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.
Kickstarting this week’s Business Finance Bulletin, the Recovery Loan Scheme has had a quiet start since its launch but the number of lenders on the panel is now slowly increasing. We look at the latest additions and what continues to hold the Scheme back.
The Start Up Loan Company is encouraging younger people to think about becoming entrepreneurs. This is off the back of an analysis of the 80,000 loans they have distributed which reveals a large portion have gone to new business owners in the 18 to 24 year old age range. How could the loan assist you?
To close, a look at findings from the latest Lloyds Bank UK Recovery Tracker, which uncovers that the UK’s key sectors are back on the path to growth.
If you prefer to read about this week’s news, here’s a transcript of the content…
More lenders offering the Recovery Loan Scheme; young and budding entrepreneurs encouraged to look at a startup loan; and key UK sectors of back on the growth trajectory. All of this in the latest Business Finance Bulletin.
Recovery Loan Scheme Lenders
The Recovery Loan Scheme launched on the 6th of April, and there hasn’t been an awful lot of noise in the marketplace as regards how successful or otherwise that it’s been. Before we take a look at why this is, let’s remind ourselves quickly of the key features of the Recovery Loan Scheme.
It’s designed to help promote growth, so if you’re looking for additional working capital or cash; buying plants and equipment and machinery, then this is the loan for you. If you don’t want to provide a personal guarantee, you can borrow up to a maximum of £250,000 with no personal guarantee. If you’d want to borrow more than your guarantee would be limited to 20% of the balance.
The interest rate is capped at 14.99% and in terms of the loan term, it depends on the type of product you take be it would be a maximum of three years or a maximum of six years.
Demand at the moment, is still a bit muted and it’s all down to the makeup of the panel. During the early days, it was really only the high street banks and a few other niche players but over the last couple of weeks, we’ve started now to see lenders coming on to the scheme, having applied for and being accredited by the British Business Bank.
The panel, as I record this, now stands at 27 lenders and the recent additions include Triodos bank, Atom bank and Synergy bank, so we’re starting to see some activity coming through.
However, one thing to bear in mind is that the appetite to support is going to be quite varied. The high street banks, well they’re probably going to be quite tough. The other ones are focusing on particular products, but also some of them are being very careful by saying it’s open for only existing customers.
Some of them are saying you have to provide security, which is a bit strange considering the government’s giving an 80% guarantee; a bit bizarre.
So you can see the panel is quite tight and there’s going to be reasons for you to really look closely at each of them to see whether it fits your needs.
If you want to know which lenders are on the panel, just go along to the British Business Bank website, which is www.british-business-bank.co.uk.
Alternatively, of course continue watching this Bulletin and periodically I’ll be telling you about all the new lenders who are coming on the Scheme.
Start Up Loans for Young Entrepreneurs
In the pandemic, one sector of society that has been hit particularly badly are the millennials. These are the 18 to 24 year olds who’ve been hit hardest when it comes to unemployment with them taking the brunt of job losses.
Well, the Start Up Loan Companies, is launching a campaign to encourage these 18 to 24 year olds to not necessarily think about getting a job, but perhaps to think about starting a business.
If you are starting a business, of course, some startup capital will always help and that’s where the Start Up Loan Company comes in.
Since it’s been going since 2012, of the 80,000 successful loan applicants they had, 54% of them have been unemployed and of all of that 54%, 31% of them were 18 to 24 year olds.
Now, interestingly, over the last year, the number of people applying for this in the 18 to 24 year old range range has doubled compared to 2019. So we can see there’s a lot of interest from young people in terms of starting a business. And this is what the startup loan company is hoping to tap into.
If you are in that age bracket and you’re looking to start a business, check out startup loans, it’s a great product.
If there’s four of you, each of you can have a maximum of £25,000, or if you’re on your own, it’s a maximum of £25,000. The interest rate is 6% and you can pay the loan back over five years. Great interest rates and a great loan term.
If you want to know more, just go along to their website, which is www.startuploans.co.uk
Back on the Growth Path
According to the latest Lloyd’s bank UK Recovery Tracker, all the key sectors in the UK economy are starting to look at growth again.
Their latest report for April highlights that of the 14 sectors they regularly monitor, all 14 of them reported positive growth output in the month of April. Now that is the first time since August, 2018, that all 14 sectors have recorded growth. In March it was 11 sectors recording growth. So you can see there’s now been a further increase, which is great news for the economy.
