A bright idea that takes advantage of a gap in the market is a perfect ingredient for a successful business. It’s often not hours of market research that reveals these niches, but something that happens in everyday life. It’s amazing the number of people I work with who have had their lives changed by an idea that comes at an unlikely moment.
An example is Andrew Mayze, who spotted a good idea while he was up a ladder. Having lost his job in the recession, Andrew was asked to clean a friend’s windows to keep him busy while he was out of work. Amazed at how many passers-by asked him if he could clean their windows too, he recognised there was a niche for his newly acquired skill.
He quickly built up the business and realised he needed to purchase a new van to give a professional and reliable impression. He needed finance to do this, but trips to the bank were futile. That’s where Foundation East was able to step in and lend him the money he needed. By March 2010, Andrew was working full time and had a customer base of 300.
He then spotted another gap in the market. As the work is seasonal, he has set up a secondary business with a business partner selling professional cleaning products. They are even considering taking on an apprentice.
At Foundation East we look for business ideas that exploit market opportunities and we take a look at the strength and determination of the business owners. The decision to lend money is made by a panel of members, many of whom are in business themselves, and understand the challenges that entrepreneurs face. They look for a viable Business Plan with realistic financial analysis.
The Foundation East loan was a springboard for Andrew, and it has been fantastic to see how he has used it to turn a gap in the market into a growing business.
Bob Shimmon, Business Loans Manager