Small businesses adapt to survive during the crisis
Start Up Loans – part of the British Business Bank – is continuing to provide support to aspiring and existing entrepreneurs who have had to come up with innovative new ways to keep the money coming in during the crisis.
Among the entrepreneurs to diversify their business is Mechelle Clark, the founder of Melt Aberdeen, Aberdeen’s first grilled cheese shop. She has expanded her delivery service and is also producing home-baking videos and kits for her customers.
“I don’t know what the business will look like when things go back to ‘normal’ but for now, we’re making enough to get by and staying busy which is the most important element for me,” she says.
Mitch Lee, the co-founder of Mitch’s Kitchen, an online shop based in Hampshire which delivers home-cooked vegan frozen meals has added veg boxes to the menu to allow customers who are self-isolating to eat fresh produce with their frozen meals.
“Overall, we saw a 208% increase in sales in March compared to the previous year – something we could have never imagined to come out of such an awful time.” says Mitch.
“The key learning for us has been to connect with our customers on a personal level. Our social presence has always played a big part in our marketing strategy but during this difficult period we’ve made sure that our content has been useful and engaging.”
Sara Roberts, the founder of Healthy Nibbles, a Scottish subscription snack delivery service, has adapted its service to deliver healthy snacks to remote workers across the country, instead of providing healthy eating solutions to offices.
“We’re working hard to innovate and continue thriving through a challenging period. While previously, we provided healthy vending machines to customers including Transport for London, we’ve had to enhance our B2C services to ensure individuals across the country are aware of our snack box delivery service,” she says.
Richard Bearman, the managing director of Start Up Loans, said:
“We recognise that during these times of unprecedented uncertainty small businesses across the UK are facing significant challenges. However, amidst the uncertainty, we are hearing incredible stories of small businesses finding new ways to survive and even thrive. We urge everyone to support small businesses, many of whom are adapting their operations to make life easier for us under lockdown.”
Start Up Loans is continuing to provide support to business owners through its network of delivery partners. Second loans are also still available for those needing financial assistance to help them get through this very difficult economic period.
It has also published a series of guides on important areas of business including social media, marketing and SEO. The guides are designed to ensure business owners, existing and new, have all the resources they need to build and grow a successful business.
Start Up Loans was established in 2012 to help people – wherever they are in the UK and whatever their background – to achieve their ambitions of starting their own business.
It provides fixed-interest loans of between £500 and £25,000 to aspiring business owners, many of whom might otherwise struggle to secure finance.