Our Community 💛 Flower Station

Fast forward 18 years from an old disused petrol station to a flourishing drive-through florist, here’s the inspirational story behind David Cohen’s company, Flower Station.

Tell us more..

David: “I set up Flower Station 18 years ago starting off in an old disused petrol station in Marylebone which I eventually turned into a drive-through florist open 24 hours a day and every day of the year.”

“As a florist, we serve shop customers, private homes, businesses, weddings and events covering every aspect of floristry and planting.”

“We have also recently started a flower school which is proving to be a popular addition.”

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What have been the challenges of starting up your business?

“The challenges we face are more specific to the industry we work in. We are based in London with quite a big delivery fleet and the congestion charge has added hugely to our costs. I’m not against this but as there are no other options to counteract the impact, we have no choice but to absorb the high costs.

“I love it and wouldn’t want to run a business without challenges!”

“We are also facing very high exchange rates with 90% of our stock imported from overseas. There are also many elements to juggle such as finding highly skilled staff to meet our expansion needs and focusing on multiple and diverse projects.”

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Flower Station x Capital on Tap

“The reason we applied for a Capital on Tap account was because we were searching for funding to enable our expansion; having our account approved and ready to go was a great safety net.

“Applying for funding through traditional banks was a difficult process and I could not rely on them to help my business grow.”

“Capital on Tap simply made me an offer, let me know the credit limit and the money was ready to use – as simple as that.”

What advice would you give fellow small business owners?

“Ideally, any finance should be used for expansion, infrastructure or investment for growth which will ultimately be returned with dividends. For our business, we have been (as a result of market forces and necessity) very focused on efficiency and this has enabled us to pay for funding and channel money where it is needed the most.”

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A big thank you for David for taking the time to share the story of his company’s journey. Find out more about Flower Station here:

Website: https://www.flowerstation.co.uk/

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram: @flowerstationuk

Join our community!

We’re proud to have partnered with over 65,000 businesses since 2012, delivering over £1billion to UK SMEs! Join the community of business owners that are defying the odds and be a part of our mission to create the No.1 funding tool to help small businesses thrive!

Showcase your business!

We love celebrating the inspirational stories behind the companies we support! Drop us an email to feedback@capitalontap.com if you would like to share your journey with our community.

Our Community 💛 Iconic Beauty

Vickie Robinson set up Iconic Beauty in 2012 after presenting her business plan to the Princes Trust. Read all about her extraordinary journey as a young enterprise…

Tell us about Iconic Beauty..

Vickie: “Iconic Beauty offers professional beauty treatments including waxing, gel polish, tanning, lashes and facials. I set up my company back in 2012 with help from Princes Trust and their Enterprise Programme. I created a business plan (the same as you would have to present to banks) and presented to a board from the Trust. I was also given a business mentor for my first 2 years of trading.”

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Why Capital on Tap?

“I was looking to change my nail polish stock and with this comes a hefty bill! After looking online I came across Capital on Tap which was perfect for what I needed to do – it also enabled me to pay my stock off over a few months instead of outright.”

“I love how any day and time I can now look on my app to see what is outstanding and how/if I can pay a little bit more each month.”

“It has enabled me to make bigger purchases quicker when I would have normally had to save up for things. I can get treatments and products to my clients quicker.”

How has your experience with us differed from your experience getting funding from traditional banks?

“So much easier! Using a bank is a long drawn out process – Cap on Tap made it quick and efficient, especially when you do not have a lot of free time to get issues like this sorted. I love how any day and time I can now look on my app to see what is outstanding and how/if I can pay a little bit more each month.

What advice would you give fellow small business owners?

“Particularly in my field of business, there is a lot of competition and its about trying to stand out from the rest – what can make you different. Perseverance, ambition and motivation are what will make you a success – never be afraid of making mistakes as these mistakes are what will shape you and your business in the future and you will learn a lot along the way!”

Massive thanks to Vickie for taking the time to speak with us! Find out more about Iconic Beauty here:

Website: www.iconicbeauty.london

Facebook: Iconic Beauty Kent & London

Instagram: @iconic_beauty_london

Join our community!

