Debra Reavill – Newquay Gymnastics

With seven home educated children aged between 5 and 30 years, with jobs as well as carrying out gymnastic coaching at a venue 50 miles from their home, you could be forgiven for thinking that Debra Reavill and her partner Lloyd Byrne, lives that were busy enough.

Their idea to offer high quality recreational gymnastics to children aged 3-10 years within Newquay (their local town) quickly developed into a business thanks to the help of Outset Finance.

“We wanted to offer professional level gymnastics coaching to all children, regardless of their ability, so that they have the opportunity to build their confidence and have fun,” said Debra. “Without the loan arranged through Outset Finance, we never could have achieved what we have so far.”

Initially the couple planned to build their own premises with their own money, but those funds had to be diverted to extend their home to accommodate their parents when their father fell ill, plus a new baby.

“After my father’s death, we took a breath and decided that the time was right and rather than be held back by the lack of premises, we should embrace the challenge to get out in the local area and start coaching.”

They now deliver recreational gymnastics coaching at Newquay Sports Centre twice a week and have a waiting list of over 55 children for their sessions. The couple utilised a £26,000 loan from Outset Finance to purchase specialist equipment including safety mats, inflatable air tracks, supporting block modules and soft play equipment.

“Having dreamt about setting up the business for a long time, we finally took the plunge during the Christmas holiday period” stated Debra. She continued that “Whilst it took six months for their business bank account to be set up, the loan process with Outset Finance in contrast was quick, simple and easy.”

“The Outset Finance team held our hands every step of the way and we really felt that they cared about our business idea – they were brilliant!” praised Debra. After attending her initial session with Outset Finance, Debra was convinced that the team would enable her to achieve her dream of setting up the business.

She stated that “I came out of the session buzzing after being with like-minded people in the same position, each with their own business dream. It helped to share tips and experience on things like drawing up a business plan and putting plans into action. I would never have had that experience with the more traditional finance route”

Three of their children are involved in the business coaching gymnastics alongsideDebra and Lloyd making it a real family concern and this feeling of family is demonstrated in the way that they operate as a business.

“Our ethos is to deliver gymnastics coaching on a recreational level but to a professional standard of a far higher quality than currently available in schools – gymnastics without the faff and pressure experienced by many participants.”

“Being able to get everything – including the finance – in place to start the sessions was invaluable,”stated Debra. “It has enabled us to deliver the type of gymnastics coaching that we wanted to do, as well as allowing us to control how the business developed.”

Debra commented that “We know that our business model is successful, from the exceptional feedback we receive from the parents who support us to the overwhelming demand for sessions. The confidence that Outset Finance helped to give us was extremely valuable in helping us to make the leap. At the moment it is a delicate balance of doing our day jobs as well as the coaching, but it is worth it to know that we are doing what we set out to achieve.”

The couple plan to offer another session soon at the same venue and want to let the business stabilise for a while to get a better understanding more about running a business.

“Our advice to anyone thinking of setting up their own business is to think hard about how you source your finance – ideally if you can finance it yourself, this is great but if this is not an option, as we found, harness the opportunities offered by Outset Finance, as they will help you through the whole process.”