Back in 2017, Victoria-based Marco had hit rock bottom. After the closure of his business he lost his home, his investment property, half of his super and was left with the princely sum of $43 in his bank account.
After finding a rental property with his wife, he took a corporate job in Papua New Guinea to bring some money in, paying off debts and returning nine months later with $4,000 to start a new business – which initially took the form of a pop-up store selling toys at discounted prices. Marco continued taking pop-up stores in shopping centres for the next couple of years, building up a profitable business.
And then, of course, came a global pandemic.
“I had a big warehouse at the time filled with toys and clearance products, and when Covid came, it hit the northwest suburbs of Melbourne, and we had to close,” he says.
“Our lease was coming up for renewal, and we had an unfriendly landlord, so we had to pay him out and find another warehouse – we were running out of money.
“I thought the world was going to collapse – I needed money to keep the business going, or I was going to be in exactly the same situation as I had been three years ago, and I was determined that wasn’t going to happen.”
In what would turn out to be a ‘Sliding Doors’ moment, Marco spotted an advert for Bizcap and thought he had nothing to lose by making a call.
After speaking to Lending Specialist Ted, Marco was able to access $12,000 to go towards the cost of a container. “I was upfront and honest about my situation, I didn’t need to bring accountants reports, and I didn’t have to wait for the money to come into my account.”
Just as the business was getting back on its feet after the first lockdown, Victoria went into another tailspin, putting businesses everywhere – including Marco’s – behind the eight ball.
“I had another two containers on order, so I called Ted again, and because we’d been reliable with our repayments he was able to give me another chunk of money.”
Eventually, stock was purchased and the store was reopened. Still, the lockdown had given Marco thinking time. He created a new concept called Ride and Smile Australia, focusing on kids ride-on toys – available in-store or delivered fully assembled with a 12-month no-fault warranty.
After launching the concept, Marco was offered a store in ‘one of the best shopping centres in Melbourne’ – but needed to access capital to take advantage of the opportunity.
Enter Ted, who was able to lend Marco another $20,000 to help realise his ambition.
Fast forward into 2022, the business is flourishing and plans are afoot to open another two stores in the next 12-18 months.
“We’re in discussions with the shopping centres and looking at bigger warehousing to open more stores because the concept works,” says Marco.
“I look back to the first loan of $12,000 – it’s only a relatively small amount – but I would never have started on this path if it wasn’t for Bizcap being able to lend me that money.
“I was in trouble; I had no security, no assets, I had nothing.”
Since his first Bizcap loan, Marco’s business has more than doubled, and says he’ll always be thankful to us.
“Bizcap was the company who set me up to start this business, and I’ll always remember that.”
If you need to access business finance, give Bizcap a call. As Marco’s story proves, it doesn’t matter what’s happened in the past – all that matters is how we can help shape your future.