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£75,000 cash advance - for an optician

Your optician business is a clinical practice - but you are also a retailer,  and retailers face constant worries about cashflow. These worries may also be getting worse with increased competition from supermarkets which are opening optician shops - and the national chains.  We recently helped an optician raise additional funding with an innovative arrangement which could provide a lifeline for many other practices currently struggling with high costs and tight profits. It can help provide much-needed investment in your business and there is no need to make any repayments. Your business may make most of its profits through the sale of frames. Your own skills as an ophthalmologist are essential, of course - but the income from examinations is limited.   But as you are all too aware, the supermarkets and the large chains, and increasingly online services, are offering low-cost spectacles and even discounted designer frames. Keeping your own prices low while providing a professional service is a constant challenge - which frequently requires investment and an injection of capital.   But tight margins mean that profits are small, and there is little spare cash left over to deal with loan repayments.  We were recently approached by an optician based in the Northampton area who had excellent turnover in excess of £1 million each year but, which because of tight margins, was facing continuous cashflow worries.  The owner had arranged a series of loans to help deal with his cashflow issues and bring in stock  - but the repayments were simply making his cashflow problems even worse. He called us at Rangewell for a solution. We always work closely with our clients, and we looked at his accounts with him. We were able to find a lender able to offer a Secured Loan of £25,000 for 7%. This might have dealt with his immediate issues by paying off the existing loans, but it would only provide a short-term solution. Our client would probably need to borrow again in a year or two.  Fortunately we knew there was an alternative. A Merchant Cash Advance Fixed monthly repayments are inevitable with a traditional loan. A Merchant Cash Advance, or MCA, presents no such problem. They can be ideal for any business that receives a high proportion of their takings from card payments - and provide funds without the need to make regular repayments - or indeed repayments of any kind. With an MCA, the provider works with the card payment processing company and may offer a cash advance equal to your monthly card takings. They will then take a percentage of every card transaction made to the business until the cash advance, and their fees, are paid off. The advance is paid back automatically as customers make card payments. Instead of causing problems with a fixed drain on your cashflow, the MCA will keep pace with the level of business that you do. It means your customers repay your cash advance for you - and the more business you do and the more customers pay by card, the faster the advance is paid off.  Like most professionals in the optician sector, our client was taking an increasing proportion of payments by card. This made it simple to provide an advance of £75,000. It meant that he could pay off his existing debts, and have a reserve to call on when cashflow was causing problems. How we helped With the increased use of payment cards, there are now many lenders providing MCA funding in the UK. Their fees and the percentages they take to fund repayment will differ. Getting the agreement that is right for your practice is essential to keep costs down. We found the MCA provider who understood the optician sector and who was prepared to offer the most attractive fee structures to our client. We helped him make the necessary arrangements - which brought his business the funds it so vitally needed in a matter of days.  At Rangewell we can help you arrange all types of business funding - including MCA arrangements. Call us if you face a funding challenge - we can help you find the answers.

Have we passed ‘peak beer’?

