1. Showcase your USP – talents, technology and depth of knowledgeYou are operating in a competitive environment, regardless of which industry you’re in, and against a backdrop of legal and government policies. Lenders and investors will be looking for you to show that you know what’s happening in your industry, what trends are emerging, and what you’re doing to stay at the cutting edge.
2. Illustrate the strength of your cashflowWith late payments on the rise, SMEs increasingly rank cashflow as one of the more serious worries they are facing. Illustrating the strength of historic and forecasted cashflow is arguably more important than even your credit score. This is because the latter is a static concept, whereas cashflow gives a strong indication as to your sustainability and potential direction of travel – and with growth comes an improved score. Thincats, for example, would want to see a two-year track record in which the business has generated cash flow so they can prove they can service the debt. You also need to demonstrate that you have a strong management team that is striving for continual improvement.
If you stand still in today’s society you fall behind your competition. You also need to demonstrate your financial commitment to the business by showing that you have invested your own capital into the business in the first place.
Think outside the box – consider the alternativesAcross the UK, almost 3,000 bank branches have closed since 2015 or are due to shut this year, according to consumer body Which?. That equates to almost 60 per month and means you must consider more than just your high street bank when seeking finance. A vast array of alternative business funding options have evolved in the wake of the financial crisis, offering different ways to raise funds for your new business. These range from government-backed schemes such as the British Business Bank, through to crowdfunding and the more flexible alternative finance providers like us, Funding Circle and Growth Street. To summarise, whichever form of finance you choose, it is vitally important that you have a good professional advisor to help you navigate the multitude of debt providers in the market. Today, if you were looking to take on a business loan you could be looking at around 30 options. You have to present yourself in the right way and secure the best chance of gaining the support. Our model is one in which we purposely correlate relationships with financial intermediaries that are representing the borrower, it’s so important to give yourself the best chance of securing funding for the business.
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