Credit4 Financial Kitbag Part 4 : Trusted Advisers

November 23, 2015 by Credit4

Credit4 Financial Kitbag Part 4 : Trusted Advisers

UK SMEs are full of entrepreneurial, passionate, driven and hard-working go-getters. This drive and tenacity is commonly held to be the very essence of what it takes to be successful in the UK SME space.

But is that all it takes?

Passion and drive are crucial, but there is another aspect, a must-have, that will give the small business owner a real chance of great things – the ability to be a good business person.

This might sound a bit general, but to successfully run and, importantly, grow a small business, involves many specialised areas: sales, distribution, marketing, and of course finance, to name a few. To find a small business owner who is good at everything is rare, and anyone who believes they are the ‘perfect’ business person should be dealt with cautiously. Talk is cheap!

This fourth and final instalment of the Financial Kitbag series focuses on the important role that a trusted financial adviser has in any business.

Large businesses will usually have secured the services of a professionally qualified Finance Director but for many small businesses, this potentially expensive resource is out of their reach. An SME would be lucky to find a finance expert that can deal with all accounting, tax and funding needs. What is more likely is that the business will have an accountant to advise them on accounting matters and to ensure their statutory filing and tax obligations are compliant.

A growing business should also, however, consider an adviser specifically for financing.

Small business relationship bank managers might have historically filled this role, but today’s UK SMEs have a greater choice of funding possibilities than they have ever had before. The Alternative Finance market has developed so much, with so many funders actively lending to SMEs, that no matter what the circumstances are, there is likely to be a solution out there somewhere.

The trick is navigating a course to the right solution at the right time. If their business accountant is not able to help and the small business owner does not wish to take advantage of the online alternative finance aggregators, this is where the role of the commercial finance broker fits in.

As patrons of the NACFB, Credit4 supports the role that good commercial finance brokers play in helping SMEs identify and secure the right funding for their needs. A good finance broker should add value with market knowledge and an understanding of the short, medium and possibly long term funding requirements of the business.

Your ideal broker will have relationships with a broad range of lenders, not just a few, so that you can be comfortable he or she is acting in your best interests. Your broker should also be able to guide you through the process, explain why one lender might be better than another and help to prepare and present the information that a prospective lender requires in such a way that it will give you the best possible chance of securing the financing you need in the timeframe required.

Your adviser will be providing a service and, as such, you should be prepared to pay for it, however, this could be money well spent in terms of the outcome it achieves and the time it may take to get there. All costs should be discussed up front and, naturally, you should make sure you feel you are getting value for money. There are many good brokers out there so if you don’t have a good feeling about one then speak to another.

Once you have identified the right finance broker, don’t let it be a one-off encounter. A good adviser can, and should, become a trusted business contact for many years to come.

To find a selection of brokers in your area visit, www.findsmefinance.co.uk

 

This is the final instalment of a four part series. To read the other instalments, visit The Credit4 Financial Kitbag Part 1: Cashflow Forecasts; The Credit4 Financial Kitbag Part 2: Management Accounts and The Credit4 Financial Kitbag Part 3: Business Plan

If you would like to find out more about flexible growth funding from Credit4, visit our homepage or give us a call on 020 3637 0570.

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