SME Finance – The inhibitor you can solve
The UK is renown for its startup and fintech scenes. It’s also home to some of the worlds largest financial institutions ensuring obtaining is funding a simple process, right? Not so, survey after survey highlights the lack of funding available to SMEs and how it’s the number 1 challenge followed by access to good talent.
SMEs can unlock their funding requirements by working with a finance consultancy (or broker), aiding their growth and that of UK plc.
A good consultancy wants to know You, the customer, your business, and key personnel before understanding your cash flow pain points. Time spent at this stage will help you and the consultancy understand each other which ultimately leads to a well-considered proposal being produced.
The next stage in the process allows you to do what any business owner does best; get back to running their business as the consultancy gets to work in preparing a solution (or solutions) to the challenges. They will already be considering which of their lender panel will be suitable for you based on lending criteria and personality with one eye on the future and growth.
Dependent on how you have chosen to work with the consultancy there may be a brief pause at this stage to allow you the business owner to review and consider the proposal before lenders become involved in the process. We advocate this is a good way of working as a checkpoint to make sure you are aligned with what your lenders will see about you. This document will form the basis of the lenders’ risk assessment, so it needs to be right and have your buy-in.
The next stage is Underwriting, the most stressful part of the process for any introducer. You have no control, and, however, much you know the lending criteria a human is involved, making the outcome uncertain. Unless you are an employee of the lender, the ability to influence the decision at this stage is minimal. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying, take it from someone who has been in the underwriting seat!
It is time for your involvement again. Your consultant will present the offers to you with a comparison to the initial brief. You may also get insight into the lender’s relationship management process; this is a great bonus and confidence builder.
Once you’ve made a decision, its time for completion and the legal process. The length and complexity of this stage will depend on both the borrowing-type and lender. You are in control of how quickly this stage moves, enjoy it.
Completion phase over, time to receive the cash you’ve worked so hard to get. If you’ve worked with a consultancy, its time to follow the plan you’ve developed together and reap the rewards of time and effort spent.
Congratulations! You are now in a select group of SMEs who have solved their number 1 inhibitor to growth and can get back to running your business with one less item on your to-do list or worry depending on your situation.