Business Profile: The Bizzi Stationery Company

Name: Sharon McGillion
Company: The Bizzi Stationery Company (NI) Ltd
Telephone: 07796557546

Business Profile: The Bizzi Stationery Company

Can you describe your business?

A new start up Stationery Company founded when I invented a new product namely ‘Pressie Pouch’ that now retails in approximately 200 shops throughout Ireland.

Why did you start your own business?

Having spotted a gap in the market for a convenient method of wrapping gifts, I developed Pressie Pouch. I had zero experience in starting up or running a business but I looked at hundreds of products in the stationery sector and thought someone, somewhere developed and brought them to market. The journey was tough, but what kept me going throughout was the knowing that if Pressie Pouch was in the shops, I would buy it every time.

What are the best things about running your own business?

The entrepreneurial knowledge, values and skills you learn. You never work harder than when you work for yourself but walking into a shop and seeing the fruits of your labour on sale makes it all worthwhile. I learned a lot about the industry from product design and manufacturing, to the logistics of shipping from China to Omagh.

What are the main challenges facing the business?

Coming up with the idea was easy, designing, importing and distributing a new product during a recession wasn’t. Accessing finance was next to impossible over the last six years. Managing and operating on a very tight budget was a challenge. When you’re new to business, problems rear their heads from time to time. Network, make the calls, knock doors, however you do it, problems have to be overcome.

What advice would you give to someone starting a business?

Be strategic from the outset. Plan, plan, plan, have serious drive, keep focused and be prepared to work hard. Each day will have its challenges. Don’t be put off when you get rejected, because you will be, find another way. Be disciplined in your relationship with time. There will be many late nights and early mornings when you’re starting out, just keep your eye on the ball and if you come across a problem, ask others.

Can you describe your experience of running a business in three words or less?

Never give up!