Starting a new job can be difficult for anyone, especially when moving to a new company and even more so when starting in a completely new industry. My background is in public sector finance, starting in The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley (OPCC) as an Apprentice Finance Officer studying Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) level 2. One promotion, three qualifications, three and a half years later I decided to make the leap into the unknown.
The private sector offers a much more open and rewarding environment for creativity and proactivity. Since joining Liquidity Club I have been learning from the experienced team around me getting stuck in where I can writing case studies, visiting clients and understanding their business.
I look forward meeting business owners over the coming months and begin not only supporting the team but running with my own work and ultimately servicing my own clients, particularly on the loans side of Liquidity Club. After 2 exciting months, I have started to ask the right questions and take the initiative. I know that I’ve made the right career move for me, it is true that not everyone is the same, but if you are prepared to take risks put yourself outside of your comfort zone you will only grow as a person.
One of things that can be overlooked by businesses (particularly smaller businesses) when looking to raise funding for growth is the structure of funding and how it impacts the day-to-day running of the company.
According to the recent SME Finance Monitor released by the BVA BDRC (March 2019), the main issue facing SMEs when raising finance has now shifted from the issue of access to finance, to demand for finance amongst SMEs and the extent to which the correct forms of funding are available to those businesses looking to grow and invest.
According to the report, 36% of SMEs were using external finance in 2018 compared to a similar figure of 38% in 2018. So why is structure not a more prominent question for business owners? Has an abundance of different types of funding created choice paralysis? Or maybe there is still too much jargon and the types of products available still confuse people.
Flylolo specialise in purchasing seats on ‘peak season’ flights and selling them to individuals and families at reduced rates. This means buying aircraft seats in bulk as soon as they are released, in order to obtain the best prices. The cash flow challenge arises because, as Flylolo provide ATOL protection on all bookings, money from customers sales must be deposited in a protected trust account and cannot be accessed until the flights have operated - often months later.
Without the right guidance Flylolo could have easily ended up with a term loan. While this ticks the box of putting extra cash in to cover the shortfall, it requires a forward view of what is needed for the full season ahead and will incur costs on the full predicted amount from day one.
By understanding the requirements in more detail, Liquidity Club advised and arranged a revolving credit facility provided by Reward Finance Group to meet the cash flow needs. Unlike a term loan, this allows Flylolo to draw cash only as needed, up to an agreed limit, defined by the business credit and risk. This is not a unique product in the market but is a fresh approach and a great strength of Reward’s offering.
By working together, we were able to provide a funding solution that supported Flylolo’s business model and enabled them to drive forward the business with confidence.
For businesses, here are some tips on what to consider when approaching an advisor and/funder for funding to support your growth plans:
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