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Guide on How to Manage Business Growth
Your start-up has now established itself and the phone is ringing with potential new business. Revenue is increasing, profits are coming in and you’re making a name for yourself among your competitors. That initial worrying period when you were not even 100% sure that your start-up business was viable is over. But you may not be able to relax just yet. Growing your business can be every bit as much of a challenge as getting it off the ground in the first place. “The start-up stage was hard and meant plenty of headaches. But scaling comes with them too. They are different headaches certainly, but they are headaches all the same.” You know your business works but trying to make it do much more, and still only have the same amount of time to do it in, can be every bit as difficult as the first handshake and the first sale. Maintaining your high level of service and overall customer experience actually becomes harder to do as your company grows. You’ll work hard to get to scale, but then you will find that when the market changes, it’s now harder for you to shift with it. You’ll find that you have two or three times the workload as you put on more business, but the working day is no longer and that there are physical limits on what you and your team can do. Being inconsistent with your service-level agreements (SLAs) as your business develops can have detrimental long-term effects on its success. So now that you have mastered business set-up, how can you manage business growth? Watch the money Keeping your finances in check is vital at any stage of your business' development. It’s all too easy to get complacent when your profits are rising but you’ll put yourself at risk of mismanaging your finances. The faster a business grows, the more important it is to plan future financial decisions. Take time to look at your finances, and realise that the financial models that served you during your start-up phase need to be redrawn. With growth, revenue levels, cost and overall cash flow change dramatically. You may be making more sales and more money – but you will be spending much more too. You’ll run into many unforeseen costs, such as broken equipment, the need to hire new employees or an unanticipated opportunity that requires you to act, which of course means spending money, quickly. It’s easier to deal with business costs and limit the number of financial surprises if you plan. You need to set benchmarks, forecast your business’ upcoming finances, profits and sales, and stay organised. You may also need additional investment. A fast-growing business needs capital behind it. New stakeholders will be much more likely to invest in your company if you have strong cash flow credentials. Above all, keep a tight rein on your cash flow. Just because your business is bringing in cash does not mean it is profitable, and good supplier management and stock control are vital – you want to free up money for growth, not have it tied up in outstanding debts or existing stock. Weekly financial monitoring and forecasting soon becomes essential – keep a close eye on what is coming in and what is going out of your business. Funding your growth Business growth does not just happen - and although it should, in theory, be possible to fund growth organically from the profits you make, in practice, it very rarely is. So, for example, you might require a second production machine to help you deal with demand. You may not yet have paid off the first one and a new machine will mean a large investment before it is installed and starts paying for itself. If you wait until you can afford the machine you need from your profits, you waste time – and precious opportunities which may not come again. There is a similar story if you want to bring in another member of staff. The answer is, of course, to increase your borrowing and pay back the loan when your new machine or staff member is already working for you and helping you generate additional profit. As a business that now has a record of success, even though it may be a short one, this round of borrowing will be much easier, and probably cost much less than it did when you were a struggling start-up. It is simple to understand that as your business grows larger it will require a larger level of funding to keep up with new demands and run day-to-day operations. A Working Capital Finance loan can supply you with the supplementary funding needed to accommodate new orders, build inventory, update your production equipment, expand your office space and hire additional team members. There are many different loan options available, so it’s imperative that you get expert help to find the right type of loan for the and with terms and conditions that fit the needs of your business. Build the right team As your business expands, you will need to have the right people around you to support you. It is not just about plugging a skills gap or simply finding someone to do the job as fast as possible. It is about recruiting people who will fit into your company’s culture. Getting the right team is essential. The employees you hire make the difference between success and failure for your business. Regardless of the products or service features and benefits you want to offer, without the right team to provide them, your business