With a new fiscal year come new opportunities aplenty for business expansion, from entering previously unexplored – but often potent – markets to employing further staff or placing more ambitious bids for major upcoming projects. Buttg for some firms the prospect of venturing into pastures new can appear daunting at best, particularly if they lack any funding support at present or continue to experience damagingly late payments from their customers.
That’s where Touch Financial comes in. This week we aim to showcase a range of different business expansion strategies which you might consider pursuing over the next 12 months, as well as how our acclaimed services such as invoice finance and unsecured business loans can help your firm grow its operations in these directions free from the risk of financial collapse.
1. Business Development for 2018 and beyond
As businesses map out their plans for the New Year, arguably the most urgent priority will be to survey their current asset portfolio value for the next 12 months and scope out further business opportunities within their industry for which they can consider in the near future. After all, the more projects / clients a firm can obtain and sound investments completed over the course of 2018, the greater their chances are of securing a favourable bottom line for the fiscal year and maintaining the confidence of their stakeholders.
Placing such bids doesn’t immediately equate to securing the new work in question, however; quite to the contrary, in a volatile global financial climate where no business owner truly knows for sure what lies around the corner, the competition for short-term and multi-year-spanning contracts alike intensifies by the day, regardless of which sector the vying candidates occupy. Naturally industry reputation and contacts still carry considerable weight, but with 153,307 UK companies registered in Q3 2017 alone, there’s no excuse for complacency going forward.
If your firm’s forecasts show the securing of competitive bids for much-sought new works – such as the 300,000 houses which the government announced its intentions to build in last year’s Autumn Budget which could affect those operating within the construction industry – then we offer a range of funding solutions which can help identify the capital needed to pursue these ambitions immediately. For example, rather than delayed payment for recent works deterring your firm from submitting new tenders, an invoice finance facility can provide a high percentage of your unpaid invoices’ value, thereby allowing you to confidently bid for new work often within as little as 24 hours of the invoice being raised.
Invoice finance provides a significant means of cashflow support which carries simultaneous benefits for those businesses with an in-house credit collection team too. These facilities often reduce the pressure exerted upon firms to chase customer payments hastily to obtain funding for new projects, thus limiting the likelihood of costly mistakes being made in the process. That said, in the event that your firm needs assistance with the credit collection process, bear in mind that several members on our panel of over 30 esteemed funders can also assist with chasing late payments if you so desire.
2. Build your employee base with sustained working capital
So you’ve successfully secured new work for the year ahead – what now? Depending on your firm’s present size, this drive towards business expansion might warrant the incorporation of further employees into your workforce, whether to build on-site efficiency, manage projects as they progress or tackle key administrative roles in your offices. Indeed, the latter aspect of your business’ operations will doubtless prove crucial this year as the General Data Protection Regulation – our full guide to which you’ll find here – comes into effect and 41% of SMEs fear cyber-attacks will hinder their 2018 operations according to Barclays Business Banking.
But there’s a catch: growing your workforce to house data protection officers and cybersecurity experts can frequently mean diverting funds away from paying suppliers, submitting tenders and other key business operations, a drawback which can predictably provoke hesitation from any company still finding its feet within its chosen sector. After all, why should a business owner risk expanding their employee base at such an early stage in their development when doing so seems to tighten potential opportunities for business expansion elsewhere?
Again, though, it’s entirely possible for even fledgling firms to strike that key balance between paying staff wages and honouring other business commitments with Touch Financial’s support. Whether you take advantage of the previously-discussed benefits that come hand-in-hand with an invoice finance facility, or want to take out an unsecured business loan, we facilitate cashflow solutions to help businesses of all sizes and sectors consistently generate the working capital needed.
3. Take advantage of surging export demand
Perhaps your business will look to wider horizons than new works or an expanded employee base in 2018 – wider horizons than even the UK’s borders, in fact. Certainly, entering Britain’s presently booming export market will be the name of the game for many businesses this year judging by BDO’s export growth index rising once again last month and the accountancy firm’s suggestion that Q4 2017 UK exports might thus have eclipsed those of Q3.
If this potentially fast-closing window of opportunity – which arguably will only last as long as the pound’s value continues its Brexit uncertainty-induced freefall – for business expansion seems attractive to your enterprise, then that’s another area where we can be of service. Both invoice finance and unsecured business loans can come into play or there is another option available: trade finance.
Our expert consultants can help businesses keen to start exporting this year explore the various trade finance facilities available, which would involve your chosen funder providing finance for supplies to aid the mitigation of risk or accelerate the transfer receivables. Be sure to visit our dedicated trade finance and import / export finance product pages once you’re done here to explore further.
Find out more
From our invoice finance and unsecured business loans product pages, to our ever-evolving Knowledge Centre where you’ll find new blogs and guides every week, you’ll find no shortage of useful resources across our website.
If you have any further queries, though, or want to discuss one or more of Touch Financial’s cashflow solutions with our accomplished team of consultants, then get in touch today and we’ll endeavour to answer any of your questions in as much detail as possible. We look forward to hearing from you and wish all our clients and customers a hugely successful 2018.