We live in rapidly changing times and 2017 has flung many a curve ball in the direction of the UK’s small army of SMEs. These include the fallout, forecasts and presumptions from the Brexit negotiations, a snap election that arguably left our political waters muddier than they were before and the much-predicted interest rate rise, to finish off the year.
We can look ahead and wonder what 2018 is going to throw our way, but as a small or medium sized business, the first hurdle you need to overcome is January.
Stave off the post-Christmas blues
After the fun and frivolities of the Christmas period, comes the cold and severe dullness of January and the joyous annual revelation that everybody’s skint. This is nothing new, it happens every year.
There is a knock-on effect for businesses too. Many an accounts clerk will tell you, that getting invoices paid in January is always that bit more challenging and it’s not necessarily because everybody’s been partying the Christmas period away. Unless you are a business selling or delivering Christmas produce, presents or events, December can be a slow month. Some wind down, some shut down completely and there’s the delight of a VAT payment being due at the end of December too. This is then followed by customers up and down the land tightening the purse-strings.
Start the new year on a high
For a whole host of reasons, a company’s cashflow and how it is managed is key. Getting the right foundations for this in place at the very beginning of the year can make a massive difference.
So, has your business got the cashflow in place to tackle the new year slump?
What opportunities could you pursue, or trends could you reverse if there was additional working capital in place for January? (Without extending your overdraft or taking out a business loan).
The next question to ask is whether your business has assets. More specifically what is termed ‘hard assets’, such as machinery, equipment or vehicles owned (or financed) and used by your company.
If you do, those assets could provide the additional cashflow you need to start the year with your best foot forward.
Make the most of your business’s assets
With asset refinance, you can raise funds by unlocking cash from the value of your company’s plant, machinery and transport (whilst continuing to be able to use them).
Compared to applying for a loan, this is a much more risk adverse route to finance. You are not taking on any additional risk; instead, by pledging security in equipment your business owns, you are utilising something you already have to benefit your company’s finances.
Other advantages include there not being the same reams of paperwork or hoops to jump through as there can be when applying for a business loan. With a consultant lender such as Praetura Asset Finance, you will be consulting with experts who want to help and understand your business, rather than tick a series of credit-scoring boxes. Plus, the funds can be in your bank account within a matter of days.
Asset refinance can also be used to reduce your monthly outgoings, if you firms has vehicles or equipment currently on finance. Say for instance a business had financed £400,000 of equipment over a five-year term and were three and a half years into that period; their monthly outgoings could be in the region of £8,500 per month. But, with a refinance arrangement of the present-day trade value of the same kit over another four years, the monthly payments could be reduced by more than 50%*.
Let’s be positive about 2018
The next year will no doubt bring new challenges and opportunities. There are predictions that the pound will continue to fluctuate as the Brexit talks move on. We are expecting impacts from the interest rate rise, with possibly more to come and who knows what else is going to happen!
However, how a business starts a year can have an enormous impact on that company’s performance. So, if you want to find out more about how asset refinance could help to deliver an injection of working capital to warm up the dreary month of January, the ideal time to be talking to your financial adviser or broker, to see what options are available to you, is now.
If you want to talk directly to an independent funder, you’re more than welcome to get in touch, by calling 0333 323 7805 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Based on flat interest rates of 6% (original) and 7% refinance with a presumed settlement value of £150,000.