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How James Mussillon grew his Canberra restaurant by 22%

Learn how a small business loan from Prospa enabled James to grow his business by 22%.

As the owner of a 12-year-old restaurant that’s still pulling in the top gongs, you’d think James Mussillon would be kicking back with his feet up. But James has always had bigger plans for his business and he came to Prospa for help.

GoodFood once described James, owner of Courgette Restaurant in Canberra, as “plugging away at his site on Marcus Clarke street for seemingly an eternity, no doubt watching where modern dining has drifted.”

It’s an interesting perception of a vigilant restaurateur and indicative of the competitive nature of the industry, where new venues rise and fall as fast as the soufflé they often serve. It’s also a description that is no longer valid.

James explains that his business aim has always been quite simple: to serve “quality not quantity.”

“The greatest pleasure of being in a restaurant is bringing people together and sharing moments with them,” he explains.

Hear James’s and Courgette Restaurant’s story:

Why a small business loan?

James is a small business owner who puts his customers first and his success can be attributed to this. He seems to have successfully nailed the hardest part of business – creating a flow of regular and recurring sales. So, with a genuine love for his business and no problem keeping his customers happy, the obvious question to ask is why did James need a loan from Prospa in the first place?

It all came down to James’s ability to understand that being ‘steady’ in business can soon change, and, in order to grow his business he needed to evolve as his customers’ expectations and the market did.

“People now want to see something new, they want to come back and be in a changing place and see something different,” he explains.

It’s an interesting snippet of advice for small business owners: do not rest when your customers do. To grow a business, you need to understand that even your best customers will eventually need to see your offering evolve.

“I came to Prospa because I wanted to refurbish my place and I think that you have to invest money to make money. I wanted to bring something back to my customers,” he advises.

If you make a change, make sure people notice

“A Prospa business loan was a great tool to do the refurbishment in one hit so the impact could be more dramatic to the customers,” says James.

His loan ensured he could make an impact and create a new buzz around an old business. Without the cash injection, James could potentially have made changes each month here and there, but they would have been drawn out, possibly gone unnoticed and even worse, potentially have had no impact on the business.

“The impact is that we are up 22% in sales since we did the refurbishment. Putting that investment into the business actually made it grow.”

Dealing with Prospa

“The paperwork is very easy, very simple,” he says.  “From start to finish it took about two and a half hours.”

“It doesn’t affect your cash flow, it’s one simple single payment each week. It comes out of your bank and you don’t even notice it, you just continue trading.”

“I didn’t want to go to the banks,” he explains. “I wanted to get a short-term loan and the banks want to give you a long-term loan.”

Prospa is Australia’s #1 online small business lender and committed to helping small businesses access the funds they need to grow. We’ve removed the paperwork and waiting time. Since 2011, Prospa has helped thousands of small businesses grow. Apply in minutes and you could have funds in your account tomorrow. Easy. Find out more.

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