Five innovative solutions for small business funding

Colin Swanston, Close Brothers By Colin Swanston, Close Brothers Asset Finance

6 February 2017

Every start up and SME needs to find a way to finance their business, and capital is king whether you’re looking to fund product development or simply pay for skilled staff. Colin Swanston, Managing Director of the Transport Division of Close Brothers Asset Finance, highlights some of the best funding alternatives available.

Most budding entrepreneurs look to the traditional high-street bank loan option – but there are some genuinely alternative and clever ways to finance your business.

1. Tailored finance options

A range of competitive, tailored  finance options can ensure your business operates efficiently without constraint. For instance, as well as funding new asset investment, it may be possible to restructure existing borrowings to introduce additional working capital or fund business growth.

2. Alternative sources of funding

Another example concerns the type of business finance we’re all familiar with. When taking out a loan, high street banks will often require companies to move their commercial banking relationship to gain access to their full product range. However, there are benefits to choosing an alternative source of funding.

Introducing you to a network of expert solutions driven advisers is a bonus for anyone with competitive business instincts. Colin Swanston, Close Brothers Asset Finance

For example we are not a high street bank, so when a company opts in for our funding, there is no need to make that sort of commitment. In turn means that a customer gets unrestricted access both to a full product range, and an alternative source of finance – all without the trouble of making a switch between banks.

3. Finding solutions 

The importance of finding alternative finance options should not be underestimated - particularly as it can open your eyes to creative and exciting platforms for business growth. And introducing you to a network of expert solutions driven advisers is a particularly advantageous bonus for anyone with competitive business instincts.

Finding a team that can give you the platform to grow your business without  affecting your existing bank security, combined with experience in asset-based lending, is crucial.

Close Brothers

4. Speedy decision making

Then there is also the speed of decision-making – make sure you find a regional business model that ensures informed credit decisions, quickly. We know that businesses are time poor and value an answer soon after an application is made. Find an offering which is not constrained by banking covenants, with each product underwritten independently, and not aggregated with existing bank debt.

5. Innovation   

Initial feedback from financial services customers suggests there is the need for a fresh approach.  Supporting new funding requests, or equity release, with a range of repayment options is where creative thinking can flourish  – and so can competitive businesses. 

Find out how to get involved in SME growth

Contact Close Brothers

Meet the industry specialists

Over recent years Close Brothers Asset Finance’s Scotland team has grown and prospered, bucking the trend of financial services organisations in the country, many of which have undergone significant change, ranging from restructures to downsizing.

The latest addition to our Glasgow-based team is our Corporate team, made up of three industry specialists who have been brought on board to support SME growth across Scotland and to further enhance our corporate presence.

Between them, Gordon MacGregor, Suzanne Smith, and Gary Kidd have over six decades of asset finance experience, and already they have been making a significant impact. In effect, they are a dedicated relationship management team who work hard to ensure they fully understand a business’s aspirations and work closely with customers to help them achieve their goals., which is a very strong proposition.

About the author

Colin Swanston is the Managing Director of the Transport Division of Close Brothers Asset Finance based in Scotland. For over 30 years Colin has specialised in providing alternative asset funding to the Scottish SME Marketplace.

About the company

Close Brothers is a leading UK merchant banking group providing lending, deposit taking, wealth management services and securities trading.

Established in 1878, Close Brothers Group plc employ 2,900 people, principally in the UK, are listed on the London Stock Exchange and are a member of the FTSE 250. Our activities are straightforward. We remain focused on markets and services we know and understand.

Our approach is prudent and considered. We adopt a cautious approach to writing loans which, together with our prudent management of capital funding, ensures we can continue to lend in all market conditions.

We value our customers over everything else. We focus on developing long-term relationships, to fully understand our customers and their intricate business operations in order to support long term growth.

Our businesses have remained local. Our knowledge and experience allows us to provide an informed and valuable service whilst operating via a national network, allowing us to lend where others do not.

This blog is one of a series of articles from our commercial partners.
The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of ICAS.


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