Chemex franchisee cleans up despite tough economy

Chris Lunn set up his Chemex franchise six years ago; just before the recession hit, and is now on track to reach a quarter of a million pound turnover thanks to a funding arrangement that enabled him effectively manage cash flow.

Lunn said: “I enjoyed a successful career in sales but six years ago I decided that if I wanted to pursue my ambition of being my own boss, it was now or never.”

Lunn opened his Chemex franchise in late 2007 providing the local businesses of Stoke-on-Trent industrial cleaning and hygiene products.

Lunn commented: “I chose to open a Chemex franchise because the business model suited my background in sales and I could see they offer a truly personalised service to customers. I was also looking for a recession-proof business model and Chemex proved to be just that.”

To support the rapid growth of his business Chris required a flexible funding option that would enable him to release the value of his invoices to ensure he had the capital to purchase enough stock for new customers.

Lunn “I switched my funding facility from Lloyds TSB to Bibby Financial Services because they offer a much more personal service and I don’t have to spend as much of my own time managing cash flow – which is really important when you’re the only person running the business.”

Chris uses Bibby Financial Services’ Forward Finance, which offers 24-hour account access, allowing businesses to review their cash flow any time it suited them.

The facility enables unpaid invoices to be uploaded to Bibby Financial Services’ online service, following which, up to 90 per cent of the invoice value is made available – often the same day.

Edward Winterton, Commercial Director at Bibby Financial Services, said: “Firms like this that employ nine or fewer employees account for 96 per cent of all UK businesses, which shows just how important they are to the economy.

“The multinationals may dominate the headlines but it’s firms like Chemex Stafford that can be most affected when payment terms begin to stretch.

“Chris Lunn is proof that you can start a business at any stage during the economic cycle and make a success of it.