Small businesses are actively looking for cash to expand, and they want it fast. And the High Street Banks and ‘traditional’ finance providers will need to be more fleet of foot in the coming years if they are to avoid a slide in popularity, most likely at the expense of crowd funders and P2P platforms.
New research from Liberis Finance, an award-winning funding provider for Small businesses, found that almost two thirds (62%) of small businesses are prioritising funding for growth, despite the current uncertainties around Brexit. Only 11% say that they are not looking for additional funding currently.
It also found that despite recent research to the contrary*, access to funding does not appear to be a problem; the vast majority of firms (88%) can access all or pretty much everything they need; more than three quarters (79%) know where to go to get it, have an amount in mind that they want to secure (78%), and understand how much it will cost (77%). Some 84% say they have a good idea whether or not their request for funding would be approved.
Rob Straathof, CEO at Liberis, says that most SMEs see funding as essential to future growth: “It is encouraging that even in these uncertain times, SMEs are still looking to expand and have aspirations to grow their respective brands. Our responsibility as an alternative finance provider is to provide funding that is appropriate, sustainable, and that gives them access to funds quickly when they need it.”
In terms of funding sources, more than half of respondents still look to their bank for support, either through a traditional loan (57%) or an overdraft (50%), though their usage is predicted to fall. SMEs are also inclined to dip into their savings (35%) or accept money from friends and family (25%). Alternative finance solutions currently account for 21% of new funding within the group surveyed.
For those of the 400 SMEs surveyed who opt for alternative finance, more than half (63%) do so to access the cash more quickly and a third (35%) because they find the process easier to understand.
More than a third (35%) would seek advice from their accountant, while a similar number would simply do their own research on the net (34%). Banks are still the first port of call for many SMEs, although only in 38% of cases.
Liberis Finance provides an innovative funding solution which aligns with the needs and capacity of the SME. The cash advanced is repaid as a fixed, agreed percentage of the business’ credit and debit card takings. This means that payments are only made when the revenue streams are incoming, thereby supporting the SME with its cashflow and taking into account seasonal peaks and troughs. The solution is ideally suited to businesses such as retailers and owners of restaurants, bars and clubs.