Success Stories

JR Veterinary: Building a start-up in the toughest of times

BY Rapid Cash
24 Jun 2021

Starting a new business is tough enough without a worldwide disaster arriving to complicate matters. NatWest Rapid Cash was there to help.

To say that the recent pandemic has been challenging for businesses would be a massive understatement. With closures and loss of custom, many companies have struggled, and many have sadly had to close. But in the midst of this global catastrophe, South African-born Jânko Salzwedel – ‘Janks’ to her friends – started a small business and did the unthinkable… thrive. But it didn’t all go to plan.

“I started my career in South Africa,” Janks explains, “but I always wanted to work in the UK, and I was lucky in that I had a British passport Jank’s mum is British. I did six years at a veterinary agency and had risen as high as I was going to rise there, so I moved to an incredible aviation company where I was their permanent recruitment manager. But the veterinary industry kept calling me back. I’d accidentally fallen into the veterinary industry, but I’d also accidentally fallen in love with it.”

It seemed like a good idea at the time

“When COVID hit in March 2020 and we were all working from home, my mum Jane (a finance manager) and I got talking. We wanted to do something for ourselves, and so between us we decided to set up our family-run, veterinary recruitment agency and JR Veterinary was born.

“We thought we’d timed it really well. Summer 2020 was when we were coming out of lockdown and I thought ‘great’. We launched in September, but by November we were going back into lockdown. And I thought ‘what’s going to happen? I’ve just started the company!”

Unsurprisingly, Janks was worried about her clients, her recruits and locums, and of course the continued health of her fledgling business. But fortunately, government restrictions allowed vets to continue to practise. In addition, there’s been a massive rise in people getting pets under lockdown, and all this helped JR Veterinary keep the lights on under COVID. More than that, they started to do well, and now the problem was one of cash flow.

“Within the initial period we had worked with two separate finance companies who were helping my business, but people weren’t being paid correctly and it was reflecting on us as a business. I like being in control, but I don’t have time to be sorting out invoices all the time, that’s what I was paying them for. I don’t mind paying for a service if I get that service, but with these companies things were going wrong, so that’s when we started looking for another option.”

Satisfying demand with NatWest Rapid Cash

“We want to pay our locums ourselves; to take that headache away from our clients. But we’re a start-up, so we don’t have the ready cash to do that. That’s why we turned to NatWest Rapid Cash.

“I didn’t have any issues or any dramas getting it set up. Our NatWest relationship manager was amazing – before I knew it, she had set up everything for us and the money the first draw down was ready and there before I knew it.

“I’m a bit of a control freak, and with Rapid Cash, I get that control. When I need to draw down some funds – and I don’t need to do it all the time – I just log on to the portal and the money is in our account in a few hours. It’s so easy. It’s perfect.

“I said earlier that I don’t mind paying for a good service, and Rapid Cash is about one twentieth of what I was paying before, so I definitely don’t mind paying!”

The future looks bright

“We’ve just brought on two new staff, doubling JR Veterinary’s employee count. Our ‘newbies’ will be generating revenue in their own areas, areas we’re positive will be very succesful. But once they start pulling in the work, we’re going to have more locums out in the world, and they are all going to need to get paid on time. That’s where we’ll be leaning on NatWest Rapid Cash more in the future. We’re only going to grow, and Rapid Cash will be right there with us.”

Thanks to Janks and JR Veterinary for taking the time to talk to us about their experiences with NatWest Rapid Cash.

What could Rapid Cash do for you?

To be eligible for Rapid Cash you must be trading for more than 6 months, have an annual turnover of at least £100k and either be a Limited Company or Limited Liability Partnership in England and Wales. Additionally, you need to invoice other businesses and use one of the following digital accounting software: Xero, Quickbooks, Sage 50, Kashflow, FreeAgent and Netsuite.

Security and guarantee required. Product fees may apply.

Rapid Cash

Rapid Cash offers a modern line of credit unlocked by your unpaid invoices, offering greater flexibility and automation than most traditional finance facilities.