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Fresh Threads: BBLs, business travel, target prices, expanding

  1. James Martini

    James Martini UKBF Ace Staff Member

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    Hi UKBFers,

    Welcome to Fresh Threads, our weekly roundup of the most popular threads, comments and advice from the forums. 

    Here are my top picks from the last week.

    1. Two successful bounce-back loan applications


    I was refused a bounce-back loan (BBL) due to a system error and subsequently applied elsewhere. Bank 1 reviewed their original decision and approved it, Bank 2 accepted it straight away. Where do I stand legally if I take both loans?

    There does not seem to be anything in the actual loan agreement that forbids this. The only thing was the "are you in the process of applying elsewhere" question in the application that I correctly answered "no".

    I've also gone through GOV.UK and there’s seemingly nothing about multiple loans from different banks. Interesting to see if there is a loophole there.

    Aniela: The bigger question is WHY you need two BBLs? The business would likely be in a very, very bad place to need two of them right now. If that's the case, a BBL is maybe not the best option.

    Mr D: It comes down to: 1) whether they notice he has two loans, 2)  whether they simply ask for one (or both) of them back.

    Newchodge: You have not, yet, done anything wrong. However, if there is a clause in the contract you sign for the second loan, you will be committing fraud as you will have already received a BBL. If there are no clauses, I cannot see it is fraud.

    Porky: As long as you can budget to repay them both, I don’t see the problem. You have an obvious element of risk if one comes back later and insists you repay it early because we lent in error, but I really don’t see that.

    2. Will hotels and business travel ever recover?


    A general manager of a group of hotels and I looked into our crystal balls and came up with equally worrying pictures of a post-Wuhan flu era.

    My take on it is that the real winner from all this is going to be technology, my compatriot was more optimistic. But for hotels that cannot fill corporate rooms with tourists, who will fill them and at what rates?

    The whole travel sector seems to be enthused with a get-back-to-normal approach but once you've seen the light, it is hard to turn off the switch. Why fly? Why go anywhere? Why have a huge inner city office?

    Aniela: I don't feel the impact will be that large or noticeable. Working from home isn't that easy and as glorious as it appears for the first few weeks/months.

    JEREMY HAWKE: Is it really that professional to have children screaming in the background with the dog barking? I don't think working at home will be such a big thing.

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA: “Wuhan flu” - still think it's the flu? Welcome to the new normal.

    InterestedObserver: All the big companies will have to create their own health and safety policies to reduce the risks of their clients being at risk to COVID-19. One of those for sure will be to reduce the need for face-to-face meetings of any size.

    3. ‘What’s your target price?’


    Lately, with this COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) supply, a lot of sellers/manufacturers are asking what's your target price or how much are you looking to pay for it?

    It’s difficult to answer as I don't want to shoot myself in the foot by giving them a high price range. What's the best and polite response via text or email?

    dotcomdude: Tell ‘em a price you’d be happy to pay!

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA: Don't bother with suppliers that ask you this question. Full stop.

    Aniela: They're usually asking this because a lot of them are third-party sourcing. That's why they're asking you for your target price.

    paulears: I had this, this week. An Alibaba enquiry came back with a $260 per unit price. I can buy a European-branded product for around £300, and was expecting a price around $50 a unit, so I responded saying “thanks, but the price was too high” and I got the "what do you want to pay" reply. I considered the first price an attempt to see if I was gullible, and I walked away from this company.

    4. Expanding my business at 16

    Kyle Curran

    Since I was 14, I have been selling cupcakes and cakes from my home. In 2019, I registered with Companies House and began selling pre-packed baked goods to dessert stores. At one point, I had a customer who took £500 a week in orders, but this caused problems for me as I operated from my painfully small home kitchen.

    For the past five months I have been taking smaller orders but I am reaching my kitchen’s capacity again, so I am going to view an industrial unit next week. What should be asking when visiting the unit?

    Are there any grants or funding you know of that would be available to myself? (Many are not applicable as I am 16 years old). Is crowdfunding even worth a thought?

    LanceUk: Unfortunately, as you are under 18, you are not legally capable of entering an enforceable contract and this will restrict your funding options.

    JEREMY HAWKE: Well done. It is difficult to raise funding when you’re under 18 with no track record, but don't let anything get in the way if you are sure you have a good business model. I would go down the crowdfunding route for now.

    tony84: With one or two years of doing this, do you not have family who could chip in? You come across quite well and have already proved the concept.

    The Byre: The name of your company has not been trademarked - do that now. Also, go easy on the investment. Used professional equipment is available all over the place.

    That's all for this week – have a great run into the weekend!