will simply not thrive. Hiring employees that don’t fit in with your current or desired work culture will inevitably lead to poor performance and decreased levels of job satisfaction for all – and you will find yourself looking at the time and costs of recruitment all over again when you have to replace your unsuitable hires. Your team should reflect your vision of your company and represent the values, beliefs, behaviours and commitment that make up your business culture - which is precisely the thing that may set it apart from your competitors. To grow a business effectively, you must be able to trust the people around you. Growth can stagnate if, as a business owner or manager, you insist on overseeing every little detail. Allow yourself to step back from the day-to-day running and leave it to the people you have brought in. It gives you a chance to see the bigger picture to focus on business growth and development opportunities. Once you have a great team in place, work at retaining them, ensuring your employees feel valued and that their roles and responsibilities stay fresh and stimulating. Looking to make the most of your growth? Find appropriate and affordable finance tailored to your business' needs Know your market Have a strategy for growth Growth does not just happen and, if it does, it will not be sustained unless you have a strategy to drive and support that growth. Focus on your strengths. As your business grows, you need to leverage these strength. It’s essential to capitalise on factors that make you stand out from your competitors and identify and focus on your target audience and their needs. Engage and entice your target audience with benefit-oriented marketing content, special offers, informative events and services that highlight the strengths of your business and connect the customer to your brand. Above all have a strategy for your growth. A growing business needs to be supported by a robust business strategy. Without it, your growth could simply stop at any time and you will have very little chance to do anything about it. Spend time thinking about what makes your business tick and what you’re good at, and try to understand the key factors: Understand your growth: It is vital to understand what the factors are behind your growth. What has sets you apart from the competition? What’s your differentiator? Is it cost, quality, location or something else? Understand your potential: How much more can you grow? How much more do you want to grow? Do you want to run a very large business, or would it be unwieldy, and doomed if the market changed? Creating a mission statement can be useful, as it will nail down your objectives. Understand your limits: You need to be realistic about what you can achieve. If you don’t have the resources or support in place to take on a huge contract or big international order, then don’t take it on. It is better to be honest with a potential new client rather than accept the work and do a bad job on it. Understand your goals: Having clear goals will help you take your business forward. You cannot just say, “I need to increase sales and cut costs”. Be clear about how much you want to increase your sales by and the particular areas where you want to cut costs. You may need to set targets and make those goals measurable. Exactly how many sales do you want? When do you want them by? What level of revenue will you expect from them? You need to be clear in your objectives, and making them measurable will let you be clear if you have reached them or not. Set yourself a specific timeframe. Work these timings into your business plan and stick to them. Know your growth market The final part of any growth strategy is to understand your market. Do your research and get a picture of how your customers behave and what they want. Remember, business conditions change constantly. You will need to do this on an ongoing basis. It is useful to do a SWOT analysis, where you assess your own company’s Strengths and Weaknesses, and then identify Opportunities open to you and any threats you face in the market that you serve. This will help you to identify a niche in your market. Safeguard your intellectual property If you’ve worked hard to establish a brand or product, you can’t have a competitor swooping in and copying you. Take time to get to grips with your intellectual property rights and ensure you trademark your product name and logo, and patent any new inventions or products. If unsure, it’s worth speaking to a legal professional. Funding to scale your business Getting the right funding to keep up with your business’ development is critical. What might have been successful when your business was smaller might not be as effective now. The scale of investment in your business a year ago - when it could have been half the size - will be a drag on your growth rather than a support. For example, you may need to bring in new people, new machines and even new premises to keep up with the same high levels of service. It's crucial that you are aware of the new set of risks and opportunities presented to your company as well as your incoming and outgoing cash flow. Most importantly, put goals and deadlines in place to stay on track for further growth, including any necessary financing requirements. At Rangewell, we can work with you to help you access the funding you need as your business grows. We know all the lenders in the UK market and we can help you find those who are most appropriate for your needs - and help you with the application process. We can even help you determine what type of funding is most appropriate for your needs - and ensure that you approach the most competitive lenders to provide it. Plus, our services are free. To find out more, call us at Rangewell on 020 3637 4150 or email [email protected]
