Business Bank Manager – advocate or enemy?

Let’s face it; Bankers haven’t exactly been top of the popularity list over the last few years. Their part in the economic downturn, outrageous bonuses and a variety of malpractice scandals have been hitting the headlines and eroding public confidence.  Add to that a reported reduction in business lending and you’d be forgiven for seeking other routes to finance your business.

But you’d be missing out.

Banks are still one of the best options for low-risk, low-return finance – whether talking about the largest four banks (which account for over 80% of UK SME banking relationships), or increasingly the ‘Challenger Banks’ which are based on a different business model and often willing to lend to businesses that don’t meet the risk profile of the largest banks.

Key to success with getting finance from your bank? – treating your bank manager as one of the management team

By which I mean, firstly that it’s important to have regular contact rather than turning up out of the blue when you want funding.  Checking in with your bank manager on your business goals, progress and also challenges helps to establish a strategic relationship and a framework for financial planning.

Secondly, ensure that you provide a full and frank management briefing.  Research has shown that unsuccessful funding applications are typically the result of poor preparation; business owners who haven’t properly reviewed financing needs, checked their business credit score, or put appropriate contingency plans in place to withstand business shocks.

OK, so this is all time consuming, but in the end it’s worth it to get the business investment you need to take you to the next level of business growth.

You’re in control!

Why the political climate has little impact on the success of your business

Next year (2015), we will see another General Election played out. In the months leading up to the election we’ll listen to a lot of promises from all parties about how they’re the ones to deliver business growth, but when it comes down to it, Government hot air doesn’t run a business – you do. 

The fact of the matter is that, despite what politicians might say, the UK is coming out of economic recession because of businesses like ours, business owners like us; the ones who get on with growing a business by staying focused and making the right decisions.

That’s not to say that Government doesn’t have an impact, or that Treasury Budget rounds don’t matter – of course they do.  However, the weather often has more impact than the minor changes that a Budget is likely to make to small and medium businesses in the UK.  In most cases the budget can be likened to taking all the books off the bookshelf, re-arranging them, and putting them all back on again.

So don’t spend any time worrying about the impact of a change in Government, or a change in policy will have on your bottom line. The reality is, the only one who’s  impacting that, is you.