30th Jun, 2017

10 Tips on the Best Ways to Lend on P2P Lending Platforms

Having operated a P2P lending platform for over five years, we’ve seen many strategies and styles. We would like to share some of these with you. However, firstly we must acknowledge that every lender’s risk appetite is different. It is important that you consider the risks and your personal circumstances before making a commitment to lend money. The following tips are intended to educate and provide non-personalised guidance to assist.
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23rd Jun, 2017

Onwards and Upwards for Luxury Lady Limited

Luxury Lady Limited is currently seeking funds on rebuildingsociety.com. The company has launched the ChinUp Mask, a new beauty treatment designed to improve the appearance of a double chin through 30-minute at-home treatment sessions.

The company has turned to peer-to-business funding to raise funds to purchase stock for recent contracts they have secured, and invest in online marketing activity. Their product has been featured in a variety of media outlets, and was a finalist in four different beauty awards. The team at Luxury Lady Limited plan to launch their ambassador programme soon. We spoke to Ronnie, the company’s CEO, to find out more.

Tell us a bit about Luxury Lady Limited and the ChinUp Mask product.

Set up in August 2015, Luxury Lady Ltd now directly employs a team of nine core staff.

The world we are living in is changing, with people wanting instant, on-demand results for everything: from Uber to Netflix to Amazon Prime. Identifying this trend in the market, we didn’t think that beauty products should be any different. People are tired of purchasing the same creams with different labels and hearing the promises from beauty companies, that if you use this product every day for six months, you might see a similar improvement to the person in the “after” picture.

A recent survey stated that 68% of people are unhappy with their neck and chin area. ChinUp Mask is a product that addresses this problem area, whilst also satisfying the trend for instant results. It is a non-surgical facelift that can improve the appearance of a double chin, sagging jowls and turkey neck in one 30-minute at-home treatment.

The real “magic” of ChinUp Mask is in the unique formula in the facemask. This facemask is infused with a blend of five key active ingredients (Hyaluronic acid, Q10, Corum 9235, Vitamin E and Skintronics) which help to lift and firm the chin and neck area, improving the appearance of sagging skin, fine lines and wrinkles. The slimming band is there to keep the mask from falling off, and to ensure that the cream is evenly absorbed into the skin.

The instant results of the product mean that it is perfect both for people looking for a quick fix ahead of a special occasion, night out or event, as well as for people who use the product more regularly, every two to three days, to maintain and improve the look of their chin. As a consequence, we have found that our customer demographic ranges from their people in their 20s through to 60+, with people opting to either do the treatments themselves at home, or go to a salon.

Chin Up

How did the product come into being?

I was sitting with a friend of mine, brainstorming new ideas for a business venture together. We were both tired of relentlessly looking for new customers to purchase products, and wanted to do develop a consumable product; something that people would buy again and again. This would mean that the total value of the customer would not be limited to the single product sale, but to a potential lifetime of regular repeat purchases.

Building on this idea, the choices were narrowed down to creating either a beauty or a food product. Both are strong relatively recession-proof markets; everyone needs to eat, and from personal experience, I knew that many women would prioritise their beauty products. Both have possibilities for repeat purchases if the customers are happy with the product.

Then, almost as a throwaway comment, my friend recalled something his mum had said to him earlier that month, how it would be incredible if there were a treatment that could help lift and firm the chin and jawline. This piqued my interest – we had found our problem!

Research into the beauty market showed that as a result of government investments, South Korea is the world leader in beauty technology, seven years ahead of anywhere else. Flying out to the far east, we met with a fantastic, incredibly intelligent team and spent some time with them further exploring what we were looking to achieve and reviewing different concepts. They took it all on board, and within two months, we received our first set of samples.

However, the laws around cosmetics are very different in the EU to South Korea, and although the product tested well, the formula was not within the legal threshold requirements of EU cosmetics law, and so needed to be reworked. After much back and forth, we cracked it. A formula that worked, with instant results, that was safe, affordable and effective. We are still working closely with the team in South Korea as we look to further improve the product and also apply the same technology to other problem body areas.

What success has the ChinUp Mask had so far?

Although we are still very much at the beginning of our journey, we have already had some great success.