We have all heard about ‘peak oil’, the moment when petroleum production reaches its highest level, as it starts to be replaced by some other form of energy. But now, industry observers are concerned that we may have already passed ‘peak beer’ and that the tremendous boom that microbreweries have enjoyed in recent years may be at an end. Accountancy and business advisory firm UHY Hacker Young has been looking at the microbrewery sector, and their findings suggest that Britain’s long and phenomenally successful craft beer boom is losing some serious steam. Their research showed that in 2016, 179 new breweries opened. In 2018 that figure rose to an astonishing 395. However, in 2019, the total number of breweries in Britain increased by just 8. On the face of it, this might be taken to suggest that the beer boom is over – but the facts behind the figures might suggest a different story. There are several factors in play that suggest that, while the increase in new brewery openings may have slowed dramatically, the impetus behind the great British real ale revival is as strong as ever. The independents are being snapped up The growing popularity of artisan beer means that global drinks companies have muscled in on the craft brewing sector, buying up several of the most successful ‘artisan’ brands. Major multinationals, like the Budweiser Brewing Group, which rebranded from AB InBev in March, can no longer count on their long-standing industrial approach to beer production to deliver a product with potential for growth. With a crowded market offering no scope for further expansion of their mainstream operations, they have no alternative other than to look for new, niche areas with high growth potential to fuel their revenue and profits. The artisan beer sector is an obvious target. Buying up small brewers and adapting their products for large-scale production (albeit not on the scale of their core brands) can be the simplest way for them to take a share of a lucrative sector. This means that the total numbers of independents is being dragged down, and that the actual number of start-ups may be much higher than the growth indicated.  But room for growth is tight But while some brewers are being snapped up, it may be true that it is becoming harder for newcomers to break into the market. The UHY Hacker Young report has, said the greater competition has made it significantly harder for start-ups to break into a crowded market, and more difficult for small and unprofitable brewers to grow their way out of trouble. The market is becoming well served with brands, which means that - although drinkers' thirsts are not in any danger of being slaked - sales growth is going to be harder to come by. It suggests that a more businesslike approach may be the way forward for many small operations which have relied on an informal approach to marketing and other business challenges in the past. In a nutshell – your craft brewery needs a sustainable business model, and you need to become sustainable and profitable at an earlier stage in your development. Looking to start or grow a craft beer business? Need premises or equipment for your microbrewery? Find out how finance can help your microbrewery thrive What does this mean for your business plans? Peak beer may not have arrived yet. The economy, and drinkers disposable incomes, may be under pressure from Brexit uncertainties, and with more young people becoming discerning customers each year, there could be plenty of scope for growth to continue in the near future. However, although there may be plenty of opportunity for the very smallest brewers who supply a handful of bars and a few local retailers, supermarkets have limited shelf space and a slow rotation of brands. It means that small craft brewers will need to innovate and to provide sound business models if they are to be to break into a larger market. The key factor could turn out to be funding. The funding your microbrewery could depend on The challenge for many small breweries may be cashflow. Retailers may be slow in paying, leaving little cash in the pot to fund operations, let alone expansion. Cashflow is a major issue for every small business, and having to wait weeks for invoices to be paid can trigger a cashflow crisis – but there are ways to help. Many clients have found that, with our help, Invoice Finance could provide the answers. With Invoice Finance, a lender will use your invoices as the security for the cash advances you need. So, instead of waiting for your customer to pay, which can be a major headache with large retailers and supermarkets, it can mean getting paid as soon as you have brewed and shipped a batch. You have the funds you need to deal with the overheads - and by ensuring your cash coming in always keeps pace with beer being sent, it can mean you always have the funds you need to support further growth. You simply send a copy of the invoice to the lender as well as your customer. The finance provider will pay you a percentage - usually 85% - right away. They will then collect the full amounts directly from all your customers and send you the remaining balance, less their interest charges and fees. It means outsourcing all the activities of credit control, freeing up your time for brewing. At Rangewell, we work closely with our clients to understand their needs before we recommend a particular type of finance - and Invoice Finance is only one of the funding solutions we can help with. If you are thinking about getting the finance you need to get past your own ‘peak beer’ situation and set up or grow your business, talk to our experts. Our service - and their business finance expertise - is absolutely free.

Funding a Care Home Purchase with a £600,000 Secured Loan

If you have clients who are interested in setting up and operating a care home, they may be looking at a business with real prospects. Life expectancy in the UK has increased by around 20 years since the 1960s. The good news is that many of us can expect to celebrate our 90th birthday, even if we probably can’t all expect to be able to live independently at that age. It is a statistic that means plenty of opportunities for anyone with the skills and the necessary patient and caring approach to run a care home.   However, you may need to make them aware that, although it is possible to set up a new care home in suitable premises, these days there may be major hurdles to overcome which can make it uneconomic to do so as a small business. Operators will need planning permission from the local authority to change the use of any property into a care home, and very few properties exist that are suitable for this type of conversion. They will also need to comply with the requirements of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) the independent regulator responsible for care home regulation standards in England (similar bodies serve Scotland and Wales) Buying an established business may be a simpler route into the business for a small operator, or a newcomer. It has three important advantages: It will already have residents and so provide a revenue stream from day one It will comply with all the necessary regulations and have the necessary licenses in place It reduces the cost of borrowing - lenders are usually happier lending to an established business which can demonstrate viability with positive accounts over previous years.  The costs of buying a care home business can be high. In most cases, it will involve a property purchase. In many parts of the country, suitable property in good condition will command a high price. However, the high cost of the property can actually help you buy your business. It can act as the security for a loan or Commercial Mortgage, providing a cost-effective way to provide the necessary funding with a long payback term. Do you need an innovative approach to funding for your clients? Partner with us at Rangewell and help your clients' businesses thrive How we helped buy an Oxfordshire Care Home We were recently approached by an advisor whose client was an experienced geriatric nurse and care home manager who wanted to buy an established care home in a small town in Oxfordshire. It already had 25 residents and was generating a profit, and she saw that had the potential to expand. The home was a converted house with a small garden, and the asking price of £600,000 reflected local property values. The client needed to raise an additional £300,000 to buy the home as a going concern. Finding a solution At Rangewell, we have specialists who understand the care sector - and we can work with owners and their advisors to help find financial solutions required. Our team looked at the figures and searched our lenders for the most cost-effective solution. We found several possible ways to fund the purchase, but the most cost-effective was a 15 year Commercial Mortgage which we were able to arrange with the specialist property division of a high street bank.  This effectively turned a financial disadvantage - the high cost of the property - into an advantage. By using it as the security for long-term mortgage lending, it allowed the funds to be provided at the lowest possible cost. Repayments would be affordable, and well within the projected revenue to be generated by the business.  The funding Rangewell provided: £300,000 at 3.50% above base rate (currently 0.75%) over a 15 year term Current monthly repayments £2,257 Annual cost 27,084 We helped the advisor's client secure the mortgage and take over the business. She is now looking at extending her property to provide additional rooms which will allow her to welcome additional residents - and increase the profits her care home business can generate. At Rangewell, we can work with you as an advisor to help you find the solutions your clients need. Loans, Asset Finance, Commercial Mortgages, or any other kinds of business finance - our expert teams find the most appropriate solutions whilst our network of lender contacts and our unique online tool let us find the most cost-effective rates. Our service is independent, fast and absolutely free. Find out more about partnering with Rangewell and helping your clients source business finance today.

