That’s the message from finance firms, who said that although securing funding continues to be “challenging”, lenders are backing operators with strong and viable proposals.
Kevin Boyd, divisional managing director at Santander, said licensees must ensure business plans are up to date.
“The purpose of the business plan is to succinctly outline the strategy and the actions required to get the business to where it wants to be,” he said.
“Fundamentally, it provides a blueprint for running the business and a series of benchmarks to check progress against.
“When preparing a business plan, the business owner should be open and honest as well as making it an interesting and engaging read.”
His comments were echoed by Craig Dickson, associate director at Christie Finance.
“In the current market, deals need to be professionally presented to lenders and to include all the appropriate information, ie. valuation, business plan, CV, trading accounts and projections,” he said.
“Whilst many operators feel they might understand lenders’ requirements, increasingly we see well experienced operators recognising the benefits Christie Finance brings to their funding proposals.”
The importance of seeking professional advice was underlined by Boyd at Santander.
He said the firm’s relationship directors “take time to learn about an operator’s business, to build relationships and to put together the right financing solution for that individual business”.
Boyd added that cash flow remains a “huge challenge” for many businesses.
“However, many businesses are missing out on effective alternative financing solutions, such as invoice or supply chain finance, or relying excessively on loans and investments – and in doing so, are opening themselves up to unnecessary cash flow volatility and business risks,” he said.
“It can be very beneficial for companies to take a regular review of their resources, both in terms of cash flow and their wider business plans, to ensure they have the best toolkit to equip themselves for managing payments and dealing with the unexpected hurdles that all businesses face from time to time.”
Image – Professional advice can make all the difference when securing finance, say experts.