Why not just go to your bank?

A very valid question - and one that we are frequently asked. I could, of course furnish you with a list of rehearsed reasons why alternative finance is 'better than bank finance'. But I won't, and here is why. Banks continue to perform a valuable role in business funding and to automatically ignore or avoid them will generally not be in the best interest of your business.  Let's cut to the chase, if your bank really want a your business, they will do it on terms that are very competitive -...
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Office fit-out – The funding conundrum

OK, for many small businesses, fitting out an office involves little more than a lick of paint, some desks and filing cabinets and perhaps partitions or dividing walls - hardly the sort of stuff to break the bank. However for larger businesses, or those who have very specific requirements (showrooms, restaurants, customer environments to name a few) this is big and often costly business investment, frequently heading well into 6 figures and beyond. The financial impact is compounded by the...
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Banks & supermarkets

It must be said that I'm not a huge fan of supermarkets, and news from the last 18 months has provided plenty of reasons to avoid them. So why don't I? Because, like the vast majority of us, whilst not embracing them, I do enjoy the simple convenience and practicality that they offer. For a general weekly shop, quite simply they offer most of what I want, at a not unreasonable price. And that is really where it begins and ends. So what if I'm cooking a special meal, and said supermarket doesn...
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Would Cool Hand Luke get funded?

For those who don't know who Cool Hand Luke is: A) you really should! B) Here is a synopsis 'in this 1967 film, Luke, played by Paul Newman is a prisoner in a Florida prison camp who refuses to submit to the system. He earns the nickname 'Cool Hand Luke' by winning a poker game with a hand that amounts to nothing - his response 'Sometimes nothing is a real cool hand' So really, the question might be 'Is getting funded a game of bluff?' With nearly 30 years of experience in the lendin...
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HMRC – Friend or foe?

Are you using HMRC as a primary funder?   It is an open secret that HMRC were persuaded to take a soft line on 'time to pay' arrangements during the credit crunch. It was a welcome respite for small business owners - which in many cases became a primary source of business funding.   The tax man is a great form of finance when he is in a good mood, but is under increasing pressure to start recovering the alleged £35 billion of missing payments (about £3 billion of which rela...
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Will you be buying a 65 plate?

Yes again, September registrations are approaching - will you be buying a new or used vehicle from a dealer?   Will you be looking to finance the purchase?   Would you like to explore options beyond the dealer (or your bank)?   Or would you just like a general chat about the options that might be available to you?   Whether you are buying new or used car or commercial We are happy to discuss a range of competitive, non-bank funding options. &nb...
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Declined for a loan? The different meanings of ‘no’.

If you listen to the popular press, it is easy to believe that there is no point in seeking funding for start up or for growth. Or that once your bank manager has said 'no' (or not responded), that all is lost.   Look a little closer, you will find that this is not the case at all. Whilst the banks emerge cautiously from their crisis, a whole new world of alternative funders has emerged - crowd funding has received much publicity - but is still only about 5% of the alternative market....
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Which is the best bank for my business?

A common and, on the face of it reasonable question, frequently asked by start ups and businesses who might feel they are growing out of their current banking arrangements. I say 'on the face of it' because the only reliable answer to such a broad question - whatever the subject matter may be - is 'it depends'. Again, in common with big, generic Q & As, the tendency is to either revert to recommendation or price.   Recommendation can be fantastic - as long as the person maki...
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It’s a great idea. Now tell me about the business.

Bullsh!t baffles brains! Business plan guide
It is natural and right to get excited about an idea, or a product or service - that is the source of energy and motivation that will drive you through the ups and downs of running a business.   However, the simple fact is that success or failure depends far more on execution than the idea itself. It is true to say that most business ideas can succeed and every business idea can fail.   The majority of successful businesses aren't built around wildly exciting ideas. Take ac...
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Process is great – just don’t leave it in charge

Whether you recognise it or not, you probably have a lot of processes on the go - both in your personal life and in your business.   Process is mostly good, it makes things efficient and straight forward. It builds on and profits from experience and repetition and it allows us to give concrete answers to lots of questions.   If you are a business which has invested a lot of time - and perhaps money - in a detailed process, you should be proud and you should celebrate it. ...
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