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Posted on by natalieparker

Nicolas, tell us about your business?
Room Seasons is a catering company focused around providing in-room dining for 3 and 4-star hotels that don’t provide full room service. We provide rapid, reliable and timely delivery to hotels and their guests – guaranteeing fresh food at the correct temperature within 35 minutes. Hotel guests call the front desk and the staff can simply place an order on our extranet platform within seconds. The catering will focus on providing high service standards and original cuisine using the finest local ingredients.

What led you to set up your own business?
There are several reasons really: I’m passionate about the hospitality industry, there was an opportunity to run an enterprise with people I trust, I want to be my own boss and develop my own business ideas, and I think Room Seasons will make money.

What are the difficulties you have faced or expect to face in setting up and running your business?
Coming from France it has been a challenge to get all the information that will allow me to set up a business in the UK. There are thousands of websites with differing information and it’s very hard to know which ones to trust. The legalities involved with setting up a food business, the certification required and the complex tax laws all make it difficult to have a clear view of where to start. That’s before I’ve even tackled the logistical issues around this type of enterprise. I’m currently looking for a location in London from which to run our kitchen. It needs to be centrally located because we could be serving customers across the city, but finding premises that fits with our budget is difficult.

How did you find out about the Meet a Mentor event?
I’ve not been mentored before but my business partner, Damien Marty, explained how it might be of interest and so we registered me online through the Mentorsme portal.

What did you want to get out of the day? And what do you believe a mentor can do for you?
The day was an opportunity to share my idea with people who are experienced and knowledgeable. I wanted to gain more self confidence and I think the fact that I was required to pitch the business to others helped with that. It was also important that I worked with a mentor or mentors who understood those challenges that are faced in the very early stages and the problems of registering a business and getting tax and financial issues straightened out.

If you met with a mentor, who are they and what do you think makes them a suitable mentor for you?
Since the Meet a Mentor event I’ve kept in contact with two mentors: one is a business legal advisor and the other owns her own book-keeping company. They have already helped me to find the answers to some of my questions.

Have you met with them since the Meet a Mentor event? If so, how has your relationship developed and what progress have you made?
I’m continuing to work with both mentors actually. I’ve now developed an action plan and have scheduled in monthly appointments with them. I’m only one session in, but I already feel like things are moving forward.

Would you recommend that other entrepreneurs in your situation attend a mentor event and get the help of an experienced business person?
Yes, I think it is a good way for entrepreneurs to progress. There is a lot they can learn from those who have more experience than them.

Posted on by natalieparker | Posted in Case Studies, Get Mentoring Monthly