Entrepreneur News

on the rebuildingsociety.com blog

Visit the rebuildingsociety.com blog to stay up-to-date with all our news related to the entrepreneurs borrowing on our platform.

09th Oct, 2017

A Cashflow Plan for the Festive Season

santa-clausThere are just 11 weeks left until Christmas! Most shops are now stocking Christmas decorations, coffee shops are offering their delicious, calorific lattes and parents can be heard using the threat of “Santa won’t bring you any gifts” to control their children’s behaviour.

For many, it marks the start of a fun and carefree season; but for many business owners, the festive season can bring many a headache and with it, cashflow difficulties. With a little planning you, as business owner, can make sure that mince pies and mulled wine – rather than your business finances – are at the forefront of your mind.

Read our festive season action plan and make this festive season one to remember, not dread.
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17th Aug, 2017

Double Takes on rebuildingsociety.com

It’s not uncommon for companies to return to rebuildingsociety.com; recently, Candy Hero Ltd. and Taylor Made Property Management both revisited the platform to once again successfully secure funding.

On other occasions, it is one individual who seeks funding on behalf of two separate businesses on separate occasions. This is the case with Laurence Haring, who procured loans for both Yewshore Limited and Anzoff Limited. These businesses trade under the names of Monkton Combe Filling Station and Buncombes Garage; they are petrol filling stations located in the west of the United Kingdom.

Both loans, of £68,000 and £54,000 respectively, were completed in 2015, and Laurence continues to make repayments to the investors who lent him the funds.

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13th Jul, 2017

Preparing to Take a Business Loan

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ― Abraham Lincoln

All businesses, at one time or another, will likely need to raise finance to grow or fill in a temporary gap in cash flow. Raising finance is easiest done by taking some time to first prepare both yourself and your business. Following some pointers and planning ahead can save you both time and money – and probably a lot of headaches…
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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.

 


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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17th Mar, 2017

Prima Cleaners Looks to the Future

Prima Cleaners has a long history in the launderette business. They recently turned to rebuildingsociety.com to seek £53,000 in funds that they plan to use to expand and develop their company.

We spoke to Graeme Davies to find out more about Prima Cleaners, and asked him about the company’s history and future.

Thank you for talking to us today, Graeme. Tell us a bit about Prima Cleaners.

Prima Cleaners was founded 16 years ago, in the newly-earmarked business district of Liverpool. During the first two years, the store struggled, as there were not many commercial offices on the high street. (more…)


14th Mar, 2017

Xanadu Seeks Expansion Funding

Xanadu UK Retail Limited is seeking funding via rebuildingsociety.com for the acquisition of a market-leading wholesale lingerie business in the UK. The company is seeking £200,000 to purchase Blue Moon Lingerie Limited, a wholesale lingerie distributor that was founded in 2003.

We spoke to members of the Xanadu team to find out more about the company’s loan application and upcoming plans.

Tell us a bit about Xanadu and what it offers, both on a wholesale and retail level.

Xanadu has two primary business areas – retail and wholesale. Xanadu Boutique offers lingerie and accessories from well-known designers through both physical shops and online. Xanadu Trade, meanwhile, was established to offer high-quality lingerie, trade only, to traditional and online retailers. We cover various genres of products, including everyday wear, fashion, bridal and nightwear. (more…)


27th Feb, 2017

Full FCA Authorisation

rebuildingsociety.com has been awarded full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority in recognition of our compliance with sector-specific regulations.

We are very excited to share news of this major achievement and important milestone with our community. Authorisation means that we meet the rigorous standards set by the FCA and that we can soon start to offer the Innovative Finance ISA.

Financial Conduct Authority

 

 

Although we have been operating under FCA rules on Interim Permission since April 2014, being granted full authorisation helps us to continue building on the important relationships of trust we have with all our clients. We are proud to have achieved this milestone ahead of many other platforms, which we believe is testament to our small but dynamic team, systems, processes and controls.

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19th Dec, 2016

Taylor Made Revisits rebuildingsociety.com

Last year, Taylor Made Property Management Limited tested the crowdfunding waters. They applied for a loan of £103,500 on rebuildingsociety.com; a loan that was fully funded and successfully completed in January 2015. Now, they’re back; this time with a loan application seeking £125,000. The company is the first to make the most of the new changes to the marketplace that we recently introduced, regarding security-dependent interest rate reduction.

