Alexei Garan, Head of Business Funding, discusses how debt advisory specialists can be used to get the most value from the funding market.
"The funding market for the UK’s SMEs has changed dramatically since the financial crisis of 2008."
Not only did it herald a more cautious approach from the traditional lenders with product ranges, financing, and even the number of support personnel for SME customers, all shrinking considerably, it led to the rise of an alternative lending market that is now valued at an extraordinary £6.26bn* thanks to a rapid growth in the number of providers, product ranges and appetite for funding.
For the country’s 5.94 million** SMEs, however, this myriad of options for funding growth plans, acquisitions or management buyouts is a bewildering minefield. It is therefore hardly surprising that they are either still ignoring viable lending options from the alternative market if their local bank manager says no, sometimes spending hundreds of hours ploughing through the options, or simply tying themselves to the wrong deal with damaging consequences.
As a debt advisor who has worked with growing companies across sectors such as TMT, Renewables and Food & Drink, it is my job to simplify the process and ensure that the funding market fulfils client requirements in the most optimal way. With this in mind, I just wanted to give you a general overview of the key differences between traditional and alternative lenders when it comes to growth funding products for SMEs:
The above contains a mere sample of product attributes used to assess the suitability of a loan package for client requirements and business plan specifics. Others, such as pricing, would of course be part of the consideration, but with central focus being on affordability of a debt package, the cashflow impact of loan structures far outweighs the importance of any headline interest rate.
* AltFi - Alternative Lending State of the Market Report 2020
** UK Small Business Statistics | FSB, The Federation of Small Businesses
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