Businesses assessing their mid financial year performance and considering a finance facility to grow their business in 2024 can easily be overwhelmed by the process.
Moneytech, a leading non-bank business lender, acknowledges that with so many finance products available from different lenders, one of biggest challenges business owners face is how to assess the merits of different finance facilities. Finance brokers help fulfill this role, but in uncertain economic times, they are also being engaged for more than just one-off financial product advice.
Finance brokers are increasingly taking on a business advisory role. Introduced finance applications make up 97 per cent of Moneytech’s finance applications and its clear finance brokers are well-placed to assist business owners by finding the best facility to suit their requirements and also guiding businesses on short and long-term courses of action.
To best serve new client enquiries, initial meetings with clients usually involve business owners identifying what they want capital for, notes The Finance Consultancy owner, Chris Slack.
“A broker will then play the role of intermediary between business owners and lenders, navigating financial products to suit a business’s requirements,” Slack said, acknowledging the role of brokers is becoming less transactional and increasingly focused on liaising with accountants, lawyers, and lenders to deliver a finance solution.
Regardless of whether a finance application is through a broker or direct, there’s generally two types of applicants, broadly based on what they will use the finance for.
Opportunistic business owners can feel constrained by the inability to grow their business if their capital is tied up in stock or unpaid invoices. These businesses need cash flow to move on opportunities quickly. Conversely, conservative business owners seek finance for peace of mind. Business is going well for these business owners, but they seek finance to ensure their staff wage payments or any debt payments aren’t impacted by slow invoice payment.
For both types of applicants, the financial year is becoming less and less relevant to when businesses are making decisions on using finance. “Businesses are definitely not waiting for a specific date on the calendar to review their finances, staffing levels, and expenditure,” Slack said.
Reinforcing the changing nature of the finance broker role, Slack shares that businesses in a good financial position with access to capital continue to engage brokers to identify further opportunities they may be missing.
“Finance brokers are a great sounding board for business owners, as some may be reluctant to speak to their network for market insight. This independent, third-party intelligence is appreciated by clients and leads to long-term business advisory roles similar to a business’s engagement with accountants, lawyers, and HR professionals,” he said.
Whether it’s a one-off finance discussion, or an on-going finance product discussion, Ketu advises business owners to thoroughly do their research and engage an experienced finance broker early in the process to assist in finding the right finance solution for the business.
2024 Finance Facility Checklist:
- Review your business and the financial blockages that have arisen in the past 6-12 months and identify operational opportunities in first half of 2024. Slow client invoice payment could be a pain point, and there may be for opportunities to utilise finance to negotiate with top end suppliers on volume discounts or early payment discounts.
- Identify how improved access to capital will be used. Will the funds be used to maximise growth or continue business as usual with better peace of mind? Being specific about the finance facility’s use will ensure it is used strategically.
- Seek a recommendation from a trusted finance broker, your accountant or business network and discuss your situation with them.
- Review suggested finance products with your accountant and team and set a deadline in the new year to act on the strategic interests.
To learn more about finance facilities to assist and grow your business, visit www.moneytech.com.au.
Reece Ketu is head of small business at Moneytech.