Raising finance to grow your business is not about today, it is about tomorrow. The right finance package can be a positive force within your business, one which can be used to propel your business forward.
Building a bigger, better future… that’s what we do
When you’re looking for finance to grow, a lender will want to see a well constructed Business Plan. A great Plan sets out a clear vision for the future, a future in which you soar above your competition.
The whole process of raising finance can be a distraction and divert your attention away from what’s important. With mounting priorities it’s a case of which one has to wait. Typically raising finance is one task that can grind you down.
To start this week’s Business Finance Bulletin, research from Hitachi Capital Business Finance has revealed that businesses are now less fearful of contraction or collapse compared to last year. The swing in confidence is a signal that businesses are seeing growth prospects again.
When businesses get back into a growth phase, that typically brings with it a need for additional working capital. This has been borne out in a survey from unsecured business finance provider Iwoca. We look at the findings which highlight an increase in demand for short term, unsecured finance.
Wrapping up this Bulletin, we have our monthly review of the latest insolvency figures. We look at how the number of firms entering into some form of insolvency arrangement is on the increase.
Opening this Business Finance Bulletin, after being the key source of finance for 12 months the final figures are out for the Bounce Back Loans and CBILS schemes. The figures reveal the extent of finance taken on by businesses and now it is payback time.
For start ups and smaller businesses getting on the ladder to build a credit score can be difficult, but a new service announced by Tide Bank will ease this problem. Tide’s Credit Builder is designed to help smaller businesses create a credit footprint thereby making future access to finance easier.
To close, we review the latest figures from the Finance and Leasing Association which reveals a significant return to usage of asset finance facilities such as leasing and HP. This is a good sign of the continuing return of confidence among businesses.
According to the latest Lloyds Bank Business Barometer report, business owners are continuing to feel increasingly optimistic about their future prospects. With optimism and confidence levels reaching new highs we look at one key peril to watch out for.
If you have a idea for a great new business and you need an incentive to get started then check out a business start up competition launched by Tik Tok, the video sharing platform. With a cash prize and an array of support and mentoring could this be the push you’re looking for?
Bank charges are often a bone of contention. To close this Bulletin, we look at the announcement from TSB of an offer of up to two years free banking. One to look at if you wish to reduce the cost of running your day-to-day business banking.
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.
We open our latest Business Finance Bulletin with the good news that business confidence levels are on the up. The latest Business Barometer report from Hitachi Capital Business Finance reveals that an increasing number of business owners are predicting improved months ahead.
Cashflow can be tight for many businesses, but particularly for start ups. Just Cashflow, the short term finance lender, has announced that alongside their new Business Account, qualifying start ups can now access their Revolving Credit Facility.
To wrap up this Bulletin, we review the latest company insolvency figures which highlight that businesses potentially in trouble continue to be protected by the various government support schemes.
You can read the transcript of this Bulletin below…
Business confidence is starting to return; the short-term lender Just cashflow extends supports to startups; and company insolvencies still remain low. All of this in the latest Business Finance Bulletin.
Business Finance Confidence
Let’s opened this bulletin with some good news. Hitachi Capital Business Finance, as part of their quarterly Business Barometer series, have spoken to approximately 1,300 small business owners and the resounding message is that confidence is beginning to return to the marketplace.
Let’s have a look at those businesses who say that they are predicting growth.
Well, three months ago, 26% of businesses said that they were predicting growth for their business.
Forward three months to today, that figure now stands at 36% of business owners saying that they are planning growth over the coming months. That’s a quite a big increase and that’s a big vote of confidence for the UK economy.
Let’s look at the flip side of businesses who were fearing collapse. Well, 12 months ago, the survey found that 29% of small business owners said that they were fearful that their businesses would not survive.
Now, 12 months later, that figure stands at just 7%. That’s a significant fall and just shows how much confidence is now starting to come back into the market place. But of course, it’s not all plain sailing.
I just want to make you aware of one key thing to look out for and that is growth brings its own problems, particularly in terms of cashflow. When you start growing again, particularly if you’re growing rapidly, there’s a big demand on your cash. You need to buy in stock. You need perhaps to fund the growing debtor book, all of this needs cash.
