In today’s turbulent economic landscape, many SME business owners find themselves concerned by the impact of rising interest rates. With inflation at a 40-year high, it’s not surprising that 65% of SME proprietors feel it’s become a more daunting task to sustain their ventures given the rising cost of living.
Recent data from the Federation of Small Businesses highlight that while business confidence seems to be on an upward trajectory, growth has been hampered. Factors such as tepid demand, escalating energy and rent expenses, coupled with mounting third-party overheads, are proving to be quite the challenge. Echoing this, Millbrook Business Finance surveyed business owners last month to gauge SME sentiment, and we found that nearly half (48%) of SMEs are currently experiencing cash flow problems, with the cost of living crisis and energy prices continuing to impact a third (32%) of SMEs.
Justin Amos is managing director of Millbrook Business Finance, and he emphasizes that every cloud has a silver lining. For those SMEs eager to navigate and even surmount the challenges posed by the current level of interest rates, there are options – and more than ever. At Millbrook Business Finance, we make it our mission to transform business financing, making the market easier to navigate and solutions more accessible for SMEs, so that firms can not only stay ahead of the curve but also outpace their competitors
Measures to take
First and foremost, despite minor falls in the rate of inflation, the figure remains stubbornly high, amongst the highest in decades, and so with businesses facing the possibility of even higher interest rates in the future, it’s prudent to secure your finances now. Read the minutes from the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee and you’ll see its members haven’t dismissed the possibility of further rate hikes. Therefore, securing a fixed-rate business loan as of now can serve as a safeguard for your business against unpredictable rate increases in the future. By taking this pre-emptive measure, you’ll shield your business from unforeseen hikes, ensuring consistent and foreseeable repayments.
Another efficient strategy is debt consolidation. If your business has been grappling with multiple high-interest debts spread across various lenders, consolidating them into a singular, cost-effective loan could be a game-changer. This streamlined approach not only simplifies your debt management but also redirects vital resources back into your venture, giving you a clearer path to financial stability.
A steady cash flow is the lifeblood of any business, yet unpredictable expenses or dips in revenue can disrupt this flow. This is where business loans can act as an invaluable safety net, ensuring smooth operations regardless of such financial hiccups. These can take the form of both unsecured and secured business loans, each tailored to cater to specific financial requirements – you may be looking for quick funding without assets as security or a substantial loan backed by assets.
Another option to help with cash flow is invoice finance, which for all intents and purposes allows a business to ‘sell’ its unpaid invoices to a lender for cash up to a certain percentage of the original invoice value. This is an ideal solution for those firms that need fast access to working capital. It also helps counter problems that businesses face with late invoice payments and associated impact on cash flow.
We also help businesses who use card terminals for payments, as they can face their own cash flow challenges. A merchant cash advance can be arranged quickly to help them deal with the ebb and flow of income, which can be especially apparent during seasonal periods.
Refinancing to raise capital
The other untapped resource could be your hard assets. Refinancing assets like machinery or vehicles can unlock equity, presenting you with an influx of cash without straining your existing cash flow. This option ensures you’re not accumulating additional debt while still accessing the funds you need. Furthermore, if you have a promising investment opportunity on the horizon, securing funds for that venture can provide returns that outstrip your loan’s interest rate. By investing prudently, repaying the loan from the returns, you’re paving the way for exponential business growth.
That’s not all: we can also refinance existing business loans onto lower rates in order to make significant cash savings each month.
In conclusion, while current economic challenges may seem daunting, with the right financial strategies and partners, they can be turned into growth opportunities. We work hard in offering SME owners the financial acumen and tools required to flourish, irrespective of the economic climate.