Helping a nursery stay in business with £20,000 Cashflow Funding

If your clients include children’s nursery owners, you will know the financial challenges they face. There are market restrictions on what they can charge per child, and overheads are high.  You may advise a small nursery to grow its numbers as the best route for profitability, but many parents - and children, and probably staff - may prefer a smaller facility with a friendly atmosphere. They will actively seek out a small nursery. It can mean that cashflow is tight - even for successful nursery businesses.  We recently helped an accountant find a solution for a nursery operator who faced a cashflow problem - and which kept recurring, despite all she could do to keep costs under control. The accountant’s client ran a small nursery serving a bustling commuter town and had small premises close to the railway station - an ideal position for parents dropping off their children before heading off to work. The nursery was full to capacity, and the business was doing well - but there was a problem with cashflow that the accountant noticed occurred regularly in June and August and just after Christmas each year. “My client’s takings took a downturn twice a year. I asked her what was happening, and she explained that those were the times when she found she had empty places. Family holidays and Christmas breaks meant that her takings were down - and her cashflow was so tight, she found herself not bringing in enough income to cope with the outgoings.” The premises were expensive, with rent and business rates to pay for, but the main cost was that of staff. “The staff numbers my client needed are laid down in the rules and regulations she must work to. She can’t let staff go when children don’t come in - because she will need them again as soon as the numbers are back up.  I needed to help her find some kind of cashflow support finance - so I called Rangewell.“  At Rangewell we work closely with accountants and other financial advisors to find the solutions their clients need. We looked at the client's pattern of business and saw two possibilities. A Working Capital Loan Working Capital Loans are used to cover everyday operating expenses, such as rent and payroll, when business is slow. They are simple, short-term loans designed to provide a cash lump sum fast and intended to be paid back in a matter of months - and they can be vital even for thriving businesses during times of growth. However, the accountant felt that this type of lending might simply compound his client's problems, and eventually leave her with a debt she might struggle to pay back from her available income, even though it might offer a short term solution. Revolving Credit Facility Fortunately, we had another answer for short-term funding needs - a revolving credit arrangement. Revolving Credit, also known as Overdraft Replacement or Alternative Overdraft Funding works much like the old-style bank overdraft, and provides a reserve of funding that can be called on as required - although no bank account is involved. Instead, the alternative overdraft provides a line of credit, usually based on past income. It is then up to you how much of this reserve of credit you use. Like an overdraft, the facility will only mean a cost when the  use the facility, based on the amount you draw down, and the time which you hold it. It can be repaid at any time, and the funds will be ready for use again. The accountant felt that this would be the ideal solution for his client, and would tide her over the shortfalls - without presenting set obligations during the rest of the year.  We searched a number of providers, and were able to source £20,000 of funding at the lowest cost - providing the financial safetynet the nursery operator needed.  Ready to find out more about finance to solve your clients funding issues? Our experts can work with you to find the most appropriate solutions and the most competitive rates. 

