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Posts Tagged ‘business finance’

Refinancing existing plant and machinery for one off projects

Monday, October 18th, 2010

As we know the banks are still being difficult when it comes to raising cash for bespoke or one off projects. Whilst you may be able to justify a project from a future profitability point of view unless you have got adequate security lodged with the banks it is more than likely they wont be interested.

At XL Business Finance we are seeing an increase in enquiries  for business finance from decent and profitable business needing additional cash. An example was a engineering business’s needing £100k to help with a deposit on a new machine and also to  help with the the reorganisation of the factory. The business was able to refinance existing plant  and machinery to help raise the additional cash required.

Refinance of existing machinery is a very specialist market and whilst the high street banks occasionally surprise us in terms of what they do it is extremely unlikely they will offer refinance in its purest form. A business that has plenty of equity in a commercial property or has excess headroom in the debtor book is and is  offered refinance is only potentially tying up further forms of available finance. A remortgage to release cash or an invoice finance facility by way of factoring or invoice discounting are all valuable options and should be left open for future needs

We’re Back!

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Following the construction of our fancy new website by our good friends at Marketing Insite we are hopefully  back in the  swing of blogging. Yipee I here you cry. Not!

During the last few months or so it is fair to say that obtaining business finance still continues to be difficult especially when it comes to dealing with the banks. Business directors and owners are also beginning to realise that the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme ( EFFG) as provided by the banks is not what it is cracked up to be. Unless the bank wants to deal with you in the first place and the lack of tangible security is the only thing stopping the bank wanting to do the deal then the banks  will not offer funding.

In addition it was also possible to obtain grants and loans via local development agencies. Due to the government cut backs these have all virtually disappeared. So what options are there left for businesses requiring additional funding?

There is and always will be various hire purchase and finance lease companies offering funding , however due to supply and demand of funds it is worth consulting a good independent finance broker to search out the best possible deals. More often than not many businesses require additional working capital facilities. We have never been a great fan of bank overdrafts due to the fact they can be quite restrictive and are always repayable on demand. So that leaves us with traditional factoring and invoice finance facilities. Once upon a time this was viewed as a lend of last resort however invoice finance is still one of the most competitive and buoyant growing areas of finance. In addition competitive funding is provided by a large variety of independent companies , banks and building societies all offering slightly different products for different types of businesses.

Equipment Finance for a new start business

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

I suppose it is good news that we are continuing to receive business finance enquiries for new start businesses. The most recent one of which is for a £40,000 LCD exhibition screen. The discussion with the directors prompted me to remind oneself of the process required for funding a new business with very little trading history.

Many businesses that we see that have been trading for less than twelve months have had various experiences with the high street banks. In our experience inexperienced account mangers get the customers jumping through hoops promising that the bank will do the deal only to be overruled when the deal goes for credit approval. In our experience it doesn’t matter how good the business plans are unless three years decent trading figures can be produced then it is unlikely that the banks will help.

The good news is that there a number of leasing and hire purchase companies that will lend to newly formed businesses. Hover in the case of our £40k LCD business any finance company will view this as a soft asset with very little security. Most finance companies will advance up to £10k per decent guarantor providing that the guarantor is a home owner, has a reasonable amount of equity in that house and they must also have a clear personal search profile. There are however one or two companies that may take a view on the overall deal an providing funding for the whole project. If that doesn’t work then we are in the territory of second charges on property!

Using a broker to refinance capital equipment

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

We totally understand the need to get the best possible deal on any business finance agreement. It is no different whenit comes to raising cash against unencumbered plant and machinery. No doubt any business wishing to refinance plant and machinery will go to their banks first . When they realise that this is an area of finance the banks cannot help with they will probably search the internet for inappropriate solutions. Any search of google will reveal hundreds of companies offering cash against unencumbered assets. The problem is that most of these will be brokers and when it comes to refinancing existing machines and equipment having too many brokers involved can have a detrimental affect on your credit aapplication

We have seen one deal recently where up to eight brokers have introduced the same the deal to one finance company. And the worrying thing was that some of these introducers were in fact mortgage brokers with no experience in the asset finance market. At the end of the day there are probably only half a dozen lenders in this market so all paths lead to the same funder. If a finance company starts to get the same deal from many different sources they will not take the deal seriously because they will know the deal is being touted around the market. They have nothing to loose by providing onerous terms and conditions and their approach will be very much take it or leave it offer.

