A Start Up Loan can help you start or grow your existing business. We have supported over 40,000 businesses across the UK to get started and we could help you too.
The finance and mentoring we offer has been integral to the growth of a diverse range of new and existing ventures, from new dating apps to clothes shops and a whole host of new food and drink products among other things.
There are four main areas we’ve found that most loan recipients use their funding on: PR and promotion, purchasing new equipment and stock, product development and proof of concepts, and the cost of renting or buying premises.
“The biggest challenge we faced when rebranding was the cost of marketing material. This is where the Start Up Loan was transformative.”
– Rosie Marteau, co-founder of Yuyo
Set up costs
Administrative and set up needs can be costly when you are just starting out. However, this should not hold back your business ambitions. Many Start Up Loan recipients have used their monies for this, from buying expensive technical equipment or software to simply buying enough stock to actually service the demands of their customers.
Rosie Marteau, who co-founded the yerba tea business Yuyo, was faced with the need for a large amount of new marketing materials after rebranding Yuyo. She needed to print new flyers, have the new brand and artwork translated over the company website and social media, and was concerned about the cost. Her Start Up Loan helped cover these costs, allowing Rosie and her business partner to bring the new Yuyo brand to the public.
Cash flow issues
Particularly in the early stages of a business, cash flow issues caused by late payments from customers or trying to fulfill large orders for customers can prove difficult for small businesses. A Start Up Loan can be used to provide a cash flow injection to help the business grow and succeed. Take a look at what Employability Town did with their loan to get around this tricky issue and keep their business running smoothly.
One key set up cost for many growing businesses is leasing or purchasing premises. Having secure premises in a good location can help your business thrive and funding from a Start Up Loan can help. David from ShortCuts Children’s Salon used a Start Up Loan to secure premises for his first salon, which proved a great platform for growth.
“I used a Start Up Loan for the initial set up of the business – solicitor’s fees, property deposit and general start up costs.”
– David O’Neal, founder of Shortcuts salon
Getting your message out – PR and promotion
To be a success your business is going to need customers – your initial market research should have highlighted who these customers are. Attracting new customers to your business can be expensive. Your loan could be used to help create your company brand, produce marketing collateral or even launch a marketing campaign. We’ve created a guide on how to write a press release to get you started and remember, we have lots of advice on Marketing and Branding to help you further.
A website for your business
If you are planning on establishing an online business, you’ll want your website to provide an easy customer journey for any visitors. For more advice, we spoke to web design experts Create on how to build an effective online shop. Simple templates which can be customised for your specific business needs are relatively cheap, but if you intend to process payments online costs can rise.
For more ideas on how to market your business we asked loan recipient Jess Ratty, founder of the Cornwall Camper Company to giver her top tips on how to market your business.