Opening our latest Bulletin, we look at how a survey from Bibby Financial Services confirms that business owners continue to feel increasingly confident about the future. What’s driving their confidence and what’s the one thing which could hold them back?
Tide, the mobile business account provider, has announce the forthcoming launch of Tide Invoice Assistant. We look at how the new service can save business owners time in handling their invoicing tasks.
To wrap up, we review the latest figures from the Finance and Leasing Association which, for the first time in nearly a year, report an increase in Asset Finance deals written. Is this a sign that businesses are beginning to reinvest?
If you prefer to read what’s in the latest Bulletin here is the transcript.
Business Finance Bulletin Transcript
Business confidence levels continue to rise. Tide bank launches new add-on service to reduce invoicing burdens and asset finance usage signals that maybe businesses are starting to reinvest.
All of this in the latest Business Finance Bulletin.
Business Confidence Continues to Rise
It’s great to be starting this Bulletin with more positive news. The positivity of course, is around the predicted bounce back in the UK economy, which the government and the Bank of England is now starting to signal. Also confidence levels amongst business owners is continuing to rise. This has been bourne out in the latest survey undertaken by Bibby Financial Services and IN the latest survey they’ve revealed that 75% of small business owners say they now have a more positive outlook for the rest of the year.
Also 74% of them say they anticipate that business would return to pre COVID levels by Christmas. So there’s quite a significant turnaround. What’s driving this?
In the survey, 59% of business owners said that they are looking forward to acquiring new customers. These are customers that they’ve never dealt with before. So if we’ve got business owners looking to acquire new clients, that’s a really good sign of positivity.
And also this positivity is backed up by hard cash. On average small business owners say that they’re looking to invest approximately £150,000 over the next 12 months. This has been driven primarily by the construction sector and also the transport sector and with these sectors, once they start spending, it really trickles down to the economy. Also a third of businesses say they’re going to be reinvesting in hiring new staff and also training their existing teams as well.
So all of this is a really good sign. Of course, there is one downside. The survey also revealed that small businesses are owed on average, approximately £116,376 in unpaid invoices. I’ve mentioned in recent Bulletins that we’ve got to be careful. Now, when you start growing watch that you don’t lose control of your cash flow; it’s cash that will really fuel your growth. So do keep an eye on your cash position, but overall, really good to see that both the economy is looking more positive and also a positive outlook from small business owners as well.
Tide Invoice Assistant
Do you spend a lot of time on administrative tasks, such as creating invoices, chasing up on invoices, managing expenses and spreadsheets? Well, according to Tide, the mobile only bank, businesses can spend about one and a half hours per day On average chasing overdue payments. They can also spend three to four hours per week or managing expenses, creating invoices and managing spreadsheets.
All of this of course is unproductive time; it takes you away from the important task of generating sales and managing customers.
If you’re already a Tide bank customer, you can as of now, create invoices on your app. Well, Tide have now launched a new add on service called Invoice Assistant. This will allow you to do a number of things in terms of managing your payments and invoices. Under Tide Invoice Assistant, you will now get automatic notification of when payments are made, so you can do your reconciliation.
It will automatically chase those customers who are overdue on payment. You can also set up direct debits via GoCardless, so when the invoice is due, the payment is automatically taken, so no more chasing. It’ll also provide some credit insurance as well to protect you against a nonpayment.
This add-on service costs just £10 per month plus VAT. If you find that you are spending an awful lot of time on admin, and you think you can manage your time in a better way, then this service will be ideal for you. If you want to know more about the Tide service, all you have to do is go along to their website, which is www.tide.co. and there you will find information on their business account and also this new service.
A great new service from Tide for those businesses who are time poor.
Asset Finance Growth
More good news. I’ve taken a look at the latest figures from the Finance and Leasing Association in terms of the amount of business their members have been doing with asset finance deals such as HP and the leasing.
The latest figures for the number of deals written in March has shown that there’s been an increase of 15% in activity in the month of March 2021 compared to March, 2020. Of course, March, 2020 was the first month of the lockdown. And so to see a 15% increase on that month is perhaps not unsurprising, but it’s the fact that it is an increase is a positive. It just shows that businesses have started reinvesting back in their business.
Overall, on a 12 month basis, year to year volumes is still down 20% because obviously activity was very low during the whole of the year, but it’s really encouraging to see at least in the month of March activity levels of building back up. Where’s the activity happening?
There was a 22% increase in the deals written in March in terms of commercial vehicles; there’s also a 14% increase in deal activity for business equipment. So it is very clear that businesses are starting to reinvest back into their businesses, which is obviously a good sign and just shows that business owners are ready to be back up and running and a lot more confident about the future.
If you are interested in asset finance and want to know more about HP and leasing opportunities, please just drop us a line info at business loan services . co.uk, and we will happily guide you through the various options.
So overall, really good news this year, that business owners are starting to spend and investing.
That’s it for another Bulletin and as ever, I hope you enjoyed watching. If you did, please, don’t forget to give it a like a share and subscribe to this channel. So that’s it and I look forward to being with you again, next time and in the meantime, have a great successful week.