Five questions for: James Constantinou, founder, Prestige Pawnbrokers
Prestige Pawnbrokers secures loans against high-end assets.
What does your company do?
Prestige Pawnbrokers has become synonymous with securing loans against almost any high-end asset in a time when banks are unable to assist. The ability to transact within days, if not hours, of the initial appraisal has propelled it to the top in this sector.
What is your greatest achievement?
Taking an idea and developing it into the country's leading asset lender in a sector that had stagnated for decades. Working closely with Channel 4 for the production of the show Posh Pawn was a major coup, with over 50 one-hour shows transmitted and repeated globally over the past six years. This secured the brand pole position in an area previously untapped by many lenders. The publicity has ensured that the public became aware that there were other options out there; the high-street bank was no longer the only choice.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Pursuing further growth in a heavily regulated industry. Securing financial support from the usual institutions has proved to be difficult, but thinking outside of the box in terms of raising growth capital has enabled us to take the business to the next level.
What are your plans for hitting your targets?
Opening more stores while adapting the business in respect of the recent downturn in retail, but the inevitable upturn in borrowing. We are cheaper than a high-street bank for short-term borrowing; that is still something the public need to be made aware of.
What's the one piece of advice you'd give fellow entrepreneurs?
A good entrepreneur will try to reduce the risks in any venture, but the desire for gain must be greater than the fear of loss.