Which sectors are leading the pack? Well it’s manufacturing and also technology. Those are the ones that grew by the largest amount.
However, what is even more encouraging that 13 of the 14 sectors though have reported growth plans over the next 12 months, which is going to exceed that recorded by their global counterparts. So it does appear that UK entrepreneurs and business owners are feeling a lot more optimistic and a lot more bullish than their overseas competitors.
Overall really good news for the UK economy, which means that hopefully we’ll finish 2021 with some very strong figures.
Well, that’s it for another Bulletin and as ever, I hope you enjoyed watching it, and if you did please don’t forget to subscribe to this channel or hit the like and share button.
I look forward to being with you again, next time.
Whilst you may have ambitions to grow your business there are often barriers put in your way. What are the barriers which businesses face? That’s a question asked by Hitachi Capital in their latest Business Barometer survey series. Do you experience any of these barriers?
Becoming a more sustainable business is increasingly appearing on business radars. However, financing environmentally friendly projects can prevent change. We look at a new range of Green-focused finance packages launched by HSBC.
To close this Bulletin, our monthly look at activity levels in the asset finance sector from the Finance & Leasing Association. As a gauge of how confident businesses are in terms of investment spend, how are businesses feeling?
If you would prefer to listen to the podcast version you can click below or download to listen to later via our Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher or itunes channel.
Whilst small businesses can sometimes beat the bigger players in the market, occasionally we can learn a trick or two from them. In this edition of the Business Finance Bulletin, we take a look at strategies being employed by Chief Financial Officers to boost their company’s performance. What tips can you take action on?
How do small business owners view the finance market and their growth prospects? That’s a question posed in the latest Business Finance Survey carried out by the British Business Bank. Not surprisingly, the survey reveals positive news… and less positive expectations when looking ahead.
To close the Bulletin, we share news on a new milestone reached by peer-to-peer lender, Funding Circle, in terms of the amount it has lent to small businesses.
If you would prefer to listen to the podcast version you can click below or download to listen to later via our Soundcloud, Stitcher or itunes channel.
If you have plans to grow your business, don’t underestimate the vital role cashflow has to play. Fresh from delivering a workshop on financing growth for business growth specialist Gavin Preston, BLS’s Rob Warlow shares the importance of managing cashflow when you’re going for growth… an important lightbulb moment for those attending the session.
The banks are starting to learn from the alternative finance players with news from RBS/Nat West that they are launching an online platform where new and existing customers can apply for loans up to £150,000.
Marketinvoice, the online invoice discounting platform, has announced an enhancement to its service with Marketinvoice Pro which will allow frequent users more flexibility in accessing funds.
If you would prefer to listen to the podcast version you can click below or download to listen to later via our Soundcloud, Stitcher or itunes channel.
In my latest Business Finance Bulletin Episode 101 I briefly reviewed a survey which revealed that businesses which keep up to date financial records are likely to grow twice as fast as those businesses with information more than nine months old.
This is such an important topic when it comes to raising finance that I thought I’d go into it in a little more depth.
The survey was carried out by KPMG Small Business Accounting and focused on how businesses can perform better when they have up to date financial information to hand.
KPMG found that small business’ management accounts are, on average, four months out of date, not a finding I can disagree with. However, more interestingly they found a direct link between having current financial information and likely growth rates.
They discovered that those with accurate information grew twice as fast as those with nine-month-old data over the last twelve months… 8% compared to 4%. A compelling reason if there was one to keep on top of your books!
This is a finding I can relate to. In arranging commercial finance for businesses, whether that’s for additional working capital or long term funding, one question the majority of lenders will ask is ‘can we see the latest management accounts’. Those who can deliver on the request have a far higher chance of getting finance than those who can’t.
On that basis, the survey’s findings that businesses with up to date figures are growing twice as fast is true – they are simply able to grab opportunities which their less organised competitors have to let slip through their fingers because they can’t get the finance arranged quick enough.
The researchers were also able to put a number on these lost opportunities. They estimate that with better financial visibility, small firms would have invested up to £1 billion more in the economy in the last financial year. Outdated financial information is resulting in lower levels of investment, employment, stunting productivity growth and holding back the economic recovery.
