also someone to kick ideas around with and an invaluable source of advice about the logistics of starting a new business.”

Maria opened her shop in October 2013.

“My claim to fame is that Tallbird Records is currently the only record shop in Chesterfield!” said Maria.  “I’m proud to offer a great range of products, alongside first-rate customer service. I also make a profit, which of course is the really important bit!”

There have of course been the inevitable highs and lows to navigate.  Maria said “The high point of opening the business for me has been the incredible positivity and genuine warmth from those who have visited the shop, some of whom have become regular customers.  I have had days when my takings have been down, but on the whole, there have been many more highs than lows.”

Business Advisor, Anna, added, “Maria had a sound business plan when we met; she just needed a steer in the right direction.  She has now developed a successful enterprise, which is based on her passion for music.  It has been such a joy to see her confidence grow as a direct result of opening and growing her business.  When you visit the shop, it’s clear to see that customers really value Maria’s knowledge and the excellent customer service that she provides. I am also really pleased that the business is exceeding its initial financial projections.  Maria has adapted and tweaked the business to meet the demands of her record-buying public; she’s also added to her new product ranges to ensure she stays one step ahead of the game.”

The future is bright for Maria and Tallbird Records.  Summarising her experience of Ready for Business with the business support she has received, Maria concluded “I would advise anyone wanting to move on from business start-up, to contact NBV (part of the Nwes Group) and make the most of the services and support on offer.  I’ve just taken on a part time member of staff and am looking forward to offering the same great service, on a slightly grander scale.  I’m also exploring setting up an online shop, further marketing of the business and long-term, even a move to slightly larger premises.  My turnover is also growing; who knows where I’ll be in another year’s time!”

Maria Harris is a client of NBV (part of the Nwes Group) which supports businesses in the East Midlands.

Under the Ready for Business programme Maria received 22 hours of support, experienced 3 training days, created 1 new job, and raised £15,00 to invest in her business.

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