Funding solutions for the retail sector: £50,000 to refit a tired store

The retail sector faces many considerable challenges from the internet  - but there is one area of retailing where things are looking up.  Small convenience shops are thriving, with new profit lines such as package collection and dry cleaning joining the old favourites of tobacco, confectionery and newspapers.  But although a local shop with a huge range of items can be a money-spinner, it is not enough simply to open the doors and expect customers to flock in. A business must be able to offer a high standard of presentation and cleanliness to meet the requirements of customers and local trading standards inspections. Investing in modern displays with refrigeration, lighting and security equipment is vital.  We were recently approached by a business owner who ran a convenience store in Staffordshire. His interior was tired and he felt that the business was losing trade to a nearby petrol station. The challenge “They had the latest cool cabinets and lighting, as well as fuel customers coming in all the time. I had shelves that had been put in before I took over the shop - more than 20 years ago. And even I could see that the lighting was making everything on the shelves look shabby." He believed that he needed refrigerated displays and new LED lighting in order to compete with his more updated competitor.  “I needed to make sure everything I had was fresh - and looked it.” He planned a redesign of his sales area which would incorporate new displays and freezers, as well as new flooring which would be easier to keep clean, and new lighting which would make food and drink look bright and fresh - and help to deter shoplifters.  He believed that he needed to arrange £45,000 in funding to make the changes. However, there was a problem. His turnover was good but although his business was profitable, like most convenience stores, his actual profits were limited. He simply did not have sufficient cashflow to let him bring in the equipment he needed or fund the work.  Margins for convenience stores are always tight, and even a high turnover may reflect a low level of actual profits. Many lenders will avoid the sector altogether because of worries about affordability.  To make things more challenging still, as a leasehold business, the owner had no security which he could offer to support the loan application. Looking for ways to update your business? Find out more about Refurbishment Finance or apply today How Rangewell helped We looked at the shop owner's accounts and saw that, although his margins were narrow, he had an excellent credit history and that this would mean there might be scope for borrowing with an Unsecured Loan - if we could find a borrower prepared to look at the potential of the business.  Unsecured Loans may be suitable for smaller sums, and nothing is required as collateral or security. This means if something goes wrong with your business plans and you’re unable to keep up repayments on your loan as a result, the lender is not able to seize any of your assets.  However, the lender will expect a Personal Guarantee from you and any partners or co-directors that you have. This means that you would be required to make the repayments if your business could not. The lender will make the decision whether or not to lend based on a number of factors, including the credit rating of your business - and your credit history. Unsecured Loan repayments can usually be arranged over 1 to 60 months, depending on the sums involved. Interest rates may vary according to the length of your loan and, with some lenders, you may be able to repay early, reducing the amount you pay overall. Unsecured Loans mean more risk for lenders and, because of this, they usually include higher interest rates than secured business loans, which means your business will pay more over the life of the loan than it might have done for a Secured Loan. However, getting unbiased expert advice can help you ensure that an Unsecured Loan really is the most appropriate product for your needs. In this case, we found a lender who could offer an Unsecured Loan of £45,000 over a 3 year term at just 8%.  Repayments were affordable with our client’s current turnover. He was confident that the extra profits his improvements would bring in would make them even easier to afford. “I could not afford not to improve my business. Thanks to Rangewell, I could afford to make the changes required.” At Rangewell we know that getting the agreement that is right for your business can be essential to keep costs down. Call us if your retail business faces a retail funding challenge - we can help you find the answers you are looking for. 

£1,800,000 refinance for a pharmacy

Getting the large-scale finance you need to buy a business can be a challenge. Unless you are a financial professional with expert knowledge of the lending market,  the work of chasing down lenders and trying to secure offers can be time-consuming and frustrating. When you have a business to run, there are plenty of other demands on your time. As a result, many borrowers are prepared to take an offer that seems reasonable rather than invest even more time to see if they can find a lower rate. It means that many business borrowers - including many pharmacists - are stuck with finance deals that cost them much more than is necessary. It means an extra drain on their cashflow and puts their business at a competitive disadvantage. The simple answer is to turn to a funding expert to find the most competitive deal. In fact, at Rangewell, we can frequently save our clients money after they have already arranged finance - with refinance. We were recently approached by a pharmacist who had arranged £1,800,000 funding to buy his business - and who realised that he might be able to save a great deal of money by refinancing. “I had bought my chemist shop two years ago, with the help of £1,800,000 lending from my bank. I was pleased at first. They had offered me a rate of 3.5% over base and it seemed a good deal. Then the base rate went up a little and I started to worry. What if it went up again, and was the deal I had really as good as I had thought?” He realised that finance was not his core skill, and turned to Rangewell to see if we could help. “Rangewell don’t charge for their services, so I thought I had nothing to lose by approaching them to see if they could find me a better deal.” How we helped  We have a specialist team with an understanding of the pharmacy sector, and our service is personal. It means that by calling us you can have an expert in funding for your kind of business who is working to get you the finance you need.   Do you need help with refinancing your business? We can help you find a better deal to cut your outgoings Like our client we saw that, with large-scale funding, any increase in base rate would mean a large increase in his monthly repayment costs - but equally, it would mean that any reduction in rate we could provide would mean valuable savings. The client had been running a successful business for two years. He was, therefore, a better prospect for a lender, and that meant we should be able to arrange a better rate. The pharmaceutical sector is particularly attractive to lenders. They may compete with each other to lend, because pharmacists, like other professionals, are seen as very likely to repay even large loans without problems. By approaching several lenders, we can make this competition work to our clients' advantage. We used our personal contacts with banks and other lenders to go directly to the decision makers. By speaking to the experts in the pharmaceutical sector we expected that we should be able to get a more favourable deal for our client. We approached several lenders, and were able to find an offer of refinance at just 2.5% over base - a saving of a whole percentage point. This would allow the original loan to be paid off, and replaced with a lower cost deal. It meant a major saving for our client. Original loan:   £1,8000,000 at 3.5% above base of 0.75%   Monthly repayment of £13,541.01 Refinance loan: £1,8000,000 at 2.5% above base of 0.75%   Monthly repayment of £12,648.04   Monthly saving of £893 “I was saving nearly £900 every month - which is a worthwhile reduction in anyone’s book. But I wanted that saving to work for me.” The client's shop was in need of refurbishment - and with an extension to the rear it could offer almost double the sales space as well as a refreshed interior. The client asked about the possibility of adding an extra £300,000 to his borrowing - which thanks to his new rate would be very affordable. Total borrowing: £2,100,000 at 2.5% above base of 0.75%   Monthly repayment of £15,797.85 “The monthly repayment costs were up a little - but thanks to Rangewell's help with the refinance, I was getting a lot more in return - enough to give my business the extra investment it needed to reach its full potential.” Our client has already started on the extension to his premises, and is looking forward to a big boost in his profits as soon as they are complete.  We help pharmacists - and other business owners - with their funding needs. If you are ready to refinance your pharmacy,  our Pharmacy Funding Specialists are ready to provide the help you need - and call on our contacts throughout the lending industry to secure it. Our service is independent, fast and absolutely free - and means having an expert in pharmacy sector finance working to find you the answers you need. 