We’re proud to have partnered with over 65,000 businesses since 2012, delivering over £1billion to UK SMEs! Join the community of business owners that are defying the odds and be a part of our mission to create the No.1 funding tool to help small businesses thrive!

Showcase your business!

We love celebrating the inspirational stories behind the companies we support! Drop us an email to feedback@capitalontap.com if you would like to share your journey with our community.

Our Community 💛 Paysme

We love supporting SMEs – and so do Paysme! We recently caught up with Derek Stewart [Founder and CEO of Paysme] who told us all about their journey since helping taxi drivers with mobile payments, to providing specialist industry mobile apps..

In a nutshell, who are Paysme?

Derek: “Paysme was initially incorporated in 2010 to help taxi drivers with mobile payment but has now grown to include market traders and sports clubs. Paysme’s vision is to become the trusted supplier of digital financial services to underserved SME communities by aggregating e- commerce, digital banking, insurance, business credit card, fuel card, pension, accounting and marketing tools – all from one app. These solutions are ‘Powered by Paysme’ and tailored to specific product apps so are directly relevant to our customers including Marketti for market traders & independents, cab:app for black cabs & licensed taxis, and Fanslive for football & rugby clubs.”

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Where do we fit into your journey?

Derek: “We required a flexible card payment option that could be used by multiple staff, as previously we were paying for everything on personal credit cards and then having to submit expense claims which was a very inefficient use of our time. It has removed the inefficient process of doing expense reclaims and also improved the cashflow of the business. We also like the new feature that links transactions directly to Xero.

“The one occasion that stands out was using the COT [Capital on Tap] card to pay for a black cab that already had our own mobile point of sale installed in the taxi, so were processing our COT card on our own payment platform!

“The experience was much smoother and faster [compared to traditional banks], which is what a small business needs as time is critical when running and growing your own business.”

What advice would you give fellow small business owners?

Derek: “Raising funding has been our biggest challenge, so I would advise other start ups to generate revenue ASAP and aim to become financially self-sufficient so you are in full control of your future.”

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Massive thanks to Derek for taking the time to speak with us! Find out more about Paysme here:

Website: www.paysme.co.uk

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram: @paysmeapps

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/paysme/about/

Join our community!

We’re proud to have partnered with over 65,000 businesses since 2012, delivering over £1billion to UK SMEs! Join the community of business owners that are defying the odds and be a part of our mission to create the No.1 funding tool to help small businesses thrive!

Showcase your business!

We love celebrating the inspirational stories behind the companies we support! Drop us an email to feedback@capitalontap.com if you would like to share your journey with our community.

Getting to know our customers: Drink, Shop & Do

Drink, Shop & Do’s Story:

Coralie and Kristie began hosting a Wednesday wine and paper mache evening at their home soon after graduating from university and starting their careers. As the weeks went on it became more and more popular to the point that their living room could not accommodate for the demand. They both realised that there was a market for this and decided to host a pop-up shop in an ex-Victorian bath house based in Kings Cross. The pop-up was such a success that they never left. In fact it has been such a success that Coralie has also managed to open a members bar across the road.

What makes Drink, Shop & Do stand out?

Delicious food and a range of cocktails are not the only characteristics that make this place unique but the transformation the venue makes throughout the day. There are also a range of activities to keep you busy from Lego Robots to Play With Clay and Papier Mache Monsters. By day, Drink, Shop & Do is a mild-mannered King’s Cross café and spritz bar serving a range of teas, coffees, healthy lunches and cakes. By night it switches to a merry den of drinking and dancing, where guests can reconnect with their inner big kid.

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Our visit:

We were welcomed in by Coralie and her friendly staff who showed us to our tables and explained the rules of our challenge, the Lego Robot competition. Whilst constructing and creating stories for our robots which would have to be explained at the end of the session we drank beers and wine and snacked on a range of finger food. Coralie explained the journey of building her business to the thriving place it is today. Like many of our clients, Drink, Shop & Do has utilised the product we offer to assist this growth.

Cheers for a great afternoon; Drink, Shop & Do! Some of our staff enjoyed the atmosphere so much that we stayed much longer than we had planned to.

