During the era of Covid-19, people need physical and mental support more than ever. And, businesses like Prima Fitness UK have become a lifeline to their local communities.
Matthew, the company’s director, needed working capital to help mitigate the challenges posed by Covid-19. The extra finance would safeguard the business from closure during the lockdown and enable it to continue to support the people of Kingston upon Thames. It would also allow the business to grow once pandemic restrictions were eased.
“The funding helped with the impact of Covid-19 as well, for us to stay open and to help people during that difficult time through some of our online initiatives but also making sure when we could open during various contractions of lockdown”.
Like many businesses during Covid-19, Matthew had to think quickly about how he could adapt his business to provide people with their service in a flexible and easily accessible way, given that gyms were closed for a long period of time.
Prima Fitness had to quickly change the way it marketed itself, and tailor services to suit the situation.
When lockdown restrictions first hit, Matthew wanted to know what he could do for his existing customer base, since inviting people into the gym space was no longer viable. The company decided to set up Zoom sessions consisting of live tailored workouts which were assigned to clients.
As the business started to transition to a digital environment, it also received attention internationally. As well as attracting clients across the UK, in cities such as Glasgow and Manchester, it began to get attention from Australia, the US. and elsewhere in Europe.
Matthew says the varied clients “makes it much more interesting” and is excited to meet these clients for the first time in-person at the Prima Fitness studio.
It was important for Matthew to establish some certainty for his business and customers.
“When opportunities come up, try to seize them - not every opportunity, but the ones that you think are viable. In times when things are a little bit uncertain, if you can provide some level of certainty, with the things that you’re good at and the things you can provide to customers and say ‘you need this right now’ and having a way to deliver, that is, I think, crucial.”
The Revolving Credit Facility Matthew received for Prima Fitness was accessed through Funding Cloud™, our lending platform which uses data analytics, open banking APIs and Artificial Intelligence to ensure customers are matched with right lenders and receive funding offers in real-time.
RCFs are a flexible and alternative funding facility that allow businesses to withdraw money when they need it. For instance, businesses can use it for purchasing additional stock or for replenishing wages. It’s a type of working capital loan that is suitable for a range of SMEs.
This type of finance can be particularly useful for businesses who are struggling with cash flow due to seasonal dips or unpredictable events that have a negative impact on trade. As with an overdraft, revolving credit facilities aren't static - you can withdraw funds, repay and withdraw again.
Once Matthew decided the RCF was right for his business needs, Prima Fitness received the funding within just 18 minutes from application to approval (that’s our Funding Options record!). Applying for the funding whilst sitting in a local cafe, Matthew described the process as:
“Very quick and very seamless. Everything was very clear and concise. I’m quite new to this as a business owner, so e-simplicity was very clear from the first interaction online, I could understand it in layman’s terms.”
Funding Cloud™ requires no interaction between business owners and our Business Finance Specialists, something Matthew says suited him. “I’m not a big fan of talking on the phone so to not have to do that, for me personally, is a plus point, not a negative”.
Now Matthew and his team have received the funding, they can focus on growing the physical and online presence of the business.
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"The process was seamless and happened really quickly. It was a lot more streamlined than the painful bank processes where you’ve got to provide two to four years of books and jump through seven or so hoops. As soon as I told Funding Options what I needed it was like – bang! Here’s your card and your account and away you go."
"Going directly to loan companies felt like a better option for us, the rates were slightly better and it felt like an easier process."