It’s always good to talk
Over a period of time we have built up a close relationship with Karen and her partner Gail – both these fit, healthy women are running their own businesses, Karen as a personal trainer and Gail as a hairdresser.
Oddly enough, the lease of Gail’s salon was coming to an end and wasn’t being renewed, which coincided with Karen being unsure how to progress her fitness business.
Now that I have spent a lifetime financing start-up ventures, the girls invited us to dinner to ‘pick my brains’. Lost cause there then!
Over steak and salad and a bottle of Borolo I spent most of the evening quizzing Karen about her business and her aspirations. Basically she enjoys being a PT but finds that she has more and more demand for her services and not enough hours in the day.
I suggested that she should run her own gym, dedicated to ladies and find premises that were large enough to hire out space to Gail for her hairdressing, but for her to also employ specialists for beauty treatments and a nail bar.
I don’t know whether it was the Borolo but by the end of the evening I was having to tell the girls to calm down and think it all through carefully in the cold light of day.
Over the next few weeks, whenever time allowed, they were out looking for suitable premises. Eventually they found a large barn conversion close to a substantial new housing development.
They needed all their capital for building works, décor and marketing and so they asked if Armada would finance all the gym equipment, hair and beauty equipment together with the security, music and nominal catering bits and pieces.
When Karen’s parents offered to act as guarantors to our asset finance agreements, the rest was just detail.
A few weeks later we had a return match and over a bottle of Chilean Carignan I was able to highlight the dangers of friends joining up as business partners. Setting the company up in the right formal context saves a whole Kleenex box of tears later.
I am delighted to say that six months into the new venture everything is very positive. Shame it’s a girls only operation as I thought I might get a free haircut and an hour on the treadmill. Never mind, my reward is that Armada has once again helped people to fulfil their dreams.