Find out more about Drink, Shop & Do by visiting their website: http://drinkshopdo.co.uk/

Getting to know our customers: BrewByNumbers

Tom Hutchings (co-founder of Brew By Numbers) recently welcomed the Capital on Tap team to their brewery for a tour (and a few drinks!). Here’s what happened…

Brew By Numbers’ story:

The business was founded in February 2012 after Tom Hutchings and Dave Seymour met whilst on a climbing tour of S.E Asia. Since its establishment the business has grown rapidly from starting in a basement Tom rented off a friend’s near Borough Market and has since moved to its current home in Bermondsey’s Rail Bridge Arches. What started as one experimental brew has now evolved into 310 varieties and counting!

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What makes Brew By Numbers stand out?

Using a numbering system is what differentiates the business from their competitors; each beer is identified by a unique four digit number. The first two digits denote the style of the beer and the last two denote the recipe. In addition to this, Dave and Tom’s passion is the force behind BBNo’s mission; to only release beers that are of high standard, balanced and drinkable.

Our visit:

Tom explained to us how he and Dave have grown their dream and gave us an overview of the plant from the brewing process to packaging and storage. He also explained how the facility we offer has been useful in aiding this growth. Many small businesses find themselves short of cash flow in the window between paying suppliers and being paid by clients. Capital on Tap’s revolving credit facility aims to seamlessly fill this gap. We ended the afternoon tasting three of the different brews paired with locally sourced cheese, meats and bread. Cheers Tom!

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Find out more about Brew By Numbers by visiting their website: http://www.brewbynumbers.com/

Customer Success Story: Partners Pets Supermarkets

We do love our pets at Capital on Tap – there is always at least one four-legged pal running around  the office and we just completed a charity shuffleboard tournament where all proceeds went to the local shelter – so we could not miss the opportunity to shine the light on a business that lives and breathes pets at any time: Partners Pets Supermarkets!

Partner Pets Supermarket, a family run business for the past 25 years, is situated in St Alban and boasts over 10,000 pets’ products available in-store and their own food brand Enve online. Their mission statement is simple yet commendable: they are run by pet lovers for pet lovers and focus on responsible pet ownership and care. Director Ross Bygrave explains, “Our staff are highly trained in pets’ nutrition and we have a unique Traffic Light system in store to guide our customers to make a better choice for their furry kids”.

All pets’ needs are catered for at Partners Pets Supermarkets, with great selections of accessories and balanced, healthy and yummy foods. Ross continues, “We stock one of the biggest ranges of RAW food in the UK and strive to improve pets’ health through stocking natural healthy diets, together with top tips from our staff”.

Ross was looking for a reliable source of business banking and quickly became disillusioned with the help offered by traditional high street banks. He remembers, “We were sick of how unhelpful banks were, and of jumping through so many hoops to obtain something as simple as an overdraft extension or a credit card – too many forms and longwinded bureaucracy”.

Ross applied for a Capital on Tap through our one-page eligibility checker and received a credit decision shortly after, with no need for any proof of address or bank details. When asked about what the hassle-free application process meant for him and his business, he explains: “Us hard working business owners have been suffering at the hands of the banks for years now, but thankfully there are still places like Capital on Tap that think outside of the box and keep things simple”.

His Capital on Tap account, paired with the Capital on Tap Business Mastercard, have proven an efficient asset to the way he runs his business. The flexibility of how the available credit can be accessed means that he has been able to use his account for most business expenses: “The Mastercard helps with cashflow in difficult weeks as retail is a tough game these days, and it has been a great help when a new supplier requires a full payment for a first order. And then there is the added benefit of being able to transfer funds directly into our bank account for the suppliers that still won’t accept cards in this day and age”.

Partners Pet Supermarkets have a lot to look forward to in the next few months. Their own dog food brand Enve has already become their biggest selling dry food range and has countless benefits for pets and their owners: “Enve is a good grain free food at a great price and comes with loyalty offer online”, Ross explains. The future of the brand is not solely about sales either, as Partners vows to “keep converting and educating people that there are far better options than the big famous brands for your beloved pets”.

