Is this the right time to make key business decisions?
They say that timing is everything. In the business sense, there aren’t many sayings that are more appropriate.
From the time it takes for deliveries to arrive, to the number of days spent waiting for customers to pay, time plays a crucial role.
Key business decisions often rely on time-critical factors too, highlighted perhaps no better than the troubles facing the economy as a result of uncertainty over the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
Reporting on the Bank of England’s latest inflation report, governor Mark Carney said that companies are delaying decisions about making fresh investments and entering new markets as Brexit uncertainty weighs on the decisions and holds down both demand and supply.
It remains unclear how long it will be until we can confidently assess what differences Brexit will make for UK businesses.
Until then, many are unsure whether to bite the proverbial bullet and invest in growth or alternatively play it safe until that time comes.
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At Hilton-Baird we are often speaking to business owners who face this very dilemma, but too often it is out of their control.
While the uncertainty surrounding our future relationship with the EU represents a prime example, another is the time it takes for funding applications to be processed.
Many are complaining that requests for bank loans and overdrafts are getting tied up, delayed, and ultimately leaving the business in limbo.
This funding is crucial to their investment decisions and immediate cash flow. Without it, planning ahead becomes that much more difficult.
The good news is that the banks’ funding decisions are largely falling in favour of small businesses, with some 8 in 10 applications approved and around £5.3bn of new lending provided to support SMEs in the first quarter 0f 2017, according to the British Bankers’ Association (BBA).
Meanwhile, there are also those who aren’t sure whether now is the right time to review their funding.
Yes, their business is experiencing cash flow challenges and no, they haven’t reviewed their existing facilities for a while, but they simply don’t have the time to undertake a full review and consider what else is out there on the market.
Some are even wary about talking about new funding arrangements before talking to their bank about them.
But this process alone can result in more delays and sometimes lead to a business missing out on an opportunity that presents itself.
Given the many pressures on business resource that exist at present, taking a valuable step back to review processes can sometimes feel like the lowest priority.
But as the type of cash flow pressures will undoubtedly change as the Brexit process progresses, now is arguably the right time to make that move and plan ahead.
If any of this resonates with your business and you’d like to take the first steps to review your funding we could help.
We will benchmark your existing funding to see if your facility is working optimally for your business or whether there is an alternative option that could better serve your needs.
Call us on 0800 9774833 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to one of our funding consultants.