£800,000 funding to buy an opticians practice: 95% Loan To Value Finance

Business finance is a complicated area, and many opticians will turn to a broker when they have a large-scale funding need, to help them get the deal they want.  However, most brokers lack the necessary expertise in the sector - which presents some rather different challenges to most other practices, combining both a clinical practice and a retail business.  This lack of expertise when it comes to understanding the industry can often result in a failure to secure the best rates. We were recently approached to provide the funding for an optician, after the brokers he had initially approached had failed to provide any finance offers after weeks of trying. Lenders find it easy to provide funding for established businesses but they can be much more reluctant to lend to a new business owner. What’s more, an optician is not simply another shop on the high street, but a professional practice with high standards, as well as a retail operation. Our client was an optician who had worked as a locum for several years, and had an excellent understanding of all aspects of managing a successful business. He now felt the time had come to run his own practice.  He had found an opticians close to his home that was for sale, and believed that the business had a good location on the high street, with a turnover in the region of £200,000 a year and plenty of scope for future growth.  However, when he approached banks directly they were unable to help him. He realised that finance was not his core expertise, and turned to business finance brokers for help. He provided them with a series of documents that they requested, but after two months realised that he was no closer to getting any kind of offer. He asked the selling agent who found the business he wanted for help - and he suggested that he came to Rangewell. The challenges Borrowing money to buy an existing business should be easier than finding funding for a start-up. Lenders like to reduce their risks by seeing evidence, such as accounts, that shows a business is profitable, and can afford the repayments But even buying an existing business can be more difficult for clients who have not owned a business before.  The challenges did not stop there. Our client realised that he would need to re-equip to offer the standards his customers would expect. The practice he was buying needed updating with a full suite of modern diagnostic tools, including OCT,  autorefractor, tonometer and a basic retinal imaging system.  At Rangewell, we work to find ways around these problems. How we helped when others could not Our service is always personal, and our expert teams work closely with clients to find the answers to their needs. We have a specialist team working to provide solutions for the optician sector, and we set out to provide the answers that others could not. First, we contacted the lenders we know with the specialist knowledge to support the sector. Then, to let our client build a compelling business case, we helped him build an expert team, made up of an IFA, a solicitor and an accountant, all of whom had expert knowledge of the optician sector in the UK. Our professional approach helped us secure the offer of a Commercial Mortgage secured on the property of £800,000 at just 3.25% over 15 years.   The funding Rangewell secured: £800,000 at just 3.25% over 15 years Monthly repayment £5,584.10 Annual cost £67,008 However, we did not stop there. We provide all types of funding for the sector - and helped arrange a Revolving Credit Facility that would provide £65,000 of stock for his new business.  We help opticians - and other business owners - with all their funding needs. Our service is independent, fast and absolutely free - and means having an expert working to find you the financial answers you need.  To find out more about what we can do for you, simply call us at Rangewell or apply today.

