Prohibido is a leading independent luxury lingerie boutique based in Cambridge

Founded in 2010 by an experienced lingerie store manager, Mercedes, Outbased were contracted to fill knowledge gaps during the initial writing of the business plan, and to set up and run efficient back office processes.

The business plan went through a number of alterations over the feasibility study period so that 3 different site proposals could be considered in detail. The shareholders’ capital invested had to be matched to the costs of fitting out the unit, initial stock purchases and working capital needs to make sure that overhead costs could be met at worst-case levels of initial trading.  Break even analysis was very important at this stage to attach a risk assessment to each proposal along with research into recent lingerie retailer start-ups.

After the lease had been negotiated and signed, the business plan was transformed into a budget using the judgement of Mercedes and Outbased’s experience to make best use of the capital available.  Balancing the budget allows the best value for money to be achieved and gave Mercedes a platform to negotiate with the shop fitters and suppliers.  The budget also gave Mercedes an understanding of how much stock would need to be sold, and how quickly to meet break-even trading levels. Forecasts updated the position as the year progressed so that corrective action could be taken.

After the lease had been negotiated and signed, the business plan was transformed into a budget using the judgement of Mercedes and Outbased’s experience to make best use of the capital available.  Balancing the budget allows the best value for money to be achieved and gave Mercedes a platform to negotiate with the shop fitters and suppliers.  The budget also gave Mercedes an understanding of how much stock would need to be sold, and how quickly to meet break-even trading levels. Forecasts updated the position as the year progressed so that corrective action could be taken.

Successful Small Business

Stock control for a retailer is crucial to making a profit. Manual procedures were set up to closely control purchases alongside a POS system to track sales. Between the two systems, sales could be broken down to identify such metrics as which brands generate the highest margins and which sell the quickest, and when stock had to be paid for. This information gives Mercedes the ability to focus on maximising profit, and keeping a tight control of cash.

Outbased’s relationship with Prohibido has grown over time and we continue to support their successful small business. Prohibido are trading strongly and Mercedes’ priority is to now spend her scarce time better by improving Prohibido’s offering and continuing to grow sales.

In order to meet this goal, Outbased have migrated Prohibido to the cloud-based Xero accounting software and are providing all their bookkeeping needs. We continue to analyse the business data and provide management reporting to track performance and forecast business to allow measured actions.