A new restaurant and cocktail bar has opened on the Porthcawl coastal front with the support of the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service.
Cosy Corner Lounge, situated on the Porthcawl Esplanade, was opened in August 2016 by local entrepreneur Sophie Thomas and her husband Adam. The restaurant offers a bespoke selection of cocktails as well as a seasonal modern European menu, using only the best locally sourced ingredients.
With experience running cocktail bars across South Wales, Sophie decided to launch her own business in the sector. She turned to Business Wales to get support developing her business plan, which in turn gave her a solid foundation with which to secure funding.
After initial discussions with Business Wales at the start of 2016, Sophie received one-to-one advice with a dedicated business adviser while she secured and renovated the business premises.
To support the creation of the business plan, Business Wales provided in-depth guidance and advice on key business areas, including funding opportunities, market research, recruitment and developing employee contracts.
As a result of their coherent business plan, Cosy Corner Lounge was able to secure funding from NatWest, and the company also benefited from local authority grants, including the ‘Kick-start’ grant and the Structural and Regional fund.
Speaking about the support she received, Sophie said:
“Business Wales opened my eyes to a lot of different aspects I needed to consider when getting my business up and running, and their support was incredibly helpful.
“The quality of the support I have received has been fantastic and it has helped take some of the pressure off launching Cosy Corner Lounge. It’s a really exciting time for the business and myself and I’m looking forward to the upcoming challenges.”
Jayesh Parmar, Sophie’s adviser at Business Wales, said:
“At Business Wales, our goal is always to provide dedicated support for aspiring entrepreneurs to help them achieve their goals and ambitions. Taking the first step to launch a new business is a big responsibility and we’re always on hand for our clients to help ease the pressure and help walk them through those crucial first stages.
“We were really happy that with our support we were able to help Cosy Corner Lounge create a strong business plan and get the business up and running. Now that there is a solid foundation in place, we look forward to providing additional help and support as Sophie moves onto the next development stages.”
Cosy Corner Lounge’s top 5 tips for anyone else starting up their own business would be:
- Always over estimate your expenses and under estimate your projected revenue
- Choosing your team is one of the most important things you’ll do! They could make or break your new business venture
- It’s always great to listen to what your customers want but even more important to stay true to yourself and believe in your niche
- Don’t take yourself too seriously
- Take a moment to reflect and to be proud of your achievements.
Business Wales, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, supports the sustainable growth of small and medium size enterprises across the country by offering access to information, guidance and business support.
To find out how Business Wales can help start or develop your business, call 03000 6 03000, follow @_businesswales or @_busnescymru or visit www.businesswales.gov.wales/everyday-entrepreneur or www.busnescymru.llyw.cymru/entrepreneur-bob-dydd for further information.