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Six examples of how your business can achieve its goals in 2018

By Paul Slapa

Six examples of how your business can achieve its goals in 2018

Is your New Year's resolution to grow your business? Or perhaps you're looking to take your firm to the next level by investing in new technology or specialist equipment?

Whatever your short, medium and long-term aspirations are, most firms want to hit the ground running at the start of the year to capitalise on new revenue streams and get ahead of their competitors.

So, what is the future likely to hold for UK SMEs in 2018? *A survey of members belonging to the Academy of Chief Executives, whose businesses represent over £8 billion in revenue, has revealed what senior leaders consider to be their ten biggest challenges for the year ahead.

While how to 'recruit and nurture talented people' was listed as the most pressing concern for chief executives, a recurring theme of increasing costs and how to finance investment was also cited as a major worry.

'Managing growth and change', with specific reference to access to funding, was ranked as the second most significant challenge in the poll. Furthermore, 'increasing costs', how to keep up with 'technological change and disruption' and 'trusting in the reputation' of financial institutions, such as banks and the stock market, were identified within the top ten issues facing SMEs.

From Wesleyan Bank's own SME Attitudes to Finance research, it is apparent that some SMEs still lack awareness as to where alternative sources of funding are available to them away from traditional high street lenders.

The following six examples highlight how flexible and tailored finance solutions enabled businesses to maximise their growth opportunities in 2017 and gain access to the funding they needed, when they needed it.

Dr Sonu and Rose Thomas

Wesleyan Bank provided a six-figure loan over a period of 20 years with competitive monthly repayments to enable Sonu and Rose Thomas to purchase a well established dental practice in Blackpool with 7,000 patients.

The Thomas' Wesleyan financial consultant subsequently arranged their life assurance cover and building insurance cover for the dental practice's building came via Wesleyan's General Insurance division, who carefully chose an appropriate policy from a selected range of providers.

In addition, Wesleyan Bank provided an unsecured loan facility to enable the Thomas' to invest in specialist dental equipment and refurbishment works to modernise the practice and offer enhanced services to patients. Read the case study here.

Engineering services provider

A leading contractor to the UK construction sector working on government contracts had a requirement for short-term capital access to fund significant new projects.

Wesleyan Bank provided a seven-figure VAT loan with a flexible three month spread payment option, giving the company more predictability over its expenditure to smooth peaks and troughs.

The positive effects ensured the customer had greater control over its cash flow and allowed the company to preserve its invoice discounting facility.

Renewable energy supplier

The company, which specialises in the processing of animal by-products, was introduced to Wesleyan Bank through its relationship with a leading firm of chartered accountants and business advisers.

Their client was seeking finance to fund major investment in specialist, automated machinery and had initially held conversations with a high street lender who was only willing to offer a maximum lending term of five years.

In contrast, Wesleyan Bank was able to offer an asset finance solution over a period of seven years. The seven-figure loan included security arrangements on the land on which the asset is situated and approval for the funding was obtained in just two weeks following relevant credit checks and the receipt of signed financial documentation.

Multi-site accountancy group

In 2017 Wesleyan Bank continued to work in close partnership with a prestigious UK firm of chartered accountants. This included the provision of long-term finance solutions to enable the firm's equity partners to purchase additional practices to drive growth, along with supporting multiple new partners to buy-in to the acquired businesses.

Short-term working capital solutions and strategic funding was also provided to enable the firm to facilitate its ambitious business strategy and boost cash flow when required.

Timber manufacturer

A family-owned business required funding to relocate into new premises to fulfil rising customer demand for its bespoke timber products. The new customer had options from high street lenders but chose to take a more competitive solution from Wesleyan Bank comprising a six-figure loan over a period of five years.

The funding has been utilised to help with the associated costs of moving into new premises with modern production facilities, including investment in mezzanine factory flooring and a system to enable its trucks to improve the efficiency for loading and unloading.

The client is now fit for growth and has been able to benefit from a flexible finance solution without compromising its day-to-day banking lines.

Walker Foster Solicitors

Walker Foster is a leading, local firm specialising in a variety of legal disciplines, from commercial property leases, sales and purchases to family law.

The firm sought an experienced financial partner who could support its growth strategy to leverage the latest technology and spread the burden of other financial liabilities, including annual tax and VAT bills.

With funding from Wesleyan Bank, Walker Foster was able to commit to a six-figure investment in new practice management software and associated hardware and maintenance fees.

The cloud-based solution has helped to transform the productivity of staff in the firm's conveyancing and probate departments, providing fee earners with a consistent approach to case management and a comprehensive analysis of its business performance. Read the case study here.

Ensure your business is a success this year

The above examples will hopefully serve to inspire confidence that SMEs, like yours, can kickstart 2018 with a bang and should offer reassurance that funding is readily available in spite of the current economic uncertainty.

Alternative finance ensures businesses can meet their strategic objectives, improve efficiency and retain the talent they need in order to flourish.

So, whether you're looking for short-term working capital solutions to boost your cash flow, investment in assets, or mergers and acquisitions, specialist providers will invariably be able to provide a tailored finance solution to suit you.

'WESLEYAN’ is a trading name of the Wesleyan Group of companies.

Wesleyan Assurance Society and Wesleyan Bank Ltd are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd, Wesleyan Unit Trust Managers Ltd, Practice Plan Ltd and DPAS Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  Advice about investments, insurance and mortgages is provided by Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd.

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