Setting Up a Nanobrewery

The term ‘nanobrewery’ is a relatively new one for the industry. It was probably conceived as a joke, based around the ‘micro’ prefix on microbrewery, and taking the next smaller scale in the metric system to denote a brewery that is very small indeed – although for the literally minded, not necessarily 1000 times smaller than that of a microbrewer. But joke or not, the word has become recognised because it is useful. A nanobrewery is a stage up from a brewpub – that brews its own beer and only sells on-premises – but smaller than a microbrewery. These days, craft beer brewers producing hundreds of thousands, if not millions of gallons annually are still referred to as microbreweries, if only to distinguish them from the industrial brewers. So a nanobrewery is a microbrewery, often run by a solo entrepreneur that produces beer in small batches. One barrel systems are sometimes found, although a commonly accepted definition of a nanobrewery is a brewery that produces in batches of three barrels or smaller. A nanobrewery probably can’t produce enough beer to turn a profit that you can live off – but it could provide a way of turning a home brew hobby into a small sideline business – and be your first step into becoming a real microbrewer. Getting started If you are thinking about setting up a commercial nanobrewery, or even a production brewery with a bottling line, you can use a large homebrew rig as the initial commercial system. As soon as you start selling beer, it will magically become a commercial nanobrewery. However you can’t run a brewery business from your kitchen, no matter how small it is, and you will need to find suitable premises. If you have an outhouse, such as a barn or a large garage, it might provide a starting point. A 3-barrel facility, which may be around the smallest viable for a nanobrewery, could be housed in as little as 250-500 square feet, but you may need additional space for storage of empty bottles and kegs, and remember, if your business is a success you will need room to expand. Also consider how much space you’ll require to condition bottled beer and kegs. Bottle and keg-conditioned beer will need to be stored for about three weeks to carbonate naturally, and you might need to store several batches. Want to turn your hobby into a sideline business? Need support with the costs? Find out more about funding for nano and microbreweries Utilities and equipment You must have running water for your nanobrewery. The quality of your water is crucial to the quality of your brew, and the local tapwater might not be suitable. If you can find a property with a well it would be ideal – it is still possible in some areas, although you should have the supply checked to ensure that it is free from contamination. Of course, you will also need electricity and drainage, and open floors capable of carrying substantial loads, together with good roof height. Washable, seamless, anti-slip flooring could be a lifesaver – and you may be able to install polyurethane resin flooring over an existing floor. The building will also need to have commercial wiring and floor drainage systems that are acceptable for food production operations. You may be able to buy secondhand equipment, such as mash tuns and fermentation tanks, and the potential savings could be crucial to your new enterprise. New equipment for a small operation is likely to start at around £5,000, and rise rapidly as the size of vessels – and your business – expands. Stainless steel is preferable these days, but if you do use plastic materials, ensure that they are built with food-grade plastics and rubber such as polyethylene plastic, high-temp polysulfone plastic and neoprene. Commercial breweries tend to be treated a little more leniently than food processing facilities, as beer does not pose the same risks as actual food products, nor does it harbor pathogenic bacteria and viruses. Still, you will need to have stainless steel sinks for washing equipment and a separate handwashing sink. Dealing with the costs  Even if your nanobrewery is a sideline, you will need to invest to make it a success - and if you have the ambition but not necessarily the cash, the best way to deal with those costs may simply be to call us at Rangewell. We work closely with our clients to understand their needs before we recommend a particular type of finance - it means we can help you find the funding you need - and pay less for it - even if your business is nanoscaled.

