James Kay – Mariners Guest House

Mariners Guest House is a lovely relaxing guest house on the Hoe in Plymouth, with 8 en suite rooms and a sauna.

Run by James Kay and his wife Marie, the hotel caters for both business and leisure customers visiting the Plymouth area.

Having opened the business in 2016, James registered with Outset Finance who supported his application for a Start Up Loan, which helped cover the initial start up costs and the quieter winter months as they built up their customer base.

Take a look at our interview with James below to find out more about their business and why they chose to work with Outset Finance.

Business name: Mariners Guest House
Founders’ name: James Kay
Based in: Plymouth, Devon
Website: www.marinersguesthouse.co.uk

1. Why did you decide to become your own boss?

4 yrs ago I had a life changing accident and after my recovery I could not return to my trade. My wife and I took the decision to try a bed and breakfast as she had previously looked at the idea.

2. What were the main challenges you faced in starting or growing your business?

Learning the trade and business routines and practices, then the finance challenges and constructing a business plan. Neither I or my wife have done anything like this before, but it was my wife that had the business sense!

3. If you had not been able to access a Start Up Loan, what would have happened to your business idea?

It would have been very difficult and even more stressful worrying about cash flow after our first winter months. The loan has given us the security of the quieter winter months until the summer of next year. If we hadn’t been able to access the loan we probably wouldn’t have gone down this route, or it would have taken a lot longer, with more risks to have achieved our target.

4. Tell us about your experience working with Outset Finance – would you recommend us to other business owners?

I would highly recommend Outset Finance, they gave us the tools to give us a better idea of how to run a successful business.

5. What is your vision for your business in the future?

In the future we’re looking to expand. Our mission is to be successful with this property and then to purchase another one in the locality. There is a shortage of guest house beds at the moment in Plymouth so the market is definitely there.

6. And finally, what advice would you give to others who are thinking about starting a business?

To use Outset at every opportunity, attend as many lectures as possible and talk to as many related people as possible.

To find out more about Mariners Guest House visit their website.