Success Story: Bounce Back For A London Dry Cleaner
A solution to help a dry cleaning business bounce back - when the bank could not help TL:DR Dry cleaning businesses have been hit hard by Covid, so when one London dry cleaner was struggling to keep their business afloat, we stepped in to help with a Bounce Back Loan of £50,000 at 2.5%, with 12 months initial repayment freeze, when their own bank could not. “People don’t need their work clothes cleaned if they are not going into work, or their going-out clothes cleaned if they are not going out. My dry-cleaning business was hit hard by Covid and the lockdown - and then I found that my bank could not help me.” Covid has meant problems for every business sector. Dry cleaners have been particularly hard hit. It is easy to see why. Workwear is the lifeblood of many dry cleaners. Suits and jackets may need dry cleaning - but with many businesses have shut down for the duration and others are adopting a work from home policy, work clothes are simply not being worn. It means there was no demand to have business clothes cleaned - while a lack of nightlife meant that there was no demand for cleaning leisure clothing either. That meant serious problems for dry cleaners up and down the UK. We were recently approached by the owner of a small London dry cleaning business who had seen business fall to close to zero since the lockdown began. “I was allowed to open but customers just were not coming in. They didn't need their clothes cleaned because they were not going to work.” The business was small and acted as an agency for a large commercial dry cleaner which actually did the cleaning. But their position close to a tube station meant that they had a regular stream of customers. However, with the lockdown, those customers simply stopped coming in. With rent and other overheads, any available cash was being drained away - and there was already little cash left in the bank to ride out the downturn. But the owner saw that there could be hope for his business - if he could take advantage of the government’s Bounce Back Scheme to provide the cash he needed. About Bounceback Funding The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) was designed to enable smaller businesses to access finance quickly during the Coronavirus outbreak. The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover, and the maximum loan available is £50,000. It was designed to be faster and simpler to access than the government’s CBILS initiative, which was intended to provide larger sums, and for businesses with a higher turnover than our dry cleaner client. The Bounce Back Scheme offers loans of up to £50,000 as opposed to the £5million available under CBILS and should be a great deal simpler - and faster - to arrange. Like CBILS, the government will cover interest and fees on a loan for the first year. But the big difference is the interest rate which, unlike the uncapped and frequently punitive rates offered by some lenders under CBILS, are capped at just 2.5%. This means that finance secured under a BBL could cost very much less than that under a CBILS loan. As businesses start to emerge from the crisis, these lower costs can make a big difference to their long-term viability. KEY FEATURES OF THE BBL SCHEME Finance of up to £50,000 - Loans ranging from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover are available - ideal for smaller businesses No repayments for 12 months - The government pays interest and fees for the first year, helping borrowers get back on their feet No security required - The scheme provides the lender with a full (100%) government-backed guarantee against the outstanding balance of the finance (both capital and interest) - making lending almost risk-free Fixed interest of 2.5% - All businesses will benefit from the same, affordable rate of interest - providing a very competitive way to borrow compared with standard commercial loans Borrow for up to six years - The length of the loan is six years but early repayment is allowed and without early repayment fees Ready to find the answers to your funding needs? Contact the Rangewell Funding Hotline on 020 3318 2613 How we can help Bounce Back loans are provided by commercial lenders, including banks. But not all banks are easy for small businesses to deal with. We have found that many smaller businesses will need help, not just to get through the crisis, but to access the funding the government has promised to help them do so. As the UK leaders in business funding for the SME sector, we are in the ideal position to help. Our client found that when he went online to his bank to apply, his application was lost by the system. “I was seeing error messages - and there was no helpline for me to call.” Frustrated by the lack of help from his bank, he called us at Rangewell instead. We can often use our contacts at all the major lenders - including high street banks - to sort out problems when things