Case Study: Trace-Less

As Torquay’s first solo zerowaste shop, Trace-Less are committed to introducing a more sustainable way to consume everyday household items and goods, which reduces food, water, and plastic use.

Owned by Dana Kocisova, Trace-Less offers organic (and non-organic) dried foods, liquid dispensers, eco-friendly toiletries, and household products, which can be refilled through a ‘Weigh And Save’ system, allowing customers to buy as much as they need, while decreasing product and plastic consumption.

The Challenge: Equipped with the dedication to revolutionise the zerowaste movement, Trace-Less are on a mission to encourage more sustainable consumption in Torbay.

With little to no background in business, Dana felt that independent business support was needed to transform Trace-Less into a reality, and to provide the right support in starting a business from scratch.

The Solution: TDA Business supported Trace-Less through the fundamentals of business start-up, providing assistance with creating a business plan, market research, and budgeting. Kim Thornton, TDA Business advisor, also helped Trace-Less to secure a start-up loan, which helped Trace-Less with initial costs, such as rent, equipment, stock, and marketing.

The support was delivered through the fully funded ERDF Enterprise Coaching Project. Dana, owner of Trace-Less said, ‘TDA, and particularly Kim, was a fantastic source of support – not only on the technical side of starting up a business, but also in terms of encouragement and building my confidence.

She is knowledgeable in the field of business, and all the essential, and even non-essential assets, that were relevant to my particular business.

She is incredibly resourceful and quick to respond to any queries that have arisen, no matter when I asked.’

Kim Thornton, Business Advisor at TDA said, ‘It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Dana. She has encountered hurdles, but her determination and passion for her business has led to her opening her beautiful shop. TDA is committed to helping start-ups, and it is encouraging to see ethical and sustainable businesses emerging’.

The Future: Whilst the market research carried out by Trace-Less identified a major gap in the Torbay market for a zero-waste establishment, Trace-Less feel strongly about the lack of education surrounding waste-management.

Their next steps are to introduce a zero-waste mindset into Torbay communities, through collaboration with organisations such as Torbay Climate Action, Conservation Chat UK, Torbay Council, and schools across the area.

Trace-Less are also looking to expand their distribution channels through providing a ‘Click-And-Collect’ service, which will be managed on their website – accommodating for the COVID-19 mask regulations.

TDA have supported Trace-Less through the early stages of their business. This has been enabled by the European Regional Development Fund – Enterprise Coaching Project, which provides fully funded business support to start-up businesses in Torbay through one to one sessions and workshops.

Start Up Torbay

A fully funded business support programme, designed specifically for businesses in Torquay, Brixham and Paignton, whether you’re at concept stage or already up and running.

Through a series of collaborative workshops and 1:1 sessions, you will learn all you need to get to grips with turning your idea into a reality.

Spread across five workshop sessions, the programme will cover the basics of starting a business, including business planning, marketing, financial planning, and promotion.

Who Are We?

We are a local, friendly team of Business Advisors, with a passion for helping businesses.

We have helped hundreds of people across the South West unlock their potential to become self-employed; aiding budding entrepreneurs to start their own business and not look back. This service is available free of charge to all Torbay residents from all backgrounds, with the aim of harnessing local entrepreneurial talent.

This project is fully funded by Torbay Council and the European Regional Development Fund, and delivered by TDA.

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