It’s always incredibly rewarding to see the positive impact our Business team has on the Military in Business® community, especially at a time of uncertainty and instability in the economy. Once a business-owner has completed the loan application with us, we provide 12 months free mentoring to ensure their first steps are as smooth as possible, and they have a handrail of support if they need it.
Hear what Will had to say about his beneficiary, Upperlayer Clothing Ltd.
What does Upperlayer Clothing Ltd. do?
“Upperlayer Ltd is an active-wear brand marketed towards outdoor enthusiasts through its Climb-Hike-Surf tag line. Upperlayer predominantly offers a range of branded clothing, outerwear, bottles, and coffee. The business is looking to expand into additional revenue streams via new product lines/designs and child-sized clothing.”
Why did this business stand out for you? What’s its “USP”?
“Notably, the businesses that come through to us, being in line with the Start-Up Loans policy, are less that 2 years old. Given this, as a Business Advisor, I don’t often come across a business with such a strikingly professional e-commerce website and branded imagery across its social media outlets, as seen with Upperlayer Clothing Ltd.
This professionalism, I believe is two-fold. It is a testament to the industry growth of cheaper, professional websites that are becoming more widely available to small businesses such as Squarespace, Shopify and Wix, and to Phillip at Upperlayer Ltd who put a notable amount of time and energy into building his brand before submitting his loan application.
Aside from the above, having personally owned products from Upperlayer, I can say confidently that the quality of the products is of a very high standard!”
Could you tell us a bit about the applicant and his background?
“Phillip Elward is the owner and founder of Upperlayer Ltd. Prior to that, he served as a Motor Transport Sergeant and Logistics Manager in the British Army.”
Any tips or insights you can give to someone looking to submit a business plan or loan application at the moment?
“Utilise the resources available to you: this could be the comprehensive Cash Flow, Business Plan and Personal Survival Budget templates available to download from the Start-Up Loans website, or the range of business-related workshops offered by X-Forces Enterprise. Not to mention the expertise and experience of our staff.
The planning templates are mandatory documents that are needed to gain a loan approval. Noting this, I would be sure to read, and more importantly understand, the guidance tabs/pages included in these documents to ensure you submit a strong initial draft. This will give your Business Advisor a detailed understanding of what the business is, how and what you will sell, and the manner in which you wish to spend the loan sum.
Broadly speaking, Business Advisors are there to assist and consult applicants with their business ideas and cash flow. We want to work with them to support them to make sure your business has the best opportunity to launch and be supported, thus, communication with your Business Advisor is key. Returning to the example of Phillip at Upperlayer, this is something he did exceptionally well; he listened to my insights and amended/developed where necessary and was always available for a quick clarification call where needed. Strong communication and key discussions were a huge factor in my understanding of the business and its operations and, in turn, in Phillip’s business plan being given the shiny stamp of approval!
As with all of the applicants I have the pleasure of working with, I look forward to seeing what milestones and achievements Phillip and Upperlayer Ltd reach, as well as always being available for ongoing support.”
Find Upperlayer Clothing Ltd. Here:
Find out about X-Forces Enterprise funding options here.
Connect with our Business Advisor, Will Juggins, on LinkedIn here.