We are regularly featured in the mainstream national press, and are especially proud of OK Magazine calling us a Wonder Product and putting us in their “5 of the Best at Home Spa Musts”.

The product has been a finalist in four prestigious beauty awards for categories including best innovation and best facemask and, with the product being so demonstrable, giving instantly visible and measurable results, we have seen a lot of success on the TV home shopping networks; the product has regularly sold out. Building on that success, we are now working with a company who will be launching Direct Response TV advertising campaign across Europe and North America. The product also scores highly in Amazon UK’s beauty products listings.

Earlier this year, we were selected as a partner of the Official Grooming Room of London Fashion Week. This is an area where the models, press, bloggers, and influencers go between shows to relax and have a treatment. The product is available in several prestigious Toni & Guy salons across central London, with the vision to roll this out nationwide. We have also recently finalised a collaboration with Nails Inc.

Last July, we attended Cosmoprof North America, the largest professional beauty trade show in North America. We were hand-selected by beauty professionals out of thousands of other people to be showcased in the exclusive Discover Beauty section; an area reserved for the next big thing in beauty. The show was a great success and we managed to secure orders for over 60,000 units in the months after the show. We will be returning this year, participating in the Discover Beauty section and hoping to build on last year’s success.

In March this year, we attended Cosmoprof Bologna, the largest professional beauty trade show in the world. Here, we were also hand-picked for the exclusive Cosmoprime area. We left the show with a full contact book of people wanting to work with us from around the world, and are now in negotiations with many retailers and distributors to support our international growth and expansion.

Can you tell us a bit about the upcoming ambassador programme?

This is a very exciting initiative we have been working on that will have a major impact on global awareness of the brand, but more importantly, it will drive sales at a very affordable and scalable cost.

The Ambassadors are hand-selected influencers with an established following and high social net worth. These Ambassadors would include celebrities, bloggers, industry experts, and social media stars, typically with a following of 500k+.

We will work with these Ambassadors to implement various initiatives that will drive product awareness and generate sales. The Ambassadors will be given their own unique web links and discount codes to promote the product across their social channels. This will allow for their activities to be tracked, and to directly identify the sales that they have generated. The Ambassador will receive a commission on every item sold. This model incentivises the Ambassador to regularly post about the product, as they will directly earn from every posting, and be able to see in real-time the revenue they have generated.

We are already in final negotiations with a range of Ambassadors to target different key demographics. The total reach of the Ambassadors we are currently in discussions with totals to just under 15 million people.

Why did you choose to use rebuildingsociety.com for funding?

We chose rebuildingsociety.com on a recommendation from our advisors, Central Finance, who know and work in the SME finance market on a daily basis. The process was quick and simple, but thorough, and allowed us to reach a large number of potential funders.

Why would you encourage investors to lend to your company?

I have built a strong and competent team with a proven ability to develop and successfully launch new brands to the market. The company is rapidly expanding, with year two revenues on target to be 10x year one revenues.

ChinUp Mask provides a solution to that troublesome area which previously could only be helped by surgery. It is an affordable, effective and safe alternative that doesn’t carry the risks and costs typically associated with surgery.

The results of the product last on average two to three days, and so customers are required to purchase additional refill packs to maintain their improvements. Therefore, the lifetime value of the customer is quite high, as we steadily build our loyal customer following repeat purchasing.

Building on this customer loyalty, we will soon be launching a subscription service, where customers will be able to sign up for regular deliveries of ChinUp Mask at a reduced cost. This will be great for the business as we will be able to guarantee a minimum number of customer sales and revenue each month.

We have also been working to strengthen our online position to drive more direct customer sales. For direct website and Amazon sales this month, we are on target to exceed revenues of £27k. In addition to direct B2C sales, the company is in a strong position, with a growing order book of B2B distribution, retail and salon clients across the world. We are also currently finalising launch strategies and negotiating distribution deals for many international territories, including Europe, Russia, China, South America, and the ASEAN and GCC countries.

In the eight months preceding May 2017, turnover has increased to £863K & PBT £118K. This growth hasn’t happened overnight, but has been building for the last two years, throughout constant marketing and sales activities. The loan from ReBS is also backed by a Personal Guarantee from the director and shareholder.