go wrong. In this case, we helped our client get around the problems with the website and fast-tracked the application. It meant our client had the Bounce Back loan he wanted, agreed in a matter of days and the funds were made available for him to draw down in under a week. “Going to Rangewell not only got me the funds I needed, but it also got me them in a fraction of the time the bank usually took when everything was working properly." Funding - fast Bounce Back loan of £50,000 at 2.5%, with 12 months initial repayment freeze The client had the funding he needed for the project - with nothing to pay back for 12 months The client was able to deal with his ongoing financial commitments, and with people starting to go back to work as lockdown is easing, he is welcoming customers back into his business again. Rangewell finds the financial solutions that your business needs The Rangewell service is easy to use - and lets you talk to a funding expert to get a solution that is planned around your business needs. Just call us and one of our Business Funding Experts will be able to discuss your options and work out the most cost-effective ways to provide the funding you want - whatever the challenge your business plans present. We can help you see if a CBILS or Bounce Back Loan might provide the answers you need - or whether there is another form of funding which could provide a better answer for your particular circumstances. Then we will search the entire lending market to find the most appropriate lender and to make the application for the loan you need. It can be the simplest way to find the lifeline you need for your business. To find out more call Rangewell for an informal discussion on 020 3318 2613 or email [email protected] Keeping your business afloat with help from Rangewell Individual arrangements tailored to your circumstances Adverse Credit – no problem Repayments geared to your turnover Expertise in funding for your sector Bounceback and CBILS expertise Talk to Rangewell – the business finance experts
Asset Finance Success Story: Saving a scaffolder £15,000
Getting the right equipment you need to do a job is vital - but so is getting it at the right price. At Rangewell, we can help ensure that you don’t pay more than you need to for the kit you need - even if you have already bought it. TL:DR - When a scaffolding company found that their existing vehicle finance was potentially going to cause them issues during the downturn in 2020, they needed a solution. Rangewell was able to find them an Asset Refinance deal which reduced their monthly payments from £18,000 per month to just £3000 per month, at just 5.5% with 5 years to repay. “If you are in the scaffolding business, you need to stay competitive - there are a lot of other firms out there just as capable of putting up pipe. So you have to watch every penny you spend - because it all comes out of your profits. That's true at any time - but right now watching the spending is more important than ever. “ In scaffolding, as in every other business, cash flow is crucial. If you're spending more than you are bringing in, you have a problem that could easily bring your business down. At Rangewell, we have found that there are many businesses now facing cashflow problems because of the downturn, and the financial arrangements they made in previous years when business was booming are becoming a problem now. We were recently approached by a scaffolding business in the north of England. They had been established for more than 20 years and had built up the business from the original two partners with a lorry full of secondhand gear into a thriving business. They now have eight lorries, a skilled permanent team as well as contractors, and work with businesses of all kinds, from small builders to local authorities across the region. “We are not exactly living from hand to mouth right now, but business could be better, and nobody knows how long it will take for the world to get back to work and start building again. We needed to tighten our belts.” The downturn has meant that business slowed down, with fewer new projects started and less need for scaffold. Cashflow was reduced, but with casual workers and furlough, the usual problems of staff wages were not the problem. The issue was the finance for the fleet of eight scaffold lorries the business operated. “When I went through the figures with the accountant, I saw that our wagons were our biggest drain. We had paid around £200,000 for them altogether and I had arranged what I thought was a reasonable finance agreement at the time to buy them in - but it meant that we were paying out £18,000 a month for vehicle finance.” From £18,000 to £3000 a month for vehicle finance The partners realised that the ongoing cost commitment was a threat to the business and approached us at Rangewell to see if there was any way to reduce the monthly repayments. Buying any type of business equipment or vehicles can mean a major capital investment. Most businesses will want to finance the deal and call on a lender to provide the funding they need. In most cases, Asset Finance can offer the most cost-effective solution - certainly more cost-effective than a straightforward business loan. This is because, with Asset Finance, lending is secured on the equipment or asset itself. This security means that if there is a problem and the borrower