Cheshire-based, Perfect Getaways are an independent family run travel agency. However, they are no normal travel agency with their customers enthusing about their experience of it being “a refreshing change and an experience like no other!”
From the outset, Nicola and David Palmers’ ambition was to create a customer led experience centred around the concept of “Your holiday starts here”. From the moment you enter one of their agencies, you step into a holiday atmosphere designed to provide a fun experience for customers and their children. Have a glass of prosecco or a gin & tonic from their complimentary bar or relax with a pint of beer in their light and airy beer garden. For the kids, there are cinema rooms and sweet shops. All designed to bring a sense of fun and a relaxing environment to get their customers in the holiday mood whilst booking their perfect getaway. Their employees match the mood with an informal and relaxed dress code rather than the stiff uniforms found in other agents.
They are completely independent, which means that they can offer every type of holiday from every tour operator and are not tied in to recommending holidays from a handful of providers ensuring that their customers achieve exactly what they are looking for. As you would expect all their holidays are ATOL and ABTA protected giving customers complete peace of mind!
Perfect Getaways managing director Nicola Palmer said: "Travel agencies are dull, soulless places and it's been our mission to provide a place where people can come and really enjoy booking their holidays. We're seeing well in excess of 100 per cent growth and customers keep coming back to book future holidays so it's clearly resonating with people”.
Having opened their first high street site in May 2017, they have grown aggressively ever since. Within two years, they had more than trebled the size of the business with five sites based across the Merseyside and Cheshire region. However, in the travel industry growth can put a strain on cashflow. Opening a new agency incurs upfront costs from rent and rates to cost of employees. Perfect Getaways would open their doors and could notch up £250k of bookings but payment doesn’t happen until 12 weeks before each holiday is taken increasing the need for a healthy supply of working capital.
In the early days Perfect Getaways worked with their financial advisor, Sedulo Corporate Finance, who provided the investment they needed to open their second and third site. However, as they continued to grow, they needed further funding to build the business but didn’t want to give away more equity.
Having discussed their plans and their requirement for a further cash injection to fund their ambitious plans, Sedulo introduced them to Advantedge Commercial Finance. With a business growing fast – having achieved £1.35m in their first eighteen months, their turnover has grown rapidly with the firm achieving £1.5m in the last six months – it required a working capital solution to support their ambitious growth. Advantedge were delighted to offer a £135k factoring facility.
As Darren Cottenden, managing director of Advantedge comments “Perfect Getaways are real example of an innovative business which is being disruptive in its market sector. We look forward to being part of their continued growth story”.
As David Palmer concludes "The funding secured will allow us to keep pace with our vision for growing the business and being the go-to place for people in the North-West to enjoy booking their holidays. Advantedge enabled us to open our last two shops and help us trade on. We have a plan to open three more shops before the end of 2019. We literally wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”