Security in uncertain times

Given that the UK has one of the largest credit markets in the world, for one of the smallest countries, what happens when the credit starts to dry up and people have not been saving money, only spending?

Not a day seems to pass by without reports on the radio, TV or in the press about the economic uncertainty within the UK right now. This is being driven by a number of factors including the credit crunch, which is having an enormous knock-on effect at all levels within the credit market to which the UK is completely exposed.

This has resulted from years of a 'buy now pay later' and a 'spend, spend, spend' mentality fuelled in part by staggering house price rises and people re-mortgaging to release cash they have in their home. Rising fuel, energy and food costs have resulted in large increases in the basic cost of living, which adds further pressure to the available disposable income. It seems that everyone is feeling the pinch.

That doesn't however seem to be the case at Cash Generator, where our business model was specifically sculpted in such a way to help avoid any potential downturn that may occur from uncertain economic times. Following the housing crash of the late 1980s and the nationwide hardship that this brought about, Cash Generators Founder Brian Lewis purposely set out through years of research and development to create a business model that could secure future profitable growth, regardless of the economic environment the country was faced with.

The main basis of the business works on the foundation of a high street store that buys and sells pre-owned items from the public, some would say not dissimilar to the likes of eBay on the high street. We all know that the British public absolutely love a bargain, more than most, and this has resulted in the growth and popularity of this service going from strength to strength. Customers selling goods receive a fair price for the item and are told what the item will be sold for in-store and customers who visit the store can make fantastic savings on pre-owned or even brand new items, something that is exceedingly popular regardless of a positive or negative economy. Dovetailed into the buy and sell side of the business are a number of other instant cash providing services including cheque cashing, cash-'til-payday loans, pawnbroking, currency exchange, prepaid Mastercards and other services, resulting in some customers referring to the stores as 'their local bank'.

In the words of franchisee Steve Appleton: 'I love the business and feel confident that with the benefit of our multiple income streams, the business is well structured to weather any slow down in the economy. With the huge rise in the cost of everyday living for everyone, it brings peace of mind that I am well placed for continued growth at a time when large numbers of individuals and even businesses seem to be struggling.'

The Cash Generator network consists of over 70 stores nationwide, the majority of these being franchised outlets with the parent company operating 14 of our own stores which are used as a continual testing ground for new ideas and developments. The company has just undergone a management buyout and looks set for tremendous growth. The management team is well ahead with its plans to double the size of the network to 160 UK outlets within five years and with over 10 of our existing franchisees looking for additional stores, the research that went into the sculpting of the business plan pre-1994 has clearly delivered a winning formula.

'So many of our franchisees have made their financial dreams come true by choosing our franchise and we would like to use our success to help others achieve ownership of their own business alongside one of the UK's most respected franchisors,' comments Julian Urry, Cash Generator Managing Director. 'We have even had interest from a number of entrepreneurs looking to build their own portfolio of stores within the network to capitalise on the growth of the company which is set to double in five years. All in all, I am extremely excited about the future, it looks very bright indeed.'

Reported by Daniel Lewis of Cash Generator