To find out more about Partner Pets Supermarket: partnerspets.com
And to discover the benefits of Enve: envedogfood.com

Customer Success Story: JL UK Freelance LTD

Today, Capital on Tap sits with the director of JL UK Freelance LTD, Jason Manley. Jason talks to us about his career within the coach travel industry, what makes his company stand out and why he considers Capital on Tap an asset to his business.

What is the origin story of JL UK Freelance LTD?

I have been associated with the coach travel industry in various roles for 25 years. My first passenger paying job was taking primary school children in south Shropshire to a swimming lesson in Shrewsbury. It was in an old Bedford coach that only had about five dashboard switches and struggled to keep up with push bikes on any kind of hill. I now regularly drive executive tour coaches for my clients, that are in excess of £300,000 in value, almost but not quite drive themselves and also comment on the quality of my driving via dashboard messages during the journey.

Over the years, I have driven all sorts of passengers to numerous destinations. But the work where I find the greatest satisfaction, is taking groups of more elderly passengers who need care and looking after on holiday to UK and Ireland destinations. There is currently a shortage of drivers in the UK who do this type of work and this has given me the opportunity to work with a client base of quality coach operators to deliver a professional service to them and their passengers on a freelance basis.

What makes your business stand out?

That is an easy question to answer – I don’t just drive coaches – I create great holiday memories for people who have saved hard all year for the week they spend with me. Driving the coach is just a part of that – although I pride myself in doing it exceptionally well!

I am developing a reputation which is organically growing and is based on forward planning, research of itineraries, exceptional customer service and the ability to be a driver, tour guide, in-resort representative and hot chocolate maker – all wrapped up in one.

How did you come across Capital on Tap?

A successful business is one which not only delivers a quality product, but which also has the foundation of a well-planned and managed strategy and back office operation. Part of that is managing finances well and ensuring that your business finance products are fit for purpose and separate from personal finances.

I needed a business card option to manage cash flow and also for unexpected eventualities. A search of the market led me to Capital on Tap. All the information online was quick and easy to understand. My application was answered very quickly and the process was efficient, effective, open and quick.

I would recommend Capital on Tap without hesitation as a financial partner to any business. I do feel the support is there if I need to contact the company. There are no fees if the balance is paid in full and if you do want to take advantage of a longer credit period, all the costs are clear, fair and easy to understand.

How does your Capital on Tap account benefit your business?

One recent example was during a recent breakdown. Coach breakdowns do happen from time to time and waiting for assistance or alternative transport can be a challenging time for the driver when you have 50 people to look after.

My Capital on Tap Business Mastercard enabled me to assist the operator I was working for by instantly paying for a warm meeting room and buffet lunch for elderly passengers who were delayed whilst he focused on the mechanical support arriving. Capital on Tap really did save the day and keep 50 elderly passengers safe, warm and comfortable!

What’s next for JL UK Freelance LTD?

The core values I uphold are paying off and I need a twin to join the business as I cannot be in two places at once and I don’t like to disappoint when people are requesting the service. The search is on to find someone who will add value to my business and compliment my efforts. When I find them, they are going to need their own Capital on Tap Mastercard!

 Find out more about Jason and his business:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/jlukfreelance/about/
http://jlukfreelance.business.site

To open a Capital on Tap account for your business, check your eligibility today with our 2-minute application form: Check your eligibility

Customer success story: Wedding Rings Direct

When it comes to wedding rings, Anthony and the entire team at Wedding Rings Direct have developed an impressive expertise to ensure no customer is left unsatisfied. Today, we take a look at their story to success, and how their Capital on Tap account has helped ensuring the company remains a leader in its field.

After many years selling jewellery in the Brighton Lanes, Anthony decided to open his own wedding ring business with a clear and concise business plan in mind: he wanted to offer customers the widest possible selection of wedding and engagement rings at the lowest possible price. All rings are produced within their own workshop and sold exclusively on the Wedding Rings Direct website or from within the company’s Brighton based show-room. Anthony explains, “We stock over 5,000 wedding rings in 56 different finger sizes, 13 different widths, and in 18 different metals.” It is safe to assume anyone would be able to find the ring of their dreams from this vast selection, especially with several customisation choices such as “designs, colours, patterns, including diamond-set or just plain polished.”