So do watch that and make sure that you are forecasting your cash flow requirements ahead to make sure that you don’t run out of funds, but overall, a really good vote of confidence for the UK economy.
Just Cashflow Supports Start Ups
Are you planning to start up a new business or you have recently started one? I’m sure you’ll agree that the one thing that can hold you back is cash or more particularly cashflow.
Poor cashflow can be a killer for any business, but for startups in particular it can be very challenging.
The short-term finance provider Just Cashflow has announced, it is now going to support qualifying startups by giving them access to their Revolving Credit Facility, which is a facility up to the amount of £10,000. This sits alongside their newly launched business account which is available via a mobile phone or a desktop app. And it does all of the things that a traditional bank account will do. You can make payments online, both in and out. You have a master debit card as well. It integrates with various software accounting packages.
So it really is a good alternative to your main high street banks and particularly of interest of course to startups, where you may be able to access this Revolving Credit Facility up to £10,000. This facility acts essentially like an overdraft limit where often times when you need to make payments out, but you haven’t got the cash in from your clients yet; it acts like a bridge between cash in and cash out a really useful facility for startups.
If you want to know more about the Revolving Credit Facility and also the new business account, just go along to the just cashflow website, which is www.just-cashflow.com. A great new service by Just Cashflow and good to see that people are out there supporting new start ups.
Let’s take our usual monthly look at company insolvency figures. That’s a bit of a depressing topic, of course, but it’s really important that you watch this, particularly if you provide credit to your customers, by giving them 30, 60, 90 days before paying you. You really need to watch the trends going out there to make sure you don’t get caught out.
The figures as I’ve reported in previous bulletins continue to be very low, which is puzzling compared to where UK economy is at the moment in terms of the stresses out there. The latest figures have been released by the Insolvency Service for March, 2021. And in that month, they were 992 firms that went into some form of insolvency arrangement. Now compared to March, 2020, that is down 20%. And that’s the puzzle. You’ve got lots of stresses in the economy, and yet a lower number of businesses are entering into insolvency compared to March, 2020.
If you wind it back a further 12 months to March, 2019, this figure is down a further 37%. So again, a very large drop in the number of businesses going into insolvency.
But of course, the reason behind this is the level of government support, via bounce backs and the CBILs loans that were given; the furlough or the various grants. But we know all of that is now coming to an end or has come to an end. The distresses will now start to come through.
The other thing of course is the perils that come with growth. And I mentioned in the first segment, you’ve got to watch out when you grow your businesses; growth brings an increased demand for cash. And if you can’t access that, then you may get into trouble. So if you are providing credit, just keep an eye on those firms, making sure that they are financially sound.
Also if you are one of the businesses suffering financially, make sure that you take the appropriate advice. Go speak to your financial advisor, your accountant, or seek out a licensed insolvency practitioner in order to make sure that you seek out the correct advice.
That’s it for this Bulletin. As ever, I hope you liked it and if you did, please, don’t forget to give it a like, a share and of course, subscribe to this channel.
So that’s it and I look forward to being with you next time In the meantime, have a profitable, successful and safe week.
As the application deadline to apply for a Bounce Back or CBILS loan fast approaches, there is talk of a new government-backed loan being announced in this week’s Budget. Focusing more on recovery than survival we consider what the features of the loan could be.
Smaller, local businesses have been badly hit over the last 12 months. We look at a pilot scheme launched by Barclays Bank in four UK towns. The Rebuilding Thriving Local Business programme designed to equip small business owners with the skills to restore their businesses.
To close, a review of the latest Lloyds Bank monthly Business Barometer survey which reveals that business is slowly edging up to highs not seen for nearly a year.
Opening the latest Business Finance Bulletin, good news in a survey from Hitachi Capital Business Finance, which reveals that despite continuing lockdowns, many businesses are still looking ahead to growth. But not all sectors are so confident.
We look at findings from Purbeck Insurance Services which highlight that businesses which took on larger CBILs facilities have exposed Directors to an element of personal risk via Personal Guarantees.
