Beatrice and Benedict are egg cooks par excellence. What they don’t know about how to cook an egg – scrambling, poaching, filleting – isn’t worth knowing about and over the last couple of years they have carved out a small but ongoing enterprise in Manchester fulfilling their customers every ab ovo need.
True, it’s quite a niche market and they don’t have a lot of customers – but it’s big enough to help them pay their cooping needs. They’ve reached the point though that the constant scratching around in the dirt for some more regular income has gotten tiring and they’re faced with an unpleasant truth: it’s time to either give up or grow up and turn their eggy activities into an egg-citing new business start up.
They’re approaching this choice with a degree of trepidation. They’ve both been comfortable so far and are still wrestling with why they should go down the business start up route. They’re particularly struggling with what running a business means – things like insurance, budgets and corporation tax. ‘Why do we have to get into all this nonsense?‘ muses Benedict.
It’s a good question. Why would anyone want to shift working on what they love into working on activities which fill them with dread? They’ve spent years avoiding the skill sets needed to run a business and have run miles from the drudgery they see that defines what running a business means.
But the fact is that if they want to grow, if they want to place their work on a wider public stage and share their love for eggs and their innumerable ways of being cooked, they will have to bring another skill set in to their cosy partnership.
This doesn’t mean that they have to involve someone just like them. Quite the contrary: they need to bring in someone who has no idea about how to coddle an egg – and even less desire to want to learn how to coddle one – but who does know how to communicate the benefits of the process, who can generate enthusiasm for eggs a la Beatrice and Benedict and who knows how to present the consequences of their activities to those distant authorities of the tax man and bank woman.
The first step for them is to find someone who loves them and their work as much as they love producing it; someone who can get enthused about the range of eggy product available and who can communicate that enthusiasm to customers who don’t yet know they’re customers.
This isn’t a straightforward process; in business as in life, finding someone who loves ya is never a straight forward process. But to misquote Kojak’s rhetorical question, ‘Who Loves Us, Baby?’ is a question new start ups would be well worth asking themselves in the search for not only new customers but new advocates, sellers and followers.
The trick is that you have to love them and what they bring to the business and not expect them to be just like you with your own preference for sunny side up.