It all began with a loan…

All great businesses start with an idea. 

And funds.

And therein lies the problem; to start a business or to grow a business you need capital. All businesses require certain amount of money to get them off the ground – and to keep them going. A small business loan.

Even the big guys had to start once.

 In 1971 Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegel and Gordon Bowker put all their money together – $8000 – and took out a small business loan to start selling coffee beans. Nine years later they were the biggest coffee roasters in Washington state. Two years after that Howard Shultz joined the team and had the idea they shouldn’t just roast it, they should sell cups of it to drink there, just like he’d seen in the cafe culture in Italy. By 1992 the company was so successful they went public. Now with more than 24,000 stores across the globe, Starbucks’ current market cap stands at around 85 billion dollars.

Finally managing to get a bank loan of around £5000 Anita Roddick purchased the ingredient for her own home made skin care products. She wrote a little story on each item before her and her daughters began to sell them in Brighton.  Taking a stand on animal welfare and environmental issues became her selling point and huge success followed. In 2006 Roddick sold the Body Shop to L’Oréal for £650 million. 

Dropping out of school early Mike Ashley was told he wouldn’t make much of his life. After all, all he was interested in was sports. Becoming a squash coach didn’t make him much money, and neither did trying to sell ski gear in a small shop. But a £10,000 loan and a wider approach to selling all kinds of sports gear did. He founded Sports Direct – UK’s largest sports retailer – and has a reported £3.75 billion worth of earnings. 

After taking a $5 correspondence course on how to make ice cream, childhood friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield opened their ice cream store in Vermont. This was in 1978, with  just $12,00 dollars investment cash. Now of course you can find their pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in pretty much every grocery store.  In 2000 they sold their company to Unilever PLC, maintaining huge shares themselves and insisting the company continuing with their community orientated project foundation.  

Nine out of ten startups will fail. And its lack of money that kills them. Times are tough but these stories show you it IS possible for any sort of business to start and to grow – as long as it’s fuelled by unbreakable determination and some financial aid. Bank loans are increasingly hard to get, loans via friends is never a good long term idea, but how about raising money on assets you already have,  small business loans via assets– speak to us here at Almagrove Private Asset Finance.