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So today’s blog covers by activities over the past couple of months to launch Yumbox.  Some of it has been fun, some has been pretty dull (distributor agreements for example) but I have certainly learnt lots so here it is:

Because Yumbox is much more of  a volume business I decided to set up a company exclusively to manage this.  Very clever friends and nephew came up with the name ‘Bouncy Jam’ and a logo and armed with those I went to tackle Companies House. 

10 minutes in to the process I realised I had no idea at all what I was doing and that in many cases I couldn’t even understand what I was being asked – let alone provide an answer!  As in all situations where you have no idea what to do I googled it!  Luckily I found a company http://www.companiesmadesimple.com/ who for £2 more than companies house were going to charge me really did make the whole thing simple.  They guide you through with clear instructions and just blank out the parts of the form which are optional and don’t require answers.  In 15 mins I had the form completed and 24 hours later I was an incorporated company.  The only word of advice if you do use http://www.companiesmadesimple.com/ is that they try and sell you extra services on almost every page so just keep a close eye on what you are agreeing to and say no to everything you don’t want as they make it quite difficult not to take the extras (i.e. checking boxes for you and leaving you to uncheck them).  Still I am now officially Bouncy Jam Ltd and I even got my first piece of company post the other day (just a little note from our friends HMRC to note that I am now on their radar!)

I mentioned the distributor agreement process I have been through in a previous blog.  If you missed it, it is worth going back and having a look (scroll down from here) as I learnt some valuable lessons.  Other than that I have set up another website www.yumbox-uk.co.uk.  Due to using squarespace it was once again a very painless process (please scroll down to read my previous blog on designing a website), the only really frustrating part was domain names.  Anyone can book a domain name and take it off the market by paying the minimal fee through a company such as Fast Hosts.  Lots of people do this hoping to then sell it on to companies at a profit.  In this case someone has taken all of the domain names I wanted (despite not actually using any of them) but left me no way to contact them to see if they are prepared to sell.  To be fair even if they did I think out of principle I would refuse as this kind of thing really frustrates me.  Still, despite this hiccup we have a site and managed t get a logical domain name.

Finally I have created a facebook page.  Something that it took me a while to figure out is that until you have got 25 people to like you page, facebook won’t let you name it so you end up with a load of numbers and it is really hard to send everyone the URL.  Once you have 25 likes however, you are allowed to pick a name so (thanks to all of my friends liking me) we are now https://www.facebook.com/yumboxuk (please do like us!).

Other than that I have been very busy playing with my Yumboxs.  The reason I am so pleased with this as a business venture is that I genuinely believe in and can stand behind the product (something that I think is vital if you are currently out there looking for products to sell).  I can honestly say that since we got them a) I have made more effort to make healthier lunches for the kids and b) the kids have eaten a better variety, tried new things and enjoyed their lunches much more.  I think they are a bit confused with why mummy keeps taking photos of them eating though! 

I will write some more about my experiences filling them in another blog but for now I am off to get some business cards made!

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