Can you tell us a bit more about what the funds will be spent on?

With a solid order book, the funds will be primarily used to purchase stock to enable us to satisfy upcoming B2C and B2B orders in a timely manner.

What do you hope the future holds for Luxury Lady Limited?

In the short term, our immediate goal is to build a sustainable business and create new relationships across the world that don’t require us to use large amounts of working capital to fulfil orders – whilst at the same time allowing the business to trade and promote an extremely unique product.

We plan to increase the number of orders for retail distribution in the countries where we have already established a footprint, whilst also opening up new territories across the world. We will also look to scale our digital footprint, implementing the social marketing strategies we have developed and extend them internationally, supporting brand awareness and driving sales.

Having established a reputable name for the brand together with the supply networks and relationships to market, we will then look to introduce additional products to the range, targeting other key problem areas.

We are not looking to be just another beauty product; our long-term strategy and goal is to provide the market with something new and revolutionary. Coming from a consumer-focused industry where we have honed our skills in identifying market trends, we have been able to approach the beauty industry from a completely new perspective, with our unique thinking and different approach.

People have been waiting for something to revolutionise the beauty industry for many years, and ChinUp is a next generation beauty product. We plan to really shake up the entire beauty industry, bringing to market a range of new and innovative products that provide instant results to core problem areas with safe and effective products that don’t have the risks of surgery.

 


16th Jun, 2017

Activate your Weekly Repayment Summary Emails

At rebuildingsociety.com, we like to keep both borrowers and lenders informed about their recent activity and the updates that affect them.

One of the ways in which communicate is through the weekly repayment emails we send out to our lenders. In these emails, we offer an update of your portfolio performance, detailing available balance, capital received and interest earned, and also give a transaction summary of the past week.

Lenders can log in to their account to enable the weekly repayment emails, and update the settings to choose the day and time that best suits their preferences. Take a look at the video below to see how.

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07th Jun, 2017

The Golden Age of Bank Loans?

growth and investmentWith interest rates at a low and banks lending more than they have in years, the question of whether we are currently in a ‘Golden Age’ for bank lending, has recently been doing the rounds.

We work with UK business owners every day, and one would have thought that we might have noticed if businesses believed that the banks were providing them with a strong reliable service, but we haven’t. So, we thought we’d consider whether this truly is a golden age for the banks.

Our experience tells us that business owners are in distress about having their overdrafts and other bank products pulled with short notice. In fact, research suggests that banks are pulling £5 billion in overdrafts from business in the UK each month! What’s more alarming is that this is not new and has been a trend for almost a decade, since before the financial crisis, and banks are still not lending anywhere near as much as they did prior to 2007.

With this reminder of the poor performance of the banks in serving UK SMEs, it’s no wonder that alternatives to bank lending have flourished, and continue to do so, with the support of the government.

The alternatives to SME bank lending have all notably moved away from a ‘one size fits all’, ‘computer says no’, ‘box-ticking’, approach, understanding that different businesses have different financial needs at different times.

At rebuildingsociety.com we speak to each business, take the time to understand their business and hear their story and their plans. There’s no denying that this takes a significant amount of time and manpower, but we believe that it is what is required to be able to provide a valuable long-term service to businesses and a competitive investment opportunity for the lenders on our platform.

Since 2012 we’ve helped businesses raise over £12m in funding that is right for their business and that has been a catalyst to their growth and success. Read more about the successful financing of sweet shop Candy Hero and estate agents Taylor Made Property Management.

Whilst the banks continue to reduce suitable products for their business customers we will continue to lend and support UK SMEs. In the next few weeks we will launch our IFISA, which is likely to improve the liquidity levels of our marketplace, meaning quicker and cheaper finance for your business.


06th Jun, 2017

Summer Needn’t Be Difficult!

Summer Finance

Whilst the start of summer marks a period of relaxation and vacation for many people, it is often one of the most difficult time periods for small businesses. Many of their customers are away enjoying the sunshine rather than making purchasing decisions – something which can have a significant impact on many a business’ cash flow and revenue.

If you know that your business is one of these businesses, why not plan ahead now!
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