Indeed, there are still ways to get expansion plans off the ground and achieve that brilliant idea plus increased turnover. This concept has been highlighted by four daring entrepreneurs who turned around rejection from a bank and achieved great things with their alternative finance. (1) Valley CruisesValley Cruises is a family-operated boat hire company with sites at Stratford upon Avon and Coventry, which has rapidly expanded to keep up with growing demand. However, when taking on a second location with a 50-mile stretch of lock-free canal, the owner was presented with the opportunity to do something more original than adding boats to the fleet. Although narrow boating has enjoyed a renewed interest from people of all ages, many are put off by not feeling confident when operating the locks. So, in order to attract these people to the canals, Valley Cruises sought alternative finance in the form of a business cash advance to purchase a boat for parties and day events. It is a form of funding that is paid back as a small percentage from your customer card transactions. So you only ever pay back your loan when your customers pay you. If business is booming, you’ll pay it back quicker, and if you’re having a quiet period, you’ll pay back less. Also, there are no fixed monthly repayments, APR or hidden fees – and the loan is unsecured so your home won’t be at risk. Its concept has been so well received that David Moore, managing director, has said that in several months’ time they will look to purchase another holiday hire boat. (2) Exotic Palms & Spas Based in Gillingham, Exotic Palms & Spas. has been operating for 15 years and sells 14 different types of hot tubs, saunas, gazebos and barbecues. The company also provides a hot tub cleaning and repair service. It is dedicated to offering high end products to its customer base, including specific hydrotherapy hot tubs, designed by chiropractic engineers. These products are incredibly beneficial in helping to support the healing of the body, bones and spine, so one would naturally assume that a cash injection would be used to acquire more of them. That was not the case. Business owner Chris Whitton used alternative finance to redesign and refit the company’s showroom so that it could showcase the high quality products to potential clients. The redesign features a striking, wall to wall, mural of celebrities and famous people across the years which add a luxurious and unique backdrop to the environment of the product range. Such a venture is not immediately seen as a viable funding option for traditional lenders, but utilising an alternative finance source has allowed for such a unique project to be fulfilled – and it has had a positive impact on both the sales and working environment of the business. Find out why one wedding boutique sought alternative finance
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