Michael Foote, Managing Director, Quote Goat
Starting any business can be tough. Initially you have the struggle with capital, equipment and infrastructure and then you have to decide the direction it must take in order for it to grow.
This is a hard decision to make for many SMEs, effectively demonstrated by the British Business Bank, which conducted interviews with 500 small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) directors. The results revealed that a third wanted to grow their business but were not sure how.
Whatever the decision you make, you should expect to invest money in your business to develop it. For many businesses, this cash injection comes in the form of a loan, enabling them to invest without concern of raising capital.
For business owners unsure as to whether they need to seek additional capital, the following five points stand as excellent indicators:
- But we don’t have enough staff
As any growing business owner knows, you can’t do it all by yourself. Staff are key to ensuring your business ticks over. Having enough staff in place is crucial to maintaining efficiency, especially when someone falls ill. As demand increases, so will your need to have competent staff in place to meet it. A failure to do so will mean irate customers and burnt out employees. Business funding can give you the confidence to secure new or organic business, because you will have the means to make new hires and cover their wages.
This place feels like a shoebox
Most businesses start out in someone’s front room or in a tiny office space. This might have been sufficient then but as you take on more stock or employees, space becomes a premium. You may have to rent or even buy larger premises to account for this. As your business grows you may decide to relocate nearer your customer base or find a suitable office that reflects the stature of your work and professionalism. Moving is costly and it can take a long time getting the money in place to do so. A loan is a great way to ease the burden and ensure your business meets its full potential.
- I just don’t have the tools or materials
It is reassuring to know that your product or service is selling. Problems arise though when your customers want MORE! Once word gets out, you may quickly find that your ability to meet additional orders flatlines because you may not have the materials or processes in place to tackle this situation. The likely end result is a loss of customers, sales, and a reputation for poor customer service. Business funding can allow you to buy materials in bulk, so you have a ready access to supplies. This will also mean that your basic unit cost goes down as you benefit from economies of scale. You might also consider upgrading your machinery or processes to improve efficiencies in labour, materials and delivery.
- So, I have this great business idea
In the course of business, you often spot new opportunities or get introduced to them via your network. The problem for many entrepreneurs and start-ups is taking advantage of them. Your time is limited juggling one business and your financial situation is typically constrained growing it. Sometimes though, you need to take your business to the next level, and this may mean entering a new market or bringing out an innovative product. If your business is covering its daily running costs, then external funding may be a great way to kickstart your new business idea. Afterall, if you don’t seize the opportunity now, someone else will.
- I don’t know everything
Sometimes you will need expert advice. Using the services of accountants, business advisors and lawyers can be a costly necessity, especially if you haven’t budgeted for it. For example, your business may need to be compliant with certain laws or your tax returns filed correctly. Issues of this nature must be addressed immediately as the repercussions can be severe. A short-term loan can give you access to these services from day one, meaning you can relax and focus on running your business.