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The nights are drawing in, the weather’s turned wet and windy and the shops are already full of Christmas frivolity…if you’re in business all of that can only mean one thing: it’s time to start planning your finances for 2015.

In the business calendar, Q4 is the time to take stock and plan for the year ahead. That basic principle is no different this year but what’s changed is the business climate. Instead of planning strategies to help keep your business afloat until the market improves, this year you need to look for ways to invest in capturing the opportunities prompted by the recovery.

For many SMEs, securing the capital to invest in growth continues to be a hurdle to business planning. With profits squeezed across many sectors over the past few years, few have capital lying around. Lines of credit from traditional lenders are still not easy to come by either. That’s why asset finance is often the answer with a range of solutions available to help you unlock some of the value in your assets while continuing to use them.

As an asset finance specialist for SME companies, Praetura understands the difficult decisions facing businesses that need a capital injection in order to grow; part of our role is to advise on the best fit solution to meet your needs.

Increasingly, many businesses are opting for a refinancing solution, which enables your company to receive a lump sum of capital by selling your asset to a finance company, but enables you to continue using it while you make fixed monthly repayments. Any asset with equity, such as vehicles or machinery, can be refinanced – even if it is already subject to a finance agreement with another lender.

This approach not only enables you to raise capital for any type of investment in business growth, it also means that even business critical assets can be refinanced because they will still be available for use. It’s also a very flexible approach, which, depending on the provider you choose, can allow you to reduce monthly payments by increasing the length of the plan and provide the option of buying back the asset at the end of the repayment period.

Identifying the right time to invest in your business and prepare for growth is never easy, but identifying the right type and source of finance is much easier than you might think. The answer may not be in borrowing cash but in unlocking the value in assets that already drive your business success.