 Business plans for vets

Britain may still have more animals than people. Companion animals, working animals and farm animals represent a huge potential patient base for vets - especially as the description of the British as a nation of animal lovers has some truth to it.   If you are a vet, that can mean some very attractive opportunities. Setting up a new veterinary practice can be lucrative if you have the necessary qualifications and determination. Starting your own practice is not the easy option – it takes commitment and hard work. However, if you’re willing to put in the effort and deal with the challenges it could be a very worthwhile way to use your qualifications.  Creating a business plan is the first step towards creating a healthy veterinary business. Creating a vets business plan A business plan needs to have clear objectives and actions. What do you want to do? Do you want to run as a single practitioner, or as a partnership with other practitioners? What animals will you treat - equines, companion animals, farm stock?  Will you offer basic care or surgery?   Your plan will let you provide a focus for your business plans, and just as important it will help you see the funding you will need and let you present your thinking to lenders. The more detailed your plan, and the more professional your presentation of it the better your chances of securing the funding that you need.  As experts on helping businesses raise finance at Rangewell we have developed a guide to developing your business plan if you are considering setting up your own veterinary practice. Setting up  as a vet: the challenges, costs and the profits The challenges: The UK may have many animals and many animal lovers, but it is also well provided with vets. You might want to set up your practice in your local area, but if there is already a lot of competition for clients, you might have to look at setting up elsewhere. You need to look at the demographics of the areas you are considering. Are they made up of affluent pet owners, or farmers? Is there room for your practice in the community, or is it already well provided with other veterinary practices? You might need to  visit the local practices to find out these answers for yourself You will also need a team of professional advisors, including your solicitor, accountant, a builder, and veterinary business consultant to help you build the practice you want.  You should also consult the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme, a voluntary accreditation scheme that provides quality assurance for practices and their facilities. Although the scheme is voluntary it is a requirement of the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons that practices must at least meet its core standards, which signify compliance with legal and health and safety requirements. You will need to decide on the One critical step in the startup phase will revolve around the structure of the practice – will you be a sole trader, form a partnership or create or buy a company? Each has different positives and negatives and advice from a good accountant or solicitor will be helpful.  A sole trader practice is simple to set up and can offer lower costs to run. However, as a sole trader you will be liable for all business debts and may find it harder to access finance.  A partnership offers a structure for two or more people to share their expertise and the workload. Like a sole trader, the partners will be liable for the business debts. Another option is to form a company, which will be a separate legal entity from you as an owner, which means that your personal assets are secure. A variation is a limited liability partnership, where the partners have a liability like that of a company, but the flexibility of a partnership. Companies and limited liability partnerships have to be registered at Companies House. Your income sources As a newly-qualified vet, your average starting salary will be around £30,000 - which could rise to £45,000 with experience. As a practice owner, you will set the limits on your earnings, and a successful practice, with juniors and branches, could easily see you earning a six-figure income. The costs However, although the rewards for running a successful practice can be gratifyingly high the costs of setting up a business will also be substantial.   Premises - location is key Choosing the location for your business is one of the most important decisions you’ll make, and it may well shape the future of your business. A small veterinary clinic on a busy high street may well be ideal if your chosen speciality is small companion animals - but it might be entirely unsuitable if your target market is equines and farm stock. Renting might be the sensible choice initially if you are starting up. But don’t forget that you will need parking and probably public transport nearby - especially if your focus is pets. How much space do you need? This will depend on your speciality, and if you are working with cats you will obviously need much less space than you would with racehorses. As a minimum you should have about 1,000 sq ft to 1,500 sq ft per full-time vet in your practice - they will need a consulting room each, as well as a waiting area and a reception, and this isn’t even taking into account whether you will need a theatre, prep, lab space and kennels.  A branch surgery may well get away with offering consultations only, but if this is your main practice site, clients will expect both medical and surgical provisions.    The actual cost will depend on your location and the floorspace you choose, but you could easily spend £20,000 a year to lease suitable property. Getting the most competitive funding for your premises is vital for the profitability of the practice.  Don’t forget running costs. A warm interior will be essential for the welfare of your patients, and you will have a variety of machines to run, from incubators to x-ray devices. You may be able to contact energy suppliers who may be able to give you an idea of likely consumption, based on the nature of your business, the area of your premises and the type of equipment that you will be using.  There will be business rates as well as these utility bills to cover.  Dealing with the cost of property Leasing premises may be a short term solution, but buying might be a  more cost-effective alternative. Your practice is likely to be a long term proposition, and buying with a Commercial Mortgage will give you greater security than renting and let you build up a valuable asset for the future. Buying may also provide additional income; letting out a flat above the surgery could be rewarding if you buy the freehold of your building. Funding for your equipment  All medical equipment is costly, and you cannot afford anything substandard which could jeopardise the quality of car you offer. Your basic equipment is likely to be long, and as well as the basic stethoscope, thermometer and hand surgical tools is likely to include a microscope, dental machine and everything from autoclaves to a digital x-ray. Nowadays most veterinary clinics have in-house blood analyzers, and most clients, in reality, expect to get all of their services in one place. Your veterinary practice will need business equipment too - computers and related IT - as well as access to a vehicle for home visits, especially in rural areas when you’re servicing farm animals and equines. Asset Finance covers a range of funding solutions designed to let you spread the cost of equipment - whatever equipment that may be! That being said, you will probably need a minimum of £80,000 worth of equipment to equip a basic surgery, and more if you decide that you need a full range of surgical or specialist equipment. And don’t forget practice management software. This can offer much more than scheduling and billing - the latest software will allow you to integrate inventory, boarding, pharmacy, digital imaging and every other activity in your practice, cutting the costs of admin and making you more efficient - but at a cost that could be around £5,000 in your first year alone. Suppliers may offer finance, but it may prove expensive. The solution may be to spread the cost of equipment with Asset Finance. Basic equipment that will go on giving service for years can be financed with Hire Purchase to spread the cost.  