The global business market has faced many challenges over the past few years, with most businesses and households feeling the financial strain.
The UK has faced a particularly challenging few months, with rising inflation and the increased price of everyday essentials such as food and fuel leading to what is known as 'the cost-of-living crisis'.
The crisis is affecting more than just consumers, with . These issues are causing serious issues for both the well-being of business leaders and the ongoing success of their organisations.
For some small businesses, the current crisis could potentially be disastrous. , and this trend looks set to continue, but there are ways organisations can adapt and find the support they need.
During times of economic hardship, small businesses need to find ways to fund their future plans and keep their companies afloat, and there are hundreds of options and providers on the market to choose from. For small business leaders in the UK who are in need of a small business loan or financing product, there are many ways to adapt despite the challenging economic climate and find the right financing solution, as outlined in this article.
Explore All The Options
Small business finance products are loans, grants or other sources of funding that SMEs can use to deal with cash flow issues or other financial problems that could arise during difficult economic times. If a business has to pivot to a new sector or change its approach, small business financing can help it to fund these endeavours and achieve greater success moving forward.
There are many small business financing products, so every leader needs to consider how much money they need, whether they meet the eligibility criteria and how much money the financing will cost over the full borrowing term.
While local council grants for small businesses might seem like a useful option, they often come with a lot of caveats and require extensive application and justification. For SMEs that need funding quickly and effectively, finding the right small business loan can help.
Within the umbrella term of small business loans, there are many different types, including:
- Secured Business Loans: These financing products are a form of small business loan that is secured against an asset or the total value of multiple assets, such as company vehicles or properties.
- Unsecured Business Loans: Loans that are not secured against any assets and are paid back in instalments over a fixed term.
- Short-Term Business Loans: Short-term business loans are financing solutions that can be paid back over a few months.
- Asset Financing: Asset financing is a loan that is used to purchase a specific asset, such as a business vehicle or a piece of equipment, and is paid off in instalments to spread the cost.
- Corporate Credit Cards: Credit cards that can be used for small business expenses and paid back over the short term.
- Invoice Financing: Invoice financing allows businesses to secure financing against the value of an outstanding invoice, which improves cash flow.
- Merchant Cash Advance: For e-commerce and retail businesses, a merchant cash advance is a lump-sum loan that is paid back through a percentage of future sales.
- Corporate Mortgages: For small businesses that want to purchase a property, a commercial mortgage is similar to a domestic one and is secured against the building.
With so many options, small business leaders looking to get some short or long-term financing can find the solution they need for any situation.
In the short-term, small businesses need to manage their cash flow to ensure that they have enough money to cover day-to-day running costs. While short-term financial considerations are important, business leaders need to focus on the long-term and the funding they need to keep their businesses running. This might mean exploring what potential costs the small business might face over the coming months and any changes that might have to be able to continue to offer customers the services and solutions they expect.
As well as long-term business goals and financial management, company directors also need to consider the implications of their chosen small business financing and how it will affect their organisation over the months and years to come.
When considering the long-term implications of business financing, SME leaders need to factor in:
- The full cost of the financing, including all interest
- Any additional costs, such as penalties for late payment, that you could encounter
- What flexibility there is if your business struggles to make repayments promptly
- Any further conditions or restrictions your business might face during the term of the loan
Businesses need to consider all these factors before committing to a small business loan to help them overcome the challenges they currently face.
Prepare For Further Uncertainty
Ultimately, there are many factors that affect economic prosperity, and while , what happens next depends on a variety of political and social factors.
From the war in Ukraine to global oil prices and a resurgence of COVID-19, there are many issues that could cause further issues and opportunities for UK small businesses.
As such, business leaders have to be prepared for any eventuality. Even if a small business is currently struggling, its fortunes could change over the coming months, so leaders need to be prepared and focus on flexibility and adaptability.
In these tough economic times, many small businesses are exploring funding options. With hundreds of small business loans and financing packages available, it's vital that business leaders explore the market and review all the criteria before making their decision.