Just like the rings they sell, everything about Wedding Rings Direct has a feeling of uniqueness to it. The business stands out due to their pricing, huge selection and 5-star rated approach to customer service. The level of service offered by Anthony and his team is truly astonishing: they understand the importance of getting each and every ring just right and offer their expertise at every step of the way to make sure every customer is satisfied. The Wedding Rings Direct Buying Guide offers descriptions of styles, and metals, but also provides helpful explanations of sizes, ring profiles, diamonds and engravings.

The customer support far from ends there, with the provision of a sample service designed to help customers make the right choice. Shoppers can simply order a few samples and try them on at home for a week – simple and efficient, this service means that the ring can be tried on at different times of the day to cater for finger size changes based on climates and day times!

Back in 2013, Anthony’s high street bank had lost some of its efficiency in supporting his business finance requirements. He explains, “Our bank was going through the last financial crisis and was not helpful in providing any loans or overdrafts”. Enters Capital on Tap, which back then specialised in short-term business overdrafts. Customers could simply login online, select the desired amount to borrow for a certain amount of weeks and their repayments were spread out each week for the chosen duration.

The Capital on Tap offer has evolved over the years, and Wedding Rings Direct adopted each change with open arms, from monthly repayments to obtaining the Capital on Tap Mastercard: “Capital on Tap is 100% reliable and has constantly improved its fintech offering, as a result of which we always know what finance we can have at any time just by logging into our account.”

When evaluating the funding options for Wedding Rings Direct, Anthony needed a solution that would be economically viable, but also fast – funds needed to be available when required, and with such a dedication to efficiency and customer service, speed can make all the difference. Again, Capital on Tap managed to meet the business’ expectations: “The whole transaction takes about 30 seconds between the drawdown request and the text to advise the money is on its way – there is rarely any need to speak to anybody about our account, so our time is not wasted in a call waiting queue!”

The next big project for Wedding Rings Direct is to expand their overseas market through 5 bespoke overseas websites. UK customers can also look forward to a brand new range of personalised gifts, which will then be launched internationally a little later on!

If you cannot wait to find out more about Wedding Rings Direct, or would like to get in touch with them, here are some useful links to their websites and social media pages:

 

https://www.facebook.com/WeddingRingsDirect

https://www.weddingrings-direct.com/blog

https://twitter.com/_Wedding_Rings_

https://www.weddingrings-direct.com/

https://www.kodega.com/

https://www.kodega.de/

If like Anthony you are looking to join the community of business owners using their Capital on Tap account to grow their business, check your eligibility today! There are no monthly or yearly fees, and applying has no effect on your credit score.

Apply Now

Customer Success Story: Past Impressions Crystal and Fossil Shop

Many of us daydream of making a living out of a beloved past-time, longing for the day we can truly extract riches out of what fills our life with passion and happiness. Lee took his favourite hobby – his fossils and minerals collection – and turned it into a profitable business back in 1999: Past Impressions Crystal and Fossil Shop.

Lee came up with his very own business model after amassing various minerals and fossils for his impressive private collection whilst working in a job that did not bring him as much joy as his hobby. He explains, “I worked in a factory around that time, but I wasn’t really that happy, and I saw the opportunity to take something that I enjoyed and make a living out of it!”

His first crystal and fossil shop opened in Great Yarmouth and traded successfully for a decade, so much so that by 2009 Lee made the decision to move his business online to give customers all over the globe access to his stock!

Customers can now source their fossils and crystals in Lee’s high street shop in his hometown of Beccles in Suffolk, on his 2 websites, but also on eBay and Amazon! “The widespread presence of the business is what makes it fairly unique, as I haven’t limited myself to just one platform and try to do great things on all of them.”

Online orders benefit from a free delivery option for all UK buyers, and goods are delivered within 3 business days all over the country and within up to 21 days for international customers.

