Location: Headquartered in Edinburgh
Year Founded: 2002
Sector: Personal Services/Leisure
Number of staff: 170
Loan Amount: £100,000
With the idea to provide a 5-star spa and beauty experience right at the customer’s doorstep, Becky Woodhouse started PURE Spa 17 years ago. Since then, the brand has expanded to 13 locations across the UK and has launched their own line of natural skin care products. Their commitment to driving service excellence by starting with the training and wellbeing of their staff is setting them apart in the market.
UMi Debt Finance Scotland have supported them with a £100,000 business loan to allow them to realise their ambitious growth goals. With the loan, PURE Spa will finance the opening of further locations and the development of their natural beauty products. In the below interview, Becky gives us some insight into her business and why our business loan fund was ideal to fund her growth ambitions.
Can you remember a particularly good day in the business? What happened?
Becky: I never have a bad day; I might have bad moments. But I’m a great believer that things are meant to be. Sometimes the best things come from situations that you believed were a disaster. But they make you go out and look for an alternative and you realise that there is always something good around the corner. I also always really like the days when we open a new location and get a new team in place who bring a fresh perspective and help us develop the brand further.
What are your growth plans in general?
Becky: Our aim in the next 2-3 years is to grow to 30 locations in the UK. The next areas we are focusing on areas such as Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and London. At the same time, we are developing further beauty products and treatments to ensure we can provide an all-natural and sustainable range to our customers. We are also looking at promoting our corporate membership options to allow businesses to invest in the wellbeing of their staff.
How did you find out about this loan fund? Why did it seem like a suitable source of funding? Becky: We found out about the loan through your Marketing Manager who reached out to me after seeing our crowdfunding campaign. I thought that we really met the criteria in terms of the high-growth element. The loan funding suited our needs perfectly as we have physical assets to pay back on.
Is there something that stood out about this loan fund? Becky: It was quick to get the decision on the funding. And I felt that the team really understood what we were looking for and why. They understood it quicker than our own bank. It took a while to get the funds because they were tied to some locations that we were opening. And these got a bit delayed. But we got there at the end. And the guys were very helpful, responsive and easy to deal with.
What would you tell someone looking for funding, particularly debt funding?
Becky: You need to have a solid plan behind you that is nicely presented and clear. Because the person you’re presenting it to doesn’t necessarily understand your business. Articulate what impact the funding is going to have. Particularly for this fund which is aimed at high-growth companies. From my experience of fundraising in general, it is key to be very clear about what you’re doing, where you’re going with your business and what your business model is. Whether it’s loan or equity funding, the funders need to see what their return is going to be.
And bear in mind that it takes longer than you think to create that. It is incredibly helpful to send your funding pack to people who aren’t involved in your business but are business people. They will be able to sense check everything and make sure you’re clearly articulating your plans before you send it on to a funder.