How many entrepreneurs have spent months or years dreaming of running their own business and fleshing out their dreams until they turned from dream to reality – Richard Branson, James Dyson, Jacqueline Gold, et al –

Susan Boyle took the words of the famous song from Les Miserables and used them to turn her dreams into reality, fame and wealth.

For almost 40 years Armada Asset Finance has helped aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their dreams into reality.

Start fulfilling your dreams here

With the current series of Great British Menu being broadcast alongside programmes featuring Michel Roux Jr, Nigella Lawson, Professional Masterchef and so many more, the media and the restaurant industry are showing amazing invention and commitment in creating standards and awareness of the UK as frontrunners of international cuisine.

Now, the restaurateur has to be conscious of the importance of modern technology and its impact on his business. With the buying public wandering the streets with smart phones, not only can we look at menus and wine lists and their pricings, we can instantly read critiques and ratings before we book on-line, from the comfort of our workplace, home or favourite coffee shop.

Woe betide the restaurateur who ignores technology. There is little point in being an award winning chef if your dining room is empty.

Never before has it been easier for our budding Tom Kerridges to use asset finance to acquire the latest technology, whether it’s for front of house or for the heat of the kitchen.

For a lifetime we have seen the banking sector supporting corporate organisations to the detriment of local small entrepreneurs. We saw the rise of the national chains in white goods retailing, sports clothing and the restaurant, coffee shop and license industries.

The local shop and restaurant owners and licensees have been pushed out and discouraged by high street rents and lack of banking support.

Now we see more and more corporates, who the banks have hung their hats on, falling over, but in spite of pressure from the government and the Bank of England the banks are still not or not able to assist the SME sector.

Encouragingly, as we know, the good will always survive and prosper! The brewery industry is changing rapidly thanks to the proliferation of independent local brewers whose products are readily available in pubs and bars across the country as well as all the supermarket shelves.

The local brewer now understands that the days of struggling to find sufficient support from high street banks are over. Now, like his industry, there is a major growth of asset funders ready to support the license trade and its suppliers as well as all the sectors of the SME market.

For 40 years the hospitality industry has used asset finance as their main source of funding. Now retail, gyms, the beauty and medical sector, manufacturing et al have come to realise that funding support, professionalism and speed comes from asset funders, not banks.

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

Jack certainly wouldn’t fit in at Armada. We believe in maximising the fun of working and certainly enjoying ourselves after hours.

With a number of rugby nuts, both playing and armchair enthusiasts, together with athletes, golfers and mountaineers we think our outside interests prevent stress at work and massively give us an excuse to down the black stuff.

Martin Fishleigh, our resident number cruncher is currently President of Bideford Rugby Club. We are expecting his red eyes and blurred speech to clear up later this year.

Many thanks and congratulations Martin for all your commitment to Bideford RFU and the rugby cause nationally.

Our pair of resident black swans are currently sunning themselves on the River Clyst, outside our offices. This pair have been keeping guard over us for several years and have previously presented us with a pair of cygnets. We have become quasi foster parents.

With Spring fast-approaching we are hoping that this year we will be fortunate to have more cygnets. We will keep you up-to-date with developments.

As mum & dad show no signs of leaving us we think it is high time they had names. Perhaps you could suggest suitable names for them. If cygnets do arrive we will have a competition to give them appropriate names.

To learn more about black swans contact RSPB Darts Farm, Topsham.