Many of the business owners I meet are the first to admit that they don’t like the financial aspect of their business and yet they struggle through trying to do the books themselves (usually in the wee small hours of the morning!), The survey found that small business owners spend more than two and a half hours on average each week trying to stay on top of their finances and probably doing a poor job or giving up!
The result of all this is that many business owners are making important investment and strategic decisions on the spot without a full understanding of their current financial position.
What’s the solution?
The answer is to pass the task of keeping your financial information up to date onto a bookkeeper or your Accountant; outsource it to the professionals. Concentrate on what you’re good at and get people in who love to crunch numbers.
The upshot of all this is the next time you are presented with an opportunity which needs finance then at least myself and other finance brokers will be able to move quicker and hopefully get you that all too elusive ‘yes’.
In the latest episode of the Business Finance Bulletin Rob Warlow looks at a report from Liberis, a finance provider, on the issues growing businesses face particularly in terms of late payment and how you can avoid it.
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme is a little known scheme devised to help both start ups and investors make use of attractive tax breaks. Rob shares findings from a review as to how popular the scheme is and looks at the SEIS eligibility criteria.
Turning to crowdfunding, Rob has news from the Centre for Economics and Business Research which predicts that the amount of money accessed through crowdfunding will grow to a significant sum by 2020.
If you’re a VAT registered business you are probably familiar with the challenges of meeting the quarterly demand! Recent figures from finance provider LDF show a large amount of overdue VAT is outstanding to HMRC and in the Business Finance Tip of the Week Rob chats with Liz Maher from Centurion VAT in which she shares tips on managing your VAT risk.
If you prefer to listen via a podcast version you can download via our Soundcloud or itunes channel or listen in below.
In this episode of the weekly Business Finance Bulletin Rob Warlow examines current trends in late payment with news from the Asset Based Finance Association that despite improving economic conditions late payment problems are on the rise.
Continuing on the theme of late payment online accounting provider Crunch has identified within the world of self employment which businesses are best and worst when it comes to chasing payment. Are you one of them?
Locally run business loan funds are a useful source of alternative finance for smaller businesses and Rob looks at one fund run by Staffordshire County Council and the success it has had in supporting local businesses.
In the crowdfunding world Rob shares news from Market Invoice, the online invoice discounting solution, of another round of funding granted to it by the British Business Bank.
Despite a few hiccups lately in terms of growth and business confidence Rob looks at the findings of a survey from American Express Small Business Services which reveals that businesses are reporting strong growth and confidence for the future.
And in the Business Finance Tip of the Week a clip from an interview in which Rob talks about the typical cash contribution you have make to a deal to get your bank on board.
You can also listen to this week’s episode or download to listen to late via clicking below, or by visiting our Soundcloud or itunes channels.
In the latest Business Finance Bulletin episode Business Loan Services’ Rob Warlow looks the forthcoming changes in ISA rules and a survey from Yorkshire Bank and attitude to risk amongst savers which could see a boost to the crowdfunding market.
Staying with crowdfunding Rob shares news of the launch of a new crowdfunding platform. Bricks Financial is based in the South West and will primarily focus on servicing the local market.
According to the latest survey from the Federation of Small Businesses confidence amongst small business owners is strong and they are focused on where they are investing their money.
In the Business Finance Tip of the Week Rob looks at reviewing and controlling your overheads to ensure you are making the best returns from your business.
If you would also like to listen to the podcast version then you can either listen below or directly download this episode from our Soundcloud page by clicking the download symbol below. Alternatively to can subscribe via our itunes channel.
In the latest Business Finance Bulletin episode Rob Warlow discusses two surveys which touch upon the subject of seeking out advice and support from professional advisors. The first survey looks at how many businesses are currently looking to sell up and why that is. In terms of the start up market Rob talks about another survey from Aviva and the support and advice start ups seek.
Invoice discounting continues to grow in popularity but Rob looks at news from Market Invoice about the lack of transparency and hidden fees which are prevalent in the invoice discounting industry.
Rob also discusses the news that BrewDog, the craft beer brewer is looking to raise £25m to fund its expansion but doing it on their own under their ‘Equity for Punks’ scheme and so bypassing the industry stalwarts.
In the Business Finance Tip of the Week a clip from a live seminar in which Rob talks about the impact on cashflow of carrying too much stock.
If you would to listen to this episode in the podcast version click below to listen or to download to your computer or phone.
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
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
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
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
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.