cannot make the repayments, the lender will simply repossess the asset and sell it to recover their funds. This can make Asset Finance agreements much more competitive than other types of funding. The cost of all lending is based on risk, and a reduced risk means the lender's costs are reduced - which in turn means that they can pass on the savings to you with a lower rate. With Asset Finance, not only is there no risk to your other business assets, the rate you are charged and your monthly repayments can both be lower. Asset Finance covers a number of funding arrangements: Hire Purchase – spreading the cost of buying Hire Purchase - or HP - spreads the cost of buying your equipment. Technically, it lets you hire an asset - such as a lorry - until you have paid for it in full. You pay a deposit plus fixed monthly instalments for the agreed term, which commonly lasts between 12 and 72 months. HP is the ideal solution for durable equipment you‘ll want to keep for long-term service. Leases - removing the capital cost Leasing can provide the equipment you need without the cost or commitment of buying it - or of any upfront costs. Leases work like rental agreements. You pay a monthly rental charge to use the asset, although it will never become yours. Maintenance, repairs, and registration can be the responsibility of the leasing company. But remember - although Asset Finance is generally a cheaper way to raise money to buy equipment and vehicles, not all Asset Finance deals, and not all lenders are created equal. The wrong deal could mean paying much more than you need to for the equipment you want. We looked at the figures ad saw that our client was paying more each month than he needed to - and that we could save him money by arranging Asset Refinance. What is Asset Refinance? If you are currently paying for your business equipment under a finance arrangement, you may be able to reduce the cost by refinancing. At Rangewell we can look at your existing deal and arrange refinance - a way of paying off your existing finance, by replacing your current deal with finance from another lender, and a more competitive rate. It could mean cutting your monthly outgoings substantially. This is known as Asset Refinance. Replacing an existing finance deal with a better alternative - one that offers lower rates, or which can be over a longer term to spread the repayments over more months - can cut your monthly commitments and help you deal with cashflow problems. It is particularly effective at present, as low interest rates mean that borrowing can be much cheaper than you might have imagined. But the benefits don’t stop there. Asset Refinance can help you raise money - in effect, releasing the investment you have already made in your existing kit. By using your existing assets as the security for a new loan, you can receive a cash lump sum which you will repay, again by using a straightforward Asset Finance deal. Plus you can continue to use the assets while you are repaying the lender. Ready to find out more about Asset Refinance? Contact us now. In the case of our scaffolding client, we saw that the savings were dramatic. We found another lender who could offer a much more attractive rate, and who could spread payments over an additional three years. The monthly repayments went from £18,000 a month to just £3,000. Repayments fell from £18,000 a month to just £3,000. “I called Rangewell to see if they could save me some money each month. They saved me £15,000 each month - and that was a saving that was well worth having.” If you are ready to find better answers to your business funding needs, contact the Rangewell funding hotline on 020 3318 2613 How we were able to help We work with all the lenders in the UK market, and not only do we know which are most suitable for a particular type of deal or a particular sector, we know those that can offer the most cost-effective solution. We were able to secure the funding required at just 5.5% over five years. £20,000 at 5.5% with 5 years to repay Getting the right deal for your business Refinancing your equipment can help you take advantage of current low rates - and save money each month - and, at Rangewell, we can help. Our service is easy to use - and lets you talk to a construction funding expert to get a solution that is planned around your business needs - from scaffolding businesses to engineering and property development.We can call on our network of lenders, which includes virtually every name in the UK market to get the funds you need quickly. Just call us and one of our experts will be able to discuss the options, and work out the most cost-effective ways to provide the funding you want - whatever the challenge your business plans present. And, in most cases, our services are absolutely free. To find out more call Rangewell for an informal discussion on 020 3318 2613 or email [email protected] Equipping your business costs less with help from Rangewell Asset Finance expertise - for all types of asset Individual arrangements tailored to your circumstances Adverse Credit – no problem Repayments geared to your turnover Understanding the funding challenges for your sector Personal service Talk to Rangewell – the business finance experts
Asset Finance Success Story: going the extra mile to finance a grab tipper