At XL Business Finance we have over 10 years experience in providing equipment refinance solutions. We do things slightly differently. Firstly we know all the plant and machinery valuers which the different finance companies use. We wll go iect to these valuers and get an idea of the level of security in the deal. We then provide a realistic opinion as to the amount of cash that can be raised against the kit in questions. We will then provide a proposal to the most appropriate funder having already dome our homework on the kit. A clean and realistic application will have a much greater chance of success.!!

Obtaining Lease Finance for digital printing equipment

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

There seems to be a trend for businesses to be investing in digital print technology. We are seeing many traditional litho businesses investing in digital equipment which will enable them to produce high quality short run work at a competitive price. We are also seeing many businesses bringing their print requirements  in house and investing in digital printing equipment which seems to have come of age in terms of quality and cost. For many businesses the investment is a no brainer in terms of the investment paying for itself however obtaining the necessary funding can prove a challenge for many businesses. This article may help you understand as to what is achievable in terms of finance.

XL Business Finance has been helping businesses with business finance for over ten years. Whether it be finance lease or hire purchase we can structure the application in order for you to get the best chance of success. The problem is that all finance companies will view digital kit as unsecured lending and therefore the business must have a very strong balance sheet, be trading for more than 3 years and be profitable. If finance is not forthcoming with a prime lender then a business may find themselves caught between a rock and a hard stone. The business isn’t strong enough for a prime or high street finance company however the other sort of finance company is an asset based lender which will view the kit as have no security and as such will not provide funding. There are a number of sales aid finance companies which specialise in financing this sort of kit however they all require personal guarantees and they will only lend a max of £10k per director. For obvious reasons most directors don’t like to provide guarantees but for many businesses this may be the only option.

Obtaining business finance for a new start company.

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Obtaining business finance for a new start business is most difficult at the best of times. In the current economic climate it is even more difficult especially if you approach your local high street bank for funding. Anyone who has had the pleasure will realise  that many banks promise the earth and after providing expensive business plans, cash flow projections and numerous meetings deliver very little. And more likely than not if they can do something they will want to take a charge over property and the wife and kids. The good news however is that XL Business Finance has been helping many new start businesses obtain various forms of finance.

There are still many non bank owned financial institutions providing hire purchase and finance lease facilities for new start businesses. Providing that the directors are home owners with a bit of wool on their backs it may be possible to provide finance depending on the cost of equipment and the quality of the guarantor. Most finance companies will require a personal guarantee which says if the business doesn’t pay then the director as an individual will be liable. The directors must definitely be home owners with little or no adverse credit. If in doubt with your written permission we can do a personal  credit check on your behalf.

In addition invoice finance in the form of factoring should be relatively easy to obtain. Again providing the individuals as directors are relatively clean and the debtor book is of reasonable quality a decent locally based invoice factoring company will be able to provide you with cash against your unpaid invoices.

 Which finance company is best for your particular needs depends on the industry that you operate , your geographical location and your estimated turnover. Again XL Business Finance will be happy to assist you find the most suitable funding partner.

Grants for Business Investment

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

If your business is planning to invest in capital assets (ie plant and machinery) and/or new staff for expansion, rationalisation or diversification then your business could be eligible for a grant. If the project is yet to start and the your business serves or plans to serve more than a local market than European Grant monies may be available. XL Business Finance has teamed up with a specialist firm of chartered accountants to provide a free assessment of your eligibility for a grant. The initial assessment is absolutely free and a fee is only payable on the successful draw down of a grant.  No grant no fee!

The minimum grant available is  £10k and provided that all other areas of funding have been exhausted then funding may be awarded for between 10-35% of the total project cost therefore other sources of business finance must be secured to prove that the project is financially viable.

Following an initial meeting and a draft a project proposal which is discussed with the funding body and we get feedback within 2/3 days as to whether or not the business is likely to be successful with a grant application. It is important that you use  the best possible expertise and experience in making sure that the application is dealt with in the correct manner to obtain the best possible chance of success. It is  possible to go though the process yourself however experience suggests that it is better leaving it to the experts. From start to finish the process should take no more than six weeks however a business left to their own devices may take as long as six months wasting time energy and money. Far better to take the money now pay someone to do it and avoid making a mistake which leaves your application worthless.

