Small Business Success Stories
Small today, global tomorrow – now seems to be the golden time for small businesses to succeed. According to the FSB, the number of private sector businesses hit a record high of 5.5 million at the start of 2016, an increase of 97,000 in a year. The combined annual turnover of SME’s accounted for 47% of all private sector turnover in the UK. Small businesses made up a staggering 99.3% of all private sector businesses.
In a British economy still coming to terms with Brexit, this positive outlook is cause for celebration. Small businesses deserve more attention and credit than currently given, so to commend the strength of this business category, it’s time to look at some of the most impressive small businesses in Britain.
An award winning micro-bakery in Fulham, Ma Baker also offers bread classes out of the shop … Read More »
When you’ve opened your business at the height of an economic downturn, there’s not much that can intimidate you. And Emeka Ikechi – who launched his photographic business Vanity Studios in 2009 – believes that the experience of setting up in tougher times has made him a stronger, more sensible, and savvy business owner.
“Starting your business in difficult circumstances gives you good foundations,” Emeka explains. “You have to be careful, and frugal. When money isn’t widely available, you learn to plan for things, and use what you have very wisely.”
This level-headed approach has stood the business in very good stead. The photography studio, which is based in central London, and provides hair and make-up styling for clients, as well as glamorous photo shoots, started out with two full-time members of staff – Emeka and one other. Six years later, it … Read More »
August is always a particularly busy month for Marc Hughes’s rental business, VIP Apartments. With 13 luxury flats available for short-term lets in the centre of Edinburgh, the firm’s properties are in great demand from the stream of tourists who invade the city each year, as well as those who come to town for the month-long arts festival. Add to that the extra crowds attracted by the Commonwealth Games that have been taking place recently in nearby Glasgow, and bookings have been solid for most of the summer.
Requests for accommodation were coming in such a large volume earlier this year that Marc realised there was a great opportunity to expand his business’s property portfolio and make an almost immediate profit. All he needed was a short-term loan of £18,000 to cover the up-front costs of leasing three new properties.
Read More »
One of the things in which we specialise here at Boost Capital is financing the businesses that many conventional lenders are loath to work with and deem too ‘risky.’ And one industry that tends to make the banks particularly jumpy is hospitality – and restaurants, specifically.
There’s no denying that the restaurant business is a tough one. The insolvency practitioners’ body R3 estimates that 39 per cent of restaurants are more likely to fail than a typical business. In comparison, just one in four of all UK firms has a higher than normal risk of failure. Restaurants also carry sizeable up-front costs in terms of food, drink and wages, plus overheads such as rent and ever-rising utility bills. Add to this high levels of competition among places to eat in many locations, and one wonders that entrepreneurs opt to run food … Read More »
Q Medical Technologies Group
Andrew Kemp has grown Q Medical Technologies Group from a newly-formed four-man band nine years ago to a thriving enterprise today with a workforce of 25 people in the UK, and many hundreds more operating worldwide in countries from China to India. The infection control business, which has its headquarters in Nottingham and warehousing in Kendal in Cumbria, is now experiencing stunning growth, but Andrew admits that late payment caused significant problems in its earlier days, and even affected the company’s ability to expand.
“We were once in the position where I, as the chief executive, and my managing director decided not to pay ourselves for a couple of months because the business was waiting for uncontested invoices to be settled,” Andrew explains. “It’s a massive problem for small firms, and can determine whether they decide … Read More »
When MSR first came into being in the late Eighties, the ship repair business was born out of the shipping industry that dominated Merseyside at that time. Under its original banner, Merseyside Ship Repairers, the Bootle-based firm was set up by John Barrett to service the vessels that came to the docks from all corners of the globe, often needing maintenance after their long sea journeys.
But by the time John’s son, Paul had joined the business as an apprentice a few years later, it was already clear that the shipping industry was past its heyday, and fewer ships were in evidence on the Mersey. Paul now runs the family company, which employs 32 people across two factories in Bootle, and he realised some time ago, along with his father, that the firm needed to change its emphasis in order … Read More »
Having businesses located in two of London’s busiest areas has meant that Naresh Kapoor has never struggled to attract customers. His Japanese restaurants Sen Nin in Camden and Islington have always benefited from good passing trade, as well as regular local clientele.
But Upper Street in Islington, where Naresh’s original restaurant is based, has changed a lot since he first opened for business in 2006. With ever more restaurants and bars opening on the fashionable North London thoroughfare, one food critic recently nicknamed it ‘Supper Street.’ And as the surrounding area has moved increasingly upmarket, Naresh felt the time had come for a comprehensive refurbishment of his Islington branch to give it a more modern feel to attract new customers and to compete with stylish neighbouring businesses.
“Obviously, we repaint the restaurants regularly and we’d had a small refurbishment in … Read More »