The right fit: How to successfully benchmark your funding
09/02/2015 / Comments 0
Regularly benchmarking is key to continually improving performance in all areas of your business. It helps you to identify areas where improvements can be made to give your company a competitive edge and stay ahead of the game. This is particularly true with regards to funding.
With the success of any business reliant on a healthy cash flow, making sure you have the most suitable funding in place to support your business’s evolving needs is crucial. Securing the most suitable facility will help you to capitalise on new business opportunities and manage cash more effectively. This in turn can help you to pay suppliers earlier, be more competitive and reinvest in the business.
When assessing whether your funding facility is working optimally for your business, here are 4 things to consider:
Are your existing facilities restricting you?
With the market evolving, what was right for your business previously may not be offering you adequate flexibility now. Look at your current funding facility, could improvements be made? Pay particular attention to whether or not your business’s cash flow needs are being met. Whilst important, a funding facility shouldn’t just be about how much you can access but also the service that accompanies it and whether the funder understands your business and its needs. Here are 6 signs your funding facility isn’t right for you that can help to identify problem areas with your existing funding.
Is there a better option available?
When looking for alternative forms of finance it’s important to research your options extensively and keep up to date with market developments. Currently, half of SMEs turn to their bank manager for support when seeking a new funding facility but this may be holding businesses back from reaching their potential. Instead, use all of the tools available to your business, including search engines, government websites and independent brokers, to make sure that when you benchmark providers you truly are getting the full picture of what’s available and can identify the most effective facility for your company. Here are 5 places to aid your search to help you find a facility more tailored to your needs.
Cost vs levels of service
It’s highly important to not just assess the cost when comparing funding facilities but also what the funding enables your business to achieve. With funding, the cheapest option isn’t necessarily the best option. The costs for the facility should be weighed up against the service provided and the opportunities it will allow your business to capitalise on. This will ensure you access the facility that will enable your business to maximise its results in the long-term and not just a quick fix .
Are you ready to switch?
If benchmarking has revealed that using another funding facility could be more beneficial to your business, there are a number of things you need to consider including, current contract lengths (so you don’t get hit by early exit fees) and making sure your house is in order. Also, planning will be required to enable you to make the switch without negatively impacting the day-to-day business. This five-step plan offers tips to help you to make a seamless switch between service providers.