To ensure a continually strong presence across all of his selling platforms, Lee decided to research business credit providers on Google: “My suppliers give me great credit terms, however the nature of my business requires me to carry a lot of stock as the product is so unique.” It was while searching for a potential new business finance partner that he discovered Capital on Tap, and more particularly the feedback received by previous Capital on Tap customers on Trustpilot: “I sometimes think that  people who go through the trouble of leaving online reviews on sites such as Trustpilot are often angry or disappointed and eager to lash out if they have received poor service, but Capital on Tap have a lot of positive reviews, and people seem to enjoy using the product so I thought they must be doing something right.”

Lee decided to check his eligibility online and received a credit decision within a couple of minutes. “It was so easy to apply and get the account set up”, he recalls. Once the account was up and running, Capital on Tap kept meeting his expectations: “It’s simple to use, there when you need it and the dashboard is easy to navigate – Capital on Tap enabled the business to carry more stock.”

What does the future hold for Past Impressions Crystal and Fossil Shop? Lee plans an expansion of his Amazon selling platform without sacrificing any of the hard work he has already put in place in all other marketplaces so that even more customers can have access to great and authentic products. If you would like to find out more about the astonishing line of fossils and minerals on offer, visit www.pastimpressionsfossils.co.uk and www.pastimpressionscrystals.co.uk.

If like Lee you are looking to join the growing community of business owners using their Capital on Tap account to grow their business, check your eligibility today! There are no monthly or yearly fees, and applying has no effect on your credit score.

Apply Now

 

Customer success story: Colebrooks of Bournemouth Limited

Some people head out to Bournemouth to enjoy the pier, or tentatively dip their toes in the water, but others have been known to make the trip to collect a car from the team at independent car dealership Colebrooks of Bournemouth Limited. Finding the car of your dreams at an affordable price is rarely an easy task and the team behind  Colebrooks of Bournemouth Limited have spent the last few years understanding each customer’s needs and expectations to match them with the perfect car.

Nicholas, the director of the business, explains that their company achieves excellence in service and stands out because of their dedication and hard work: “We put a lot of effort into growing the company, resulting in going from a sole trading business into a limited company in only a few years with a team of 4.”

The company specialises in selling cars at affordable prices, ranging from under £1,000 to £10,000, which can all be viewed online alongside vital details for each model. Customers can also visit the Bournemouth showroom with their used car and get an instant valuation and a cash offer on the same day, taking the hassle and delays out of the car selling experience.

Although Nicholas was not actively looking for finance at the time, he stumbled across a letter from Capital on Tap sent to the company and decided to look into the offering a bit more through a basic google search. Browsing through the Capital on Tap website, he started to realise that this could be a valuable service for his business, as it was not as restrictive as other regular business loans: “The idea of using it only if and when needed sounded great, so I gave it a go and made an application.”

Nicholas submitted his application on the Capital on Tap website at 09:50 on a Sunday morning and had received his approval at 09:52. Within a few more minutes, his Capital on Tap card was ready to be sent out on Monday morning and Nicholas was exploring the dashboard on his online account: “The dashboard is so easy to use, I know exactly what goes on with my account!”.

Within a month, Nicholas’s account was reviewed and his limit and star rating were both increased, meaning the business had access to even more cashflow at a lesser cost. He explains, “Capital on Tap gave me another source of funding when needed, it is handy to have on the side for any unexpected overheads.” The simplicity of the service and 24/7 access to his online account are only a couple of the factors that led Nicholas to trust Capital on Tap as a business partner: “Capital on Tap is a good business to work with because they are flexible and let you pay back early if you wish to, compared to inflexible ordinary business loans”.

With his newly obtained extra cashflow, Nicholas is already planning on the next big steps for Colebrooks of Bournemouth Limited: “What’s next for us as a business is bigger stock, a bigger variety of cars and hopefully a mechanics workshop!”

If you would like to find out more about Colebrooks of Bournemouth Limited, why not visit their website and look out for your next car? Head to www.colebrooksltd.co.uk today to view all cars available.

If like Nicholas you are looking to join the fast lane without any of the roadblocks found with high street banking, check your eligibility on Capital on Tap. With no impact on your credit score, no monthly or annual fees, you may have just reached your destination!

Apply Now