Incognito

Howard Carter, developer of Incognito remembers: “On my first trip to India back in 1997 I was recommended to take a Malaria prescription and I also bought some over the counter repellent from Boots.

“I went to Cochin, Kerela, over New Year – a low risk area at a low risk time of year. The repellent from Boots seemed to attract mosquitoes! I was badly bitten, mainly around my ankles as it was too hot for socks. Sure enough I contracted malaria. This was during a holiday weekend, so no doctor was available. I was delirious with a high temperature of 103 degrees, hot and cold sweats, vomiting and diarrhoea.

“After a nightmare journey consisting of a 12-hour high-speed bus ride and a flight from Trivandrum back to Mumbai, I finally received medical treatment; if malaria is treated within two weeks it does not re-occur. Subsequently I decided to make a natural product that actually provided protection against mosquitoes and other biting insects and so spent the next five years developing and formulating Incognito.

“Since launching with the expert help of Clifton Asset Management Plc we have gone from strength to strength, supplying the likes of Harrods, Selfridges and becoming Planet Organics’ Best Seller in the Section that we are sold.”

Business

After suffering a severe bout of malaria while in India in 1997, Howard Carter developed a natural product that actually provided protection against mosquitoes and other biting insects.

Funding needs

Howard’s incognito business needed cash to build up its stock. The BBC’s Dragons were interested when he appeared on the show, but wanted him to part with more of his company than he was happy with. The banks were unwilling to lend so he turned to pensionledfunding.com

Result

With the help of intellectual property he had already built up within his company, Howard was able to use money from his pension to grow his business and improve his cashflow.

Going Forward

Howard has moved production back to the UK. With contracts with Boots, Harrods and Selfridges, amongst others, he has seen incognito became a trusted product used around the world.

Useful link:
The Guardian

Evolution Slimming

Nick Curry was working as a salesman for a major power-tool manufacturer when his wife opened a beauty tanning salon, backed by £100,000 of their savings.

To add some extra income the salon also sold a small range of beauty and slimming supplements.

Five years later, after using his pension to help back the business, Nick is now the boss of an online supplement business with its own Evolution Slimming product brand and a £7m turnover.

“I suppose I’m the classic entrepreneur,” says Nick. “The business started from nothing and has grown from there. It’s a combination of a good product and a good idea. I’ve never wanted a nine to five life, drawing a pension after 30 years, always in the car, always travelling.”

Ironically, it was Nick’s pension – built up during his time in the power-tool industry – that helped him grow his business. “Although I had the lump of cash to set the original salon up, I needed cashflow to be able to run it and also enable us to live while I was developing the supplement side of the business, which was something of a gamble.”

He approached the banks, but “they wouldn’t even give me a £6k overdraft, so I started thinking there must be a way to use my pension to help.” There was, and it came in the form of pension-led funding from pensionledfunding.com.

Pensionledfunding.com took Nick through the process of using his accrued pension to help back his company. A SSAS was set up and the Intellectual Property (IP) Nick held within the online supplement business, now called Evolution Slimming, was independently valued. As a result, his new pension scheme was able to buy the IP generated by the website to provide the company with £40,000.k.

Evolution Slimming continues to grow and Nick’s only regret is that he’s had very little time off in the five years since it was established. Because the business is online, a small team is able to handle the database of 220,000 customers, generating 1,500 orders every day from 135 countries worldwide.

With more than £2m in the bank to help expand the business further, Nick no longer has to worry about cashflow. But, he believes he is one of the luckier UK SME owners.

“I haven’t been reckless, I take a modest salary and much of the money we have earned has gone back into growing the business. But, even with such a large sum in the bank, I’ve never had any contact from a bank manager. I recently tried to increase the limit on my credit card and it was such a performance I just said ‘forget it!’ – the traditional lenders make it so hard for businesses – I just don’t understand it.”

Business

Nick Curry set up a village-based beauty therapy clinic stocking a minimal amount of natural health slimming supplements. These sold so well he gave up his job to focus on selling the supplements online.

Funding needs

Nick went to the banks for help in establishing the business but they were unwilling to lend him the money he needed.

Result

Nick approached pensionledfunding.com and a SSAS was created. His intellectual property was independently valued and his pension scheme then bought his website for £40,000.

Going Forward

This cash injection gave Nick the comfort to place several large stock orders. Three years later the business is turning over around £7m this year – approximately £700,000 profit – £2m cash on deposit.The business is going to buy back the website, subject to an independent valuation, at what is expected to be an enhanced sum.

Careers in Fitness Global

Business

Charlotte Dean worked as a personal trainer and Pilates instructor for 19 years and clients included members of the Royal Family. She realised the need for good quality courses and standards in the health, fitness and active leisure industry and in 2002 set up Careers in Fitness, which provides training and qualifications within the sector.

Funding needs

Charlotte wanted to grow her business but needed an influx of cash. Money was needed for development of a Careers in Fitness Global App with the capability to offer online learning. Content writers were also needed if the business was to keep developing.

Result

After approaching pensionledfunding.com, an independent assessment was made of the intellectual property inherent in the business.A loanback from Charlotte’s pension was then arranged, using the company’s intellectual property as security.

Going Forward

Careers in Fitness has grown into one of the leading training providers of fitness and health qualifications in the UK and overseas. Alongside work in the UK, the company is launching globally, with its new app enabling a smooth efficient process. Charlotte is currently in discussions with the government on ways to lower the global epidemic in obesity and diabetes and to that end is keen to place a personal trainer in every doctors’ surgery and hospital clinic.

Aiden Flynn – Exploristics

Business

Aiden founded Exploristics 5 years ago and has had fantastic growth. His business has doubled in size every year, with a revenue of more than £400,000 in the last financial year. The profit generated from Exploristics, is re-invested in research and development of software to optimise the design and analysis of clinical trials.

Funding needs

To invest in marketing and computing infrastructure Aiden needed £80,000, but was turned down by banks as he did not meet their lending criteria. The re-investment of Exploristic’s profits in research and development was not taken in to account so Aiden looked at alternative funding options.

Result

Once Aiden had contacted pensionledfunding.com, the process was very straightforward. Aiden is now able to appoint someone to a marketing position and install state-of-the-art computing infrastructure to facilitate the growth of the business.

Going Forward

2015 is set to be a big year for Exploristics as they move from selling low margin services to high margin products. Their services business is expected to continue with its rapid growth, and the launch of their first product will accelerate this growth.