Any business which has applied for the ECFG funding and has been declined may find a greater chance of success with the possibility of a grant. XL business Finance has over 10 years experience in providing innovative funding solutions and this is just one of the many areas we may be able to add value to your business.

Business Finance without using a bank

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

It goes without saying that the high street banks have a captive audience when it comes to providing business finance. Most businesses will turn to their business banker in times of need. Whether it is a bank overdraft commercial mortgage , equipment finance or invoice finance your friendly manager will be only too please to help. Remember though when it comes to the different forms of business finance for every high street bank offering finance their is an alternative independent company offering funding.

Once upon a time it was possible to get a package deal with the bank. They might do one product as a loss leader and as such the overall funding was priced very competitively. The problem of having all ones eggs in one basket has become evident over the last year or so. Banks have been found to wanting at times and it is very true that they are great at giving their customers umbrellas but as soon as it starts raining they want them back.

In our opinion the independent business finance companies provide a product that is very competitively priced however the levels of service and flexibility can far exceed those of the banks. This is very true when it comes to factoring and invoice discounting. Whilst for certain types of business there are certain banks that we would recommend as a whole independent provide a far more approachable and flexible service.

XL Business Finance has been helping its clients for over 10 years to obtain the most appropriate invoice factoring and invoice financing facilities. The cheapest is not always the best and a by undertaking a brief review of your business we can provide two or three funders ( probably ones you may not have heard of before) that will knock the socks of the banks in providing the right level of service and flexible funding that your business requires.

Obtaning Business Finance in a Summer Recovery?

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

According to a recent quarterly business  index economic survey the general feeling amongst North West Businesses is that their is an air of optimism and enthusiasm about the future. However many of the businesses feel that trading conditions are worse than they were 12 months ago.

In addition 55 percent of the businesses feel that the economy will have recovery by the summer of this year. However one in five feel that it will be two years before the economy fully recovers suggesting that certain sectors of the economy have been hard hit.

This Business factors index has been provided by Bibby Financial services. The index tracks small businesses turnover since 2007 and the trends and information have be collated with the results of over 300 business interviews.

The optimism must be offered with caution. One in five feel conditions are worse than they were 12 months ago. In addition many have had to take cost cutting measures. And one in five don’t think the economy will ave recovered in two years.

Firms in the North West with many involved in Manufacturing have had a tough time during the recession and while we don’t expect an immediate recovery it is clear that many businesses have experienced a difficult few months. Although 2010 ha already provided a number of challenges such as the adverse weather conditions  a weak pound is fueling export growth and as such confidence is slowly starting to improve. It suggests that moving forward business are optimistic about their prospects of a recovery.

The upshot is  that it will continue to be difficult to obtain business finance. However XL Business Finance has experience of providing innovative finance solutions whether it be equipment finance refinance of existing equipment. We are also vastly experienced in providing invoice finance solutions whether it be factoring or invoice discounting. Give us a ring a ding ding.

Business Finance for MBOs

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

There are two ways of obtaining business  finance for MBOs. Firstly banks can do cash flow lends or an asset based lender can finance the assets within the business to provide the cash. The problem with banks is that during the recession they have had their fingers burnt with cash flow lends. Significant amounts of money are lent against the future profitability of the business. There can be potentially little security for the banks and  it easy to see why the banks have been writing off significant amounts of bad debt. During 2009 banks were doing hardly any cash flow lends however during 2010 we can expect this to increase as the economic recovery start to take effect and the banks relax their cautious underwriting approach.

Structured lending or asset based lending takes a slightly different approach to providing loan facilities. Asset based lending usually starts with an invoice discounting facility which will release up to 90% of a businesses unpaid invoices.  On the back of this it might be possible to obtain some form of revolving stocking facility typically at 50% of  the value of the stock. An asset based lender will also advance an amount against the value of the assets probably around 70% of the forced sale value. Money is advanced typically with a 3 year pay back. Certain finance companies also provide Enterprise Finance Guarantee Funding usually at the amount equivalent to any directors contribution to the business.

The problem with both these two forms of financing is that you are relying on one finance provider and as such having eggs all in one basket will leave the funder with an awful lot of control over your business. Whilst it is not possible to split stocking finance away from the invoice discounting it is certainly possible to use a unrelated leasing company to provide funding against plant and machinery. Refinancing existing machinery is relatively easy to do provided there is some value in the kit.