A question that crops up very regularly – particularly for those just embarking on a new career in the Car Care industry is
“how do I pay for all of the things I need to start my business?”
The obvious routes such as Personal Savings are always the first and most cost-effective resort, as it is money that you would only owe to yourself. no interest, no chasing debts and no one but yourself to answer to. This isn’t always feasible – either your cash is tied up, or you simply haven’t had the opportunity to save enough yet. Credit Cards, Personal Loans and even short-term options such as PayPal Credit exist for those who have an existing income to meet the repayments and are planning to phase into their new venture over a period of time. UKDA accepts Paypal for all courses, precisely as we recognise the benefit of spreading course costs with a potentially interest-free credit function such as Paypal Credit.
Family members can often be called upon to help financially if they are in a position to do so but always be careful to be open and honest regardless of how well or badly things may be going as you only get one family… usually.
How much do you need? Well, the first step is to add up a wishlist of equipment and large outlays such as van hires, initial rent and deposits, website costs, professional fees for the first 6 months, etc etc. Once you have all of these – double it.
Businesses rarely go exactly according to plan. With a large sum of available extra cash in place, if everything takes off as you expect you’ll have a lump sum to pay off loans early, funding to expand rapidly, or just enough for a nice holiday and some R&R when things calm down or tail off a bit.
If things don’t go well, having sufficient backup funding to push through the difficult learning period can be a make or break for businesses. Sometimes all a business needs is another few months of support in order to crack a market, and having this security can give you that freedom. Additionally, costs can come out of nowhere for things you didn’t realise you needed, so having a “float” gives you flexibility, so things don’t hit a brick wall before they’ve had a chance to begin.
If non of the previous options are available to you, the good news is that there are a few other routes open, the two most useful of which are…
Small Business Loans –
There are numerous banks that will lend to new start-ups, but you will need to make sure that you are able to put forward evidence that your venture will make sufficient money to be able to meet the loan repayments. Business Lenders are specialists in this field and will often help you to put all of the information together, as well as help you with support and guidance. This isn’t out of the goodness of their hearts, however, as they are merely protecting their investment and ensuring they will get the loan repaid along with their profit-making interest.
A compelling Business Plan will be needed to secure a loan of this type and our Level 1 Career Development course will help to give you some of the building blocks you need to put this together. It isn’t all about the Profit & Loss though – your lender will be looking to see how sustainable your business is in order that they can continue to be involved for years to come. You’ll need to show market knowledge and analysis, Company setup, service descriptions and more, so put the time into thinking about your business from all angles and identify what could go wrong to show you have an answer for it.
Government Funding –
When you start delving into things, and – of course – speaking to the right people, you can find all sorts of Government-backed funding options. These range from grants (which may be available in a very specific set of circumstances) to loans (of which there are many different schemes), but also access to a range of support options through local providers. https://www.gov.uk/business-finance-support is a good place to start nationally, but enquire with your local authority, growth hub and chambers of commerce as they will be better placed to know about local funding options.
The financial support options will vary depending upon the Local Authority area in which you have chosen to set up your business, so if you live close to a border, check out both sides…
You can’t generally use the funding for just anything, it usually comes with some caveats and specified uses which will need to be traceable. At UK Detailing Academy, we provide training for those wanting to start a new business in our industry through our Career Development Levels Syllabus; or further their skills to grow an existing business using the Learn2 or Accredited training we provide. As such we are registered with the UK Government as being eligible to receive funding for this training, however, it is the individual who must apply for the funding in the first instance. This can be done via an independent consultancy, through your local Job Centre or directly with the Department for Work and Pensions.
Do bear in mind though, that only Training Providers who have a Provider Reference Number will be able to receive this funding directly.
At the end of the day, it is your livelihood that you are seeking to build and there are a number of people and organisations that want to help you. If you are looking for a way to develop your existing business, maybe consider our one-day Business and Marketing course to give you an insight into areas for improvement.