The asset most businesses forget they have

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By Ant Persse, Chief Executive Officer, Optimum Finance

As we emerge from the current economic crisis, businesses’ demands on cash will be greater than ever before. Invoice finance is perfectly situated to aid with this demand. There are hundreds of billions of pounds trapped in unpaid invoices already owed to SMEs in the UK. Imagine unlocking some of this cash and releasing it back into the system. Imagine the positive impact this would have on the economy.

Optimum Finance recently brought together business leaders and industry experts to discuss this with the aim of helping more businesses get access to the funds tied up in their invoices. It was a brilliant session that highlighted absolute alignment from everyone in attendance. It was truly uplifting to see collaboration between businesses passionately wanting to support the SME community. We even had companies that could be considered competitors coming together as allies for the benefit of the SME business owner.

Invoice finance was at the heart of our discussion.

We recognised that many businesses that need cash quickly don’t consider their unpaid invoices to be an asset that they can access cash against. Representatives from the British Business Bank (BBB) couldn’t understand why invoice finance wasn’t being fully utilised.

Warren Ralls, Managing Director of the UK Network Team within the BBB, said “I don’t understand why SMEs aren’t taking [invoice finance] up…It’s not an awareness thing. I think it’s around understanding.”

Paul Wain, Director in the Guarantee and Wholesale Solutions team of BBB and the principal driver in changing the invoice finance variant under the government’s Recovery Loan Scheme, continued “The fact that under the Recovery Loan Scheme, we’ve completely redesigned the invoice finance variant and we haven’t for any of the other variants shows how important we think [invoice finance] is moving forward.”

The group drilled down, asking why companies that could greatly benefit from invoice finance weren’t using this option?

What we found is that it’s often driven by misconceptions. Historically business owners will have sought a loan, credit card or overdraft and then looked to invoice finance only after exhausting these first, giving it the perception of a solution of last resort. The truth is invoice finance is an extremely versatile funding option that actually grows with your business.

We’ll be the first to admit that as an industry we’re full of jargon that makes our product sound far more complex than it actually is.

However, Optimum are making efforts to change this through initiatives such as this discussion, bringing heads of other leading invoice financiers together to put steps in place to make it easier for SME business owners to fully understand the benefits of the solutions we can provide.

Essentially, we help businesses get paid sooner than they otherwise would have. We get rid of the 30, 60, or even 90-day invoice payment gap and can get cash into your bank account on day one.

On top of this, how many funding types offer you a relationship management service? How many take away some of the more painful parts of running a business, like chasing payments? How many can protect you from non-payments of your invoices? And how many can do all of these things in one package?

Invoice finance can do all of this and more.

Are you:

  • A business that needs additional cash flow?
  • A business financier that is looking for a passionate partner to understand and help your clients?
  • A broker or introducer that is looking for a provider that delivers a fantastic service and truly cares about your clients’ businesses?
  • An invoice financier in any field that wants to join us in increasing awareness of the great work that invoice finance can deliver?

If so, please get in touch. We are here to help.

Visit us at optimumfinance.co.uk, email info@optimumfinance.co.uk or call us on 0117 403 7225.

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