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No money, no contacts, no worries!

Tue, 06 May 2014

Contributed by Sophie Tregellis, Top Collar founder and Shell LiveWIRE alumna
Starting Top Collar, a natural pet treats company which manufactures its own classic cuisine for pets was no easy task. Not to mention student loans to pay off and playing against the big dogs, please excuse the pun, but people find strength in themselves at the hardest times, and self-esteem is what will pull you through.
Any situation can be directed onto a positive road, and business owners must be nothing but optimists.
Starting from nothing strips you back to consider what you offer as a person, not just numbers and words on a piece of paper. It is this which business owners master. Instead, you offer passion, commitment, modern mindset, and time. Engaging in the circles you know are relevant to your desired industry is crucial in understanding the dog eat dog world which is business. Start the ball rolling and get to events, conferences, and contact people in the industry who are not direct competitors – be focused and ask. You might not offer a great deal now but I always say ‘Surely you would rather get involved with someone on the up, than on the out’.
People always seem to say business is unfair, as it is all about contacts. That may be true, but you could have spent that breath creating contacts, rather than going on about them. If you take life with a pinch of salt, and don't lose focus as to why you began your journey, then you can be successful and happy in whatever you endeavour.
Sophie's Tips:
  • Always smile, as you are the face of your business.
  • Know times get hard for everyone, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
  • People care, so keep them updated – this includes your customers and contacts.
  • Promise more, and give extra.
  • Do what makes you happy, and don't lose you in the process.

About Sophie Tregellis (Founder of Top Collar)

Sophie is the founder of Top Collar, a luxury pet food brand which makes fun and healthy treats for cats and dogs. Top Collar aims to inspire a fun attitude towards pet health. The business does this through its range of pet foods, which consist of a range of fresh and natural treats for pets of all ages, using locally sourced, human-grade ingredients. The Top Collar pet menu includes the Classic Roast, the Full English, which is designed for dogs, and classic fish and chips for cats. The different ranges aim to help pets with certain conditions, such as the ‘Golden oldie’ range which aims to ease arthritis, fatigue, and stomach problems in older dogs. 

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