Business Reality Check

Cash flow lenders are key suppliers to thousands of UK SMEs so it pays to review these relationships regularly.

businessman on phone

As any business owner can readily testify, there are a whole multitude of key relationships to maintain to ensure that the business runs as smoothly as possible.

One of the most fundamental is the relationship which an SME has with its suppliers. Without the raw materials required to produce the finished product or service, there effectively is no business and so the ongoing dynamics of the business owner/supplier relationship are vital.

From the initial negotiations over raw materials, delivery and price, to the ongoing dialogue ensuring that what is delivered to customers remains relevant, in demand and fairly priced, an enduring harmony with suppliers is essential to any successful enterprise.

Suppliers come in many forms and increasingly, entrepreneurs are seeing the value in the relationships which they form and maintain with their finance providers. Long gone (for most business owners) are the days when this amounted to the relationship they enjoyed with just one individual, namely their bank manager.

In today’s world, many businesses have a variety of finance providers which may include their bank but also others, very often fintech lenders who can provide essential cash flow very quickly following simple online applications.

The choice available today allows business owners to access funds without it costing them too much of another one of their most valuable resources; time. This accessibility of quick finance has enabled many SMEs to take advantage of opportunities that might have eluded them without the availability of a speedy cash injection.

However, like all other supplier relationships, those with finance providers should be regularly reviewed. Businesses with a number of cash flow lenders may find that some of the facilities they have taken advantage of will not be competitive from a price perspective, and although they may have served their immediate purpose, the ongoing finance costs may be unnecessarily high.

With so much choice now available in respect of cash flow finance, keeping abreast of what is available has never been more important to business owners. From time to time, it may be prudent for certain debts to be consolidated and refinanced with an alternative lender on more favourable terms in order to both reduce the monthly finance costs and the ongoing administration of dealing with multiple lenders. In much the same way that it rarely pays to stick with the same insurance or utilities provider for long periods without thoroughly reviewing your tariff or price, the same is very true for SMEs when considering their cash flow facilities.

Of course, the provision of any service boils down to much more than just price – however with finance providers as in any relationship, it pays to keep talking.