To close, not all businesses are keen to take on debt to keep cash flow positive or fund new projects and would prefer a grant. We look at a new free grant finder service launched by Nat West and Swoop which could help source the right grant.
Opening this week’s Bulletin, we look at the amount banks are setting aside for expected loan losses. We are in the High Street banks’ half-year reporting season and they are setting aside significant provisions for expected loan defaults. How could this impact you when looking for finance?
Although experiencing a fall in sales, the impact on small businesses is being offset by cost savings. We review a survey from Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance which reveal the top cost lines where savings are being made.
To close, we look at surveys from Lloyds Bank and the Federation of Small Businesses, one which reports businesses are starting to feel more confident, and the other revealing that business owners are still cautious about the next three months.
You can also read the Business Finance Bulletin transcript here…
Business Finance Bulletin 3rd August 2020
UK banks have set aside significant sums in anticipation of loan losses; how does this impact you? How businesses have been saving costs over the last few months; and mixed messages on business confidence… all of this in the latest Business Finance Bulletin
Bank Loan Loss Provisions
Let’s start this Bulletin with a topic I’ve never covered before. In the previous 308 episodes of the Business Finance Bulletin, I’ve never looked at bank profit performance.
Why am I interested this time?
Well, over the last seven to ten days, the UK banks have started releasing their half year profit figures, and there’s one figure that really stands out, that could impact on you. That is the amount of money that banks are anticipated to lose through loans going bad or not being paid.
The banks have been setting aside a new loan provision figure. This reflects their view on the economy and the amount they’re setting aside in anticipation of loans going bad is quite significant.
For example, Barclays Bank have set aside an additional £1.6 billion for anticipated loan losses.
Lloyds, they set aside an additional 2.4 billion.
NatWest, an additional 2.2 billion and Santander, £376 million.
In total, it’s just over 6 billion pounds of new anticipated loan provisions that the banks have set aside.
Now this excludes the Bounce Back Loans because we know the government guarantees a hundred percent of the Bounce Back loans. There’s been £34 billion of Bounce Back loans distributed, and 40% of that it’s about £14 billion of Bounce Back loans are likely to go bad.
How does this impact you?
I mentioned in a previous Bulletin, I think there’s a credit crunch coming in 2021. It’s clear that if the banks are anticipating significant loan losses, it’s confirmed their appetite to support small businesses with new debt is going to be very much lower. So what does this mean for you?
If you are looking to get extra cash in order to supplement working capital, you really have to be approaching your lenders early because you may not get the answer you want. You may have to look at alternative sources of finance, and this could take time if the market is contracting in terms of sources of finance. So, plan early.
Don’t forget, if you did jump quickly and get a Bounce Back loan of up to £50,000, don’t forget with the CBILs facility, which is a higher amount, you can actually include an amount to refinance an existing Bounce Back loan. So, if you apply for £150,000, £50,000 of that can go to refinance your Bounce Back loan. Use that window of opportunity because the CBILs facility closes in September. So, we can see there’s a lot of headwinds around. If you are looking to raise finance, plan early.
Business Cost Reductions
For the last few months, many businesses have seen sales and turnover going down, but many businesses have been able to offset the pain via reduction in costs and overheads.
So where have businesses been saving money?
Well, an interesting survey has come out from Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance. They found in this latest survey, 64% of businesses say they still have employees working from home, and naturally this does involve some cost saving for the business.
So where are these savings?
From the businesses surveyed,
53% of them said they are saving on employee food and drink;
48% saving on employee travel.;
45% on cleaning services
36% saving on catering for client meetings
and 36% say they are saving on rent and utilities.
So what’s the total amount on average that they are saving? Well, 70% of the firms said that on average, they are saving £840 per month; about £10,000 a year.
Not a small sum. It doesn’t offset the total drop in income, but hey, at least it does take away some of that pain.
The message is to continually review and challenge your costs Take a look at your bank statement, review all of the entries going out and ask, does that particular debit add value to my business or is it a cost that I can safely slash for now?
