An entrepreneurial woman from Chichester has found success after setting up her own holiday letting business with the help of a Start Up Loan from the Let’s Do Business Group (LDBG).
After unexpectedly losing her job right before her 50th birthday, Fiona Norris bounced back with a business idea to create her own income.
Sirron Properties launched more than a year ago in Felpham, West Sussex with the help of a £2,500 Start Up Loan.
Fiona now offers 4 star self-catering holiday accommodation, with rave reviews and solid bookings from day one.
More than one year on, Fiona reflects on her start-up journey, the process of applying for new business funding and her plans for the future.
Researching the market and developing a business plan
Fiona began with rigorous market research, contacting local estate and letting agents to find out more about the market.
She successfully completed the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme with LDBG, where she developed and fine-tuned her business plan.
“The support and guidance that I acquired during the NEA scheme was paramount. I found the whole process so beneficial and the technique of writing a business plan prompts you to think of every aspect or eventuality.
“It prepares you for what to expect, highlights all the financial elements and really does show if your business idea is a viable one or not. Time spent on the Business Plan really did save me time during the actual start up process.”
Starting a business in West Sussex
Once Fiona had developed a robust business plan and had a firm plan of action she successfully applied for a Start Up Loan which gave her the funding for her new business allowing her to renovate the property, so it was suitable to promote as a holiday let.
Fiona’s mother fell ill during the start-up process, which meant juggling the property renovation, preparing the business plan and working part-time while caring for her mother.
Despite the many obstacles Fiona faced, Sirron Properties achieved their first year’s targets within the first three months of opening. Fiona is now exploring the possibility of opening another smaller holiday let or buying another property.
If you’ve got a great idea that you want to turn into business, find out how a Start Up Loan could help you do it. Speak to our SUL team on 0844 943 299 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @ldbstartup.