Business start-up loans, mentoring and support

Sam Davies overcomes financial hurdles and brings premium quality bikes to cost-conscious riders, with support from Newable's Start Up team

Graduate entrepreneur, Sam Davies is positioned to launch his premium quality bike company, having secured support and funding from Newable's Start Up team.

Specialising in destruction-tested bikes for discerning, cost-conscious cyclists, Obsydian Bikes offer value through robust frames, excellent customer service, understated visual branding and competitive prices. Founder, Sam, noticed an unaddressed niche in the beginners' bike market for quality-focussed value products after researching into a purchase for himself. He says, "There were plenty of cheaper products but a great deal of uncertainty about their quality, so I thought about taking away this guesswork." To reduce the risks linked with investing in a bike, Obysdian's promotional strategy will focus on harnessing peer-to-peer reviews and promoting its outstanding test results.

Sam's initial research into the bike market led to talks with reputable manufacturers who have a history of working with larger bike brands. He considered the idea of matching this quality cost effectively, to pass savings onto price conscious riders. However, having decided that the risks involved in working with cheaper, unknown manufacturers were not worth navigating, Obsydian Bikes now offers a balance of quality and affordability which aims to exceed riders' expectations.

Sam needed capital to prepare to start trading. An online search led him to Newable's Start Up team who processed his application within a few weeks, as his business plan and financial forecast were well advanced by this stage. He says, "The prompt, high level of service made a huge difference to the business." Sam was invited to meet Newable's loan fund panel as part of the application process, which was a useful chance to show how enthusiastic he was in person. He says, "The two stage process was good because it gave me a chance to voice ideas which I wasn't able to put on paper." The panel meeting also raised possible scenarios the business could face. He says, "This boosted my confidence as it was useful to get someone's perspective. It's easy to have self-doubt when you're working on an idea on your own."

Sam recently repaid his loan early without incurring any fees. He says, "I wouldn't have been able to get where I am today without the loan at that time."

Funds borrowed covered the price of stock and ensured that he could focus on bringing his product up to a maximum standard. He says, "There's little point in bringing a mediocre product to market and the loan has allowed me to concentrate on building momentum and quality, before we start trading."

"All bikes undergo EN 14781 testing. I want to instil further confidence by testing them to destruction. I'm now working with a German company who offer standard testing and also 3 levels of performance testing. The frames are then certified. They have an online database where out potential clients can see the results for Obsydian Bikes and get details of tests."

Building relations with cyclist communities online through blogs, influential riders and publications will play a key role in developing the integrity of the Obsydian brand. Sam says "Customer satisfaction is more important to me than marketing spiel. The quality of the bikes should speak for itself, so my next challenge is raising awareness of them. Older riders will recognise their quality. Younger riders will like the value for money they offer."

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Sam Davies overcomes financial hurdles and brings premium quality bikes to cost-conscious riders, with support from GLE?s Start Up team

The two stage process of planning and presenting was good because it gave me a chance to voice ideas which I wasn?t able to put on paper.

Obysdian Bikes founder, Sam Davies

Newable Start-Up Loans

Newable Business Loans Ltd t/a Newable is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 700160).
Newable Business Loans Ltd t/a Newable assess client applications and then refer these for the disbursement and collection of the Start-Up Loan to The Enterprise Fund Ltd t/a Business Finance Solutions (BFS) (FCA Interim Permission Number: 523077)
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