After all, it’s the businesses that have got a good control on overheads are the ones who will come out in a much stronger position.
Business Confidence Levels
Let’s close this Bulletin by taking a look at business confidence and the mixed messages that are coming out from various surveys.
First of all, Lloyds Bank’s monthly Business Barometer review. That showed some good news with confidence levels showing a month-on-month increase since the low in March. Also economic sentiment, that’s also increasing as well.
It’s good to see that some businesses are starting to feel a little bit more confident, but of course, that confidence level is well off the long-term average reported in that series from Lloyds Bank.
On the flip side, though, not such good news from the FSB quarterly Small Business Index. There, 23% of businesses surveyed said that the next three months is definitely going to be worse for them than the previous three months. So, there are some businesses that are looking ahead which feel well away from coming out of the danger zone. It just shows that many businesses are probably balancing on a bit of a knife edge.
If you’re in that position, don’t forget, it’s all about getting the right advice now, so please do reach out to your accountant and your other professional advisors. If you’re in the position where you’re not feeling that safe, of course, keep watching the Business Finance Bulletin and I’ll have lots of tips for you on how to make sure that you get yourself back onto an even financial keel.
That’s it for another Bulletin. As ever, I hope you enjoyed watching it, and if you did, please, don’t forget to give it a, like and a share.
That’s it. I hope you have a safe, successful, and healthy week and I look forward to being with you again next time.
Opening the latest Business Finance Bulletin, we look at proposals presented by financial firms and professionals on how to ease the debt and cashflow burden facing business in 2021 when CBILS and Bounce Back Loan repayments start.
As businesses open and consumers slowing start spending, we review the latest quarterly survey from Hitachi Capital Business Finance which reveals that business confidence is slowly beginning to return, especially among small businesses.
To close, the announcement that the European Union has relaxed the Undertaking in Difficulty test means that businesses refused a CBILS loan due to an insolvent Balance Sheet can now re-apply. This is good news for businesses previously denied access to the CBILS programme.
Starting this week’s Bulletin, with businesses either back trading or gearing up to open the doors, we look at surveys from Aldermore Bank and UK Finance which reveal how businesses see the next 12 months in terms of borrowing and growth.
The British Business Bank announces accreditation of more new lenders on the Bounce Back and CBILS loan schemes. Are we at the stage where there are enough on the panel of lenders?
To close, we review the latest figures on the two loan schemes and consider why the number of unsuccessful CBILS applications remains stubbornly high.
I wanted to thank you for such an insightful, energetic, and entertaining talk at the Kevin Green Wealth event on securing funding and creating a successful plan. It was brilliantly executed and a pleasure to listen to and the ideas I’ve learned are definitely going to help me in going forward.
Max Cooper of Manchester
Rob delivered a series of 3 workshops aimed at understanding how finance houses look at finance propositions with the aim for us as a team to deliver more of a bespoke offering to our customer base. The training was delivered to a mixture of staff who work with new businesses start-ups and existing established businesses across Mid & South West Wales. Rob delivered the training with an abundance of passion and has really helped my team look at financial propositions in a different light, many thanks again Rob and I look forward to work with you in the near future.
Shayne Yates | Welsh Government Regional Centre Service Mid Wales
Further to your recent presentation at LEAD Wales just wanted to say it was very refreshing to see somebody talk passionately and positively about finance, very insightful!
Kay Hyde | Hyde & Hyde Architects
Rob kindly agreed to attend the recent Pontypridd RFC sponsors networking evening and delivered what can only be described as an excellent talk on 5 Tactics to Boost Your Business and Your Profits. He kept the audience engaged throughout and the feedback from everyone was excellent. Rob is very knowledgeable on business and finance and on top of that is a genuine nice guy. We hope to have him back at a future event and I have no hesitation in recommending Rob’s services.
Angela Holloman-Coombes | Connective HR
Hi Rob, it was so interesting and entertaining listening to you at the Kevin Green Wealth Coach Workshop in Reading this weekend! I didnt realise you can find Finance proposals such fun!. Brilliant tips! Thanks.