If your priority is your need to avoid upfront costs, leasing will give you the freedom and flexibility you need. Staff costs When you are starting up, it can be tempting to think that you can do it all yourself. This is not a sound foundation for your business, because you can’t answer the phone while you are handling a diagnosis, or make a booking while you taking care of the paperwork. Most vet practices have a receptionist, and a qualified veterinary nurse.  Experts reckon that the employment costs of a vet practice will be around 40% of revenue. Your practice will stand or fall by the quality of the veterinary care you deliver - but you cannot deliver it without the support of a team taking care of customer services, nursing and administration. You will need staff to operate your practice. Even if you are determined to work as a sole practitioner you cannot be answering the phones while you are in your consulting room with a patient. At bare minimum a receptionist and a nurse will be required. Expect to pay at least £20,000 for an experienced assistant, and perhaps £18,000 for a receptionist. A Don’t forget that there will be additional costs for employer's National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and you will have to operate PAYE. You will have to make employers' contributions to an auto-enrolment pension scheme too. When you are making financial forecasts, don’t forget to allow for the money which you take from the business to cover your own personal living expenses - or that as the business grows, you’ll need more people - especially if you want to provide a 24-hour emergency callout.  Tax  Businesses owners) need to tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about a  new enterprise. Individuals will need to start filling out self-assessment returns and will be responsible for paying their own national insurance. If the business is incorporated it’ll need to register to pay corporation tax.  Your business turnover is going to exceed £81,000 per year so you will need to register for VAT. VAT schemes such as Annual Accounting and Cash Accounting for practices with a turnover below £1.6m may help alleviate the administrative headaches – an accountant can advise further. Veterinary  insurance Your drugs, medical stock and the animals you care for are all valuable and need to be protected by suitable insurance. it’s important to calculate the right levels of cover. Employers liability – a legal requirement for any business with employees. It provides cover employees are injured or becomes ill as a result of working for you. Public liability – this will cover if a patient or member of the public is injured whilst in your premises. I Building – Covers the cost of repairing damage or rebuilding  your premises if you own them Contents – this will cover your valuable equipment against theft or damage. Your contents can be covered both within and away from the practice, for example if scanning machines are taken off site. Medical malpractice – insures your practice against civil claims alleging negligence. It can also provide support and representation for vets and nurses throughout RCVS/VCI investigations, with criminal and disciplinary cover included in the policy A comprehensive insurance cover may be provided by a single insurance package. This may offer a full range of cover, but may be a high cost. A short term loan may be the most cost-effective way to fund it, and is designed to be paid off when your business starts to operate and generate revenue. Marketing Establishing your patient list will require marketing. These days traditional marketing, such as telephone directories, radio, local flyers or newspaper advertising, may not be very effective - although you may still need it as a way of announcing the presence of your practice to older animal owners. These days, a website, social media and even a regular e-newsletter or blog, or hosting an open house, may be more effective for bringing in (and keeping) new clients. Expect to pay a minimum of £5,000 for your website, and some expert social marketing.  Creating your business plan. With all these factors to consider, you may be ready to create your business plan. Start with providing figures for all the  listed – and all the other incidental expenses, such as utility costs and business taxes. Balance this with the income you believe you can make – but be realistic. You will need to show contingencies, such as the level of income you will make if  customer numbers are lower than you would wish. These may be the core of any business plan, but it needs to be supported by a detailed analysis of your business prospects.  Start with your mission statement – what kind of veterinary practice are you seeking to create? How big will it be and how large will it grow?   Can you deliver it, and how will you do so?  Do a PEST analysis – PEST stands for political, economic, social and technological. PEST will help you identify the opportunities and threats to your business. For example, under the technlogy  heading you can look at the impact of new equipment such as ultrasound on traditional clinical practices. Do a SWOT analysis - the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats which will affect your practice What are your Strengths? What gives your practice an advantage over the competition? It could be your own skills and expertise, but you need to be realistic about what you can offer that others cannot. What are your Weaknesses? What places your practice at a disadvantage compared to the competition? One will certainly be that they are established with patients lists when you are not.  What are the main opportunities available to your practice? What people, elements, assets or connections can your business use to its advantage? Your location could give you an advantage if your practice is easier to get to than other vets in the area.  What are the Threats to your practice? What elements of your environment or competition can cause your business trouble? Develop a budget – A budget gives you a forecast and financial plan for the foreseeable future. It gives you a quantified way to measure how well the business is doing r. State your business objectives – set concrete objectives for the next one to two years and while further horizons may seem harder to plan for, consider what the five-year view might look like. Write an action plan – Each of your business objectives needs to be broken down into actions that make it them possible to achieve. You also need performance measures so that everyone understands what they need to do. Write an executive summary – No more than one page that summarises where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Finalise and share the plan – Get your stakeholders to review and comment on the plan. A second and third pair of eyes will help ensure it’s free from mistakes Your business plan could be the key to your future - and to unlock the funds you need to deliver it. Getting the answers that are right for your practice startup plans It should be relatively easy to borrow the funds you need to set up in your own practice, especially if you have first armed yourself with an effective business plan. However, your practice will still be a start-up. Lenders may be positive towards medical professionals, but they are only keen on lending to established businesses with years of audited accounts.   At Rangewell, we know that there are solutions - ways to raise the funding you need, and lenders who can be sympathetic Our team of business finance experts work with you to get to know your business and understand the kind of arrangement and features you need. To find out more  call us at Rangewell on 020 3637 4150 - or email [email protected] Our service is free. Download Rangewell’s free guide to creating a medical  Business plan What types of finance are there - which do you need? Why not all providers are equal - finding the one that’s right for you The downsides to finance - and how to avoid them How to arrange finance - what paperwork do you need? Key terms explained Download now Available in ePub, mobi, and PDF GET YOUR COPY By clicking "GET YOUR COPY", I also agree to Rangewell's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

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