Cindy Imperatore grew up loving animals, horses in particular. When the opportunity presented itself, she, like many small business owners, took the leap to turn what she loves into a living. Bossy Bridle was born in 2016. What started out as a side gig, selling tack from one popular equestrian brand to local barns, has since become a thriving business. Imperatore now supplies specialized equestrian equipment to customers across the country.
Though she started small and local, going to shows and local barns, Imperatore knew she wanted to grow and scale her venture. She wasn’t alone in that, however. A number of websites and e-commerce platforms popped up around the same time, and she knew she would need to differentiate herself.
That’s where Bossy Bridle’s journey with Lendio began—using its first loan to develop a website.
And They’re Off…
“Once we had the website, then we really started to see some major increases in revenue,” Imperatore says. “What I wanted to do from there was branch into other brands, which we did slowly, but I have found that with most brands, there was a minimum buy of at least $2500 or as high as $8000, depending on the brand or the product. For a small business, that’s a lot of cash to lay out when you’re talking about bringing in two or three brands at once.”
Bossy Bridle brings in smaller, boutique labels. This helps the company stand out in a crowded marketplace, but it can also pose problems. Since many of those labels come from Europe, getting a product stocked in the first place, let alone keeping a full inventory in stock, can be difficult. From shipping time to order minimums, keeping inventory can be slow and expensive.
“The biggest challenge is to make sure we keep inventory or get it in as quickly as possible so we can fulfill our customers’ orders,” continues Imperatore. “That’s always our biggest issue—managing our inventory.”
When Cashflow Isn’t Flowing
Working capital is consistently in the top uses of funds from Lendio borrowers for precisely that reason. In order to scale, businesses need funds to bring in new products, expand their stores, or launch marketing campaigns. A recent Lendio survey shows cash flow is the number one concern for small business owners in 2019.
“But once I started working with Lendio, the ability to bring in other brands really changed for me,” Imperatore says. “They worked so quickly, and so efficiently that we’ve never been left in a position where we’re hungry for capital, so to speak. We’ve always been able to secure the amount we need and move along in our day-to-day operations and grow the company.”
Bossy Bridle has come back to Lendio twice for additional funds to bring in new products, and scale the business further. “Every rep has always had my back in terms of looking for the best rates for me, and also an eye towards building my credit as a business.”