The Sunset Plan

An after-death planning start-up enjoys growth following advice from the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service.

The Sunset Plan is a North Wales business, set up to help families plan and solve various admin tasks after death. Founder Kerry Jones came up with the idea following a distressing personal experience, and has since worked with a Business Wales adviser on all aspects of starting up.

  • start-up support and advice including cash flow, marketing, GDPR and copyright
  • successfully started in 2020
  • 1 job created

Introduction to business

Started by Kerry Jones in North Wales, The Sunset Plan aims to encourage and empower people to plan and prepare for their practical end of life affairs.

Following a stressful personal experience, Kerry set up the business to provide tips and advice on various aspects of personal and family life that need to be considered and dealt with after death. The Sunset Plan also helps families resolve practical admin tasks when their loved ones are gone, thus alleviating the extra pressure and reducing further stress whilst grieving.

Why did you decide to set up your own business?

After identifying a niche in the market following a personal challenge, I researched the practical issues around end of life planning. I am a real planner and organiser and wondered why this service was not available, nor was it more widely discussed by people.

I contacted Business Wales and signed up to attend a Taking the Plunge course in January 2020, just out of curiosity. The feedback I received from a room full of strangers spurred me on to start looking into this further and develop it as a business. I wanted to help people avoid some of the challenges we faced as a family in a time of loss.

What challenges did you face?

Having never created a website or a blog before was a huge challenge! I have learnt so many new skills and the start-up community has been so supportive and helpful. It can be very overwhelming when you have so many ideas and plans for future development. There are a lot of aspects to consider – accounting, legal, trademark, copyright, funding, marketing – the list is endless.

I also launched the website in March, just as Covid-19 started to close everything down. I was concerned that people may think it is not the time to start openly discussing end of life issues; however, it was quite the opposite. People started to reach out as the topic became much more widespread.

Business Wales support

Kerry attended a Business Wales start-up workshop, before working with her business adviser, Gwawr Cordiner, on all aspects of setting up: from business planning, cash flow and tax, to marketing and branding, to a personal survival budget, compliance and account management.

Gwawr helped Kerry with specific issues around costs, GDPR and copyright, facilitating the successful launch of the business in early 2020.  

Outcomes

  • start-up support and advice including cash flow, marketing, GDPR and copyright
  • successfully started
  • 1 job created

Having Gwawr and Business Wales really helped me learn new skills, have some structure and provided me with dedicated support. The number of courses and resources available is brilliant. Having one-to-one time with Gwawr gave me guidance and direction. I don't think I would have continued if it had not been for her encouragement, advice and support in those early days and even now. The opportunity to meet people in a similar position really helped me talk through my plan, fears and challenges. It really is a supportive community.

Future plans and ambitions

My initial plan was to grow the website steadily, adding regular topical blog posts to encourage people to make practical plans. This is a side project for me and it allows me to have creative output as well as help people. I was very fortunate to have some unexpected but very welcome national TV coverage. The response has been incredible with so many people reaching out to share their stores and the challenges they have faced. There are so many potential development opportunities for the website, so I am very excited for the next 12 months! 

If you want to read more success stories of how Business Wales has helped other people like you to start or grow their businesses, visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/case-studies or follow @_businesswales / @_busnescymru on Twitter.

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