Helping other small businesses help themselves

Nearly a year ago we used the subscription fees we received to lend to small business operators around the world as part of the Lend With Care programme.

Since then, the businesses we’ve been supporting have gone from strength to strength and our loans are being repaid on time.

As we’ve had a large chunk of our loans repaid we thought we’d reinvest these funds in some more small business operators, to help them grow and make a difference.

Asad Hameed is 43 years old and lives in Datanagar, Pakistan. He is married and has three sons and three daughters, all of whom are in full time education. Asad has been a tailor for the past 20 years and is the only wage earner in his household.  His business is growing succesfully but he now needs to bring on board an extra pair of hands in order to satisfy the demands of his growing customer base.  So we’ve completed his load with Lend With Care and he can now help his business reach its potential.

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At Ormsby Street, we support small businesses in taking control of their money so they can grow their business and make a difference in their communities.  Through our cash flow management and financial insight services we help them make informed decisions on who to trade with and give them tools to get hold of the money they are owed.

2017 should be an exciting year for Asad, and we hope it will turn out to be an exciting year for all our small business customers.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at Ormsby Street!

 

 

 

 

Our favourite small businesses

As part of Small Business Saturday the team have taken the time to tell us about their favourite small businesses.

Auto Repair Medway

autorepairRob is our Head of Product (and possessor of hair that will stand up in the wind as shown in this photo!).

It’s always great when you can find a local car mechanic you can trust and Auto Repair in Medway are just that.

Rob says “my car’s  windscreen wipers stopped working and needing replacing.  The guys at Auto Repair called Ford for the part but were quoted an extortionate price, so told Ford to keep the part.  They phoned me and advised a quick search online for the part and it saved me hundreds of pounds.”

 

Nin Com Soup, Old Street, London

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Matt’s the youngest of our team and he loves a nice warming lunch (his Mum would be pleased with him!), so he heads to the amusingly named Nin Com Soup within Old Street underground station.

“Great flavours in their ever changing range of soups, and a name that makes me smile every day” says Matt about his favourite lunchtime haunt.

“And they take Bitcoin, which fits with our FinTech business.”

 

Stephen Jones Millinery, Great Queen street, London

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Resident fashion expert Lorelei puts us all to shame with her daily fashionable outfits, and here she is outside Soho milliners Stephen Jones.

Here am I outside of this beautiful shop of hats and fascinators thinking of my next big event.”

And her enthusiasm doesn’t end there. “This shop makes me want to be part of some royal parties where I can look fabulous.”

Deliciously French, Cookham, Berkshire

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Despite growing up to the west of London, Head of Engineering Stuart fancies a bit of the French life, with his local French delicatessen Deliciously French.

“Honestly, it’s not just the wine I like” says Stuart.  “I do also love a bit of cheese to go with it.”

Deliciously French’s ethos is sourcing produce from family run establishments, which keeps small businesses going on both sides of the channel.

 

Hello Gorgeous Hairdressing, Battersea,

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“Who doesn’t love phoning to make an appointment and being met with the welcome ‘Hello Gorgeous'” says Carolyn, Product Delivery Manager for Ormsby Street.

“I’ve been going here for years and it still makes me smile when they answer the phone.”

Their motto is ‘luxury is a necessity’ which shows a small business who know their customers and know how to make them feel special.

 

 

Ormsby Street, Old Street, London

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New boy Parsh tries to earn some brownie points by telling us that we’re his favourite small business.

“I’ve enjoyed my first two weeks here” he says.  “Coming from a larger business with a larger team to a focused small business like Ormsby Street has been a great experience so far.”

Parsh is responsible for developing our understanding of the credit scoring, late payment and company performance data that we use to make our services like CreditHQ support small businesses in getting control of their money.

 

On this day … 26th October … Ormsby Street featured in Small Business Saturday

We’re proud to have been chosen by Small Business Saturday as one of their Small Biz 100, and 26th October is our featured day.

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We can add this to the list of historic things that have happened on this date, including:

1994 – Egypt and Jordan sign a peace deal to end 46 years of war

1992 – General Motors Corp. Chairman Robert Stempel resigned after the company recorded its highest losses in history

1959 – We see the far side of the moon for the first time

1949 – U.S. President Harry Truman raised the minimum wage from 40 to 75 cents an hour.

1947 – Future US President (?) Hilary Clinton was born

1942 – British actor Bob Hoskins was born

1916 – Former French President Francois Mitterand was born

1881 – The “Gunfight at the OK Corral” took place in Tombstone, AZ. The fight was between Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and Doc Holiday and the Ike Clanton Gang

Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.

The day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses. In 2016 Small Business Saturday will take place on Saturday, December 3rd

The making of new entrepreneurs

We’re always happy when a new person joins the Ormsby Street team.  We get an injection of new experience, a new outlook, a new voice that can question why we do things the way we do.  It’s an opportunity to sanity check how we’re going about things.

Today we’re joined by Matt, who’s coming in to support our commercial activities with channel partners, and he’s also a young entrepreneur keen to make a difference.

Matt’s our first recruit who is taking part in the New Entrepreneurs Foundation, a programme designed to take the best young entrepreneurs and give them the tools to make a difference in the business world.

He’s with us full time as any other team member, but he gets some time away from the business to attend events as part of the programme, learning about strategy, negotiating, intellectual property and much more.

Hundreds of young business people have graduated from the programme, going on to start businesses of their own, employing hundreds of people and raising millions in funding, and we’re pleased to play our part.

mattMatt’s going to get exposure to all aspects of our business, from how we build our small business software tools, to understanding our customers challenges, and how to sell into the enterprise market.  In return, he’ll bring his learnings from the programme into our processes and approach.  It’s a win win!

Great to have you on board Matt!

 

 

Campaigning for your local business – why bother?

Checking LinkedIn today I saw a post about a coffee shop in Bristol which was suffering because of works that the council were undertaking on a nearby bridge which was directing customers away from the cafe.

Crepe & the Coffee Cabin

I used to work with a customer who had an office just across the water from their location, and it came to my attention from a member of the customer team I worked with.

It’s a great example of the challenges that small businesses face on a daily basis.  You think you’ve got your business plan all sorted and then something unexpected happens and you’re up against the wall.  In this case it’s important local infrastructure works, but many times it’s one invoice that’s not been paid because of a problem down the supply chain.

But in this instance the joys of social media have taken over and the cafe is gaining important attention which is driving some people for a latte or a crepe.  One person’s desire to help has proven to make a difference.

There are thousands of businesses across the country experiencing similar problems, so if there’s one you know that needs a helping hand, then help them out.  It doesn’t need to take a lot of effort but could make a lot of difference.

You’ll miss them when they’re gone!

 

 

People don’t buy what you do…

…they buy why you do it.

That’s what Simon Sinek argues in his powerful TED talk and it’s hard to disagree.

I witnessed this firsthand when on our Easter break at Croyde Bay (a beautiful part of the world that I recommend visiting, by the way).

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Down by the beach, in a surf shop we met a lady who was running her own small jewellery business.

There’s nothing remarkable about someone making and selling jewellery; granted. However, this lady was making exquisite pieces of jewellery from pieces of glass and pottery that had all been sourced from Croyde beach.

Now, people love Croyde. They just do. You come away wishing you could take a part of it with you and that is why this lady was doing what she was doing. She wanted to make it possible to take a piece of the place you love away with you, in the form of a beautiful piece of jewellery.

Like many others, we were in.

We bought why she was doing it and my wife left with a very pretty  green “sea glass” ring.

If you’d like a piece of Croyde, check out Croyde Sea Glass on Etsy or Instagram.