Taylor Made Property Management Limited was incorporated in October 2014 with the express purpose of taking over the Preston-based Martin & Co. franchise. This purchase was successful, and the company began trading a few months later.

The funds the company raised through their first crowdfunding efforts in early 2015 were used as planned; to purchase the existing residential letting agent, Woodholme Residential Lettings Limited. The purchase was successful completed on 28th February 2015, just over a month after the loan completed on rebuildingsociety.com.

Richard Taylor has extensive knowledge of the property industry, both in terms of running his business, and as a landlord. We spoke to him about the company’s recent history, their future plans, and the appeal of crowdfunding.

Richard, thank you for talking to us today. Tell us, what made you come back to rebuildingsociety, rather than seeking additional funding elsewhere?

The more traditional funding sources make it so difficult to refinance or even borrow as a business that the obvious choice when looking at refinancing was to come back and see what could be done through rebuildingsociety.com, who I have a track record and history with. I knew that my application would be judged on actual business viability, which I would have the ability to discuss with someone, rather than on a set of rules and criteria that a computer processes and rejects with no human interaction.

Is this interaction something you experienced during your first crowdfunding experience with us?

Yes; and I think the opportunity to communicate directly with lenders is a definite plus. It’s a great way for those who struggle to get more ‘traditional’ sources of funding to begin or progress their business ideas.

How has your company progressed since you completed the loan in early 2015, nearly two years ago now?

It’s been an interesting two years. Regarding the business I acquired, there was a lot that needed to change to bring it up to speed with the industry, and embrace some of the technological changes that would enhance the service offered to tenants, landlords and vendors.

This led to changes in personnel, and so much of the first year was taken up with simply steadying the ship and implementing correct procedure, all of which I am pleased to say were well received. We did not lose any landlords or properties; in fact, we added over 20 properties to our fully-managed portfolio.

The second year has been about building on that success, and we now have a steady, reliable team who are on board with the direction in which the business is going. This is great, because it has allowed me to take a more holistic approach to the development of the company, and to look at areas of potential growth and diversification.

What have been some of these areas of potential growth?

Well, for example, we have had particular success in the vibrant student market in Preston. We now have about 270 rooms available for the 2017/18 academic year, which includes 244 rooms in new, purpose-built, private student halls, which we are the only agent in Preston to be marketing. We have also been working with a number of developers, both locally and nationally, who have seen the potential in Preston and are looking to convert and build residential properties for both the sales and rental markets.

You are currently seeking £125,000 of funding through rebuildingsociety.com. If the loan is fully funded, what will you use the money for?

A large part of it, £75k, will be used to pay off the existing loan with rebuildingsociety. The remaining £50k will be used to fund a strong marketing campaign for the next 12 months, to help us increase our market share in the sales market, as well as reach some other key business development objectives and provide some stability in terms of cash flow.

We recently introduced some changes regarding security-dependent interest rate reductions, and you are the first company to benefit from these changes. What are your views on these improvements?

This is something that has definitely benefited me in applying for this loan. I think the improvements are a plus for both parties, as it encourages the borrower to provide better levels of security which can help reassure lenders that the security offered can genuinely repay the loan should the worst happen.

Why should lenders consider lending to your business?

I have an excellent track record of repayment, which will obviously continue with the new loan. There are a number of challenges facing the housing market at the moment; I believe that we have a good, strong business model with a clear vision of the areas of development and improvements needed to ensure that we can continue in spite of these changes.

With this in mind, what do you hope the future holds for Taylor Made Property Management?

Further growth of the franchise, both within the current geographical area and then potentially expanding to surrounding areas, as well as diversification into property development.

You can find Taylor Made Property Management’s loan profile here.


23rd Nov, 2016

The A-E of Reasons to Take a Business Loan

 Net worthAsset Purchase

Assets can often be purchased through a hire purchase agreement, but where this option is unavailable a business loan can fill the funding gap and allow you to spread the cost of potentially expensive equipment.  In some instances the asset can act as security for the loan which will somewhat reduce the risk.

In 2015 more than £29 billion in finance was provided by members of the The Finance & Leasing Association to assist with asset purchases.  This figure is further boosted by the work being carried out by the Peer-to-Peer funders who offer an alternative route to finance outside of the traditional sources.
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