Whatever your line of work, the right equipment is vital. Your business depends on your equipment and you can’t afford to work with anything but the best. Fortunately, you can depend on Rangewell to help you secure the funding you need. We recently helped a drilling business secure - not just funding for a grab tipper - we helped them find the vehicle itself. TL:DR - When a client in the construction sector needed to fund some new essential equipment, we were able to step in and arrange not just the finance but also help with the application. But when the dealer sold the equipment the same day the funds came through, we were able to go the extra mile to source a replacement from our contacts with the specification the client wanted, and use an Asset Finance package to cover the cost at just 5.5% over five years. “We ask a lot from our vehicles. The grab tipper goes to work every day, gets tonnes of rubble thrown in the back - and comes back for more every time. We’ve even used it to dig when space and time were short. We had worked our old wagon into the ground, and needed to replace it - when I saw a two-year-old DAF at £90,000 I realised it could be perfect if I could secure the finance I needed.” Our client was a drilling and digging contractor, working in the North-east of England. His core business was trenching and install piles for utility companies, and his small team were kept busy - and so was his equipment. One of his main workhorses was his grab tipper. Using a hydraulic crane and mechanical grab, the tipper can self-load spoil from the side of the road and deliver backfill materials directly into the site. Being able to load and unload in areas where space is limited offsets the payload weight penalty of the grab and arm - and avoids the cost of a separate machine for loading and unloading. “Kit is expensive, and we ask a lot from it. We’re particular - we only use DAF for our tipper grabbers because we have found that, over the years, they have the reliability we need.” He wanted a DAF 8X4 with the full spec including cameras and a clamshell bucket, and ideally a Terex crane - despite a high cost inevitable with high quality, high spec machine. He was pleased to find a suitable used model in his local dealer’s stock. It was just two years old and had been well maintained, but at £90,000 it meant a substantial saving compared with a new truck from the manufacturer. “It was perfect for what I wanted, but I needed to find a way to finance it.” The dealer was able to provide finance which would cover the cost, but our client was concerned that the rate for the finance they were offering seemed high. Dealers offer funding to make it easier to buy high-cost items and make it easy to close a sale. However, it is worth looking closely at exactly what the dealer is offering, and shopping around for better alternatives. At Rangewell we have found that, in many cases, the cost of dealer finance is inflated by the dealer, who will expect to make an extra profit from selling you their finance package. Going direct to a lender and arranging the funding yourself can save money - and at Rangewell, that is just what we help you to do. “I called Rangewell to see what they could do.” The business owner approached our funding experts for a better solution. We have a network of business finance experts that cover the country, as well as established contacts within virtually every lender in the UK market. Our local team were able to call on the client and help them look at the possible solutions. They saw that the ideal answer would be Asset Finance. Asset Funding for construction equipment Buying any type of heavy machinery requires a major capital investment. When it’s a big item, like a grab tipper, even large businesses will not have the funds waiting in the bank. Asset Finance can offer a solution. With an Asset Finance package, lending is secured on the equipment or asset itself. This means that if there is a problem and the borrower cannot make the repayments, the lender will take the asset to recover their funds. The upside of this is that their rates to you as the borrower can be much lower. This can make it much more competitive than other types of funding when you want to buy equipment of virtually any type. With Asset Finance, not only is there no risk to your other business assets, but the rate you are charged and your monthly repayments can both be lower too. Asset Finance covers a number of funding arrangements: Spreading the cost of buying Hire Purchase - or HP - spreads the cost of buying your equipment. Technically, it lets you hire an asset, such as a tractor, until you have paid for it in full. You pay a deposit plus fixed monthly instalments for the agreed term, which usually lasts between 12 and 72 months. HP is the ideal solution for durable equipment you‘ll want to keep for long-term service. Removing the capital cost Leasing can provide the equipment you need without the cost or commitment of buying it - or of any upfront costs. Leases work like rental agreements. You pay a monthly rental charge to use the asset, although it will never become yours. Maintenance, repairs, and registration can be the responsibility of the leasing company. Buying secondhand Despite what you may have been told, it is perfectly simple to arrange Asset Finance for used equipment - even as part of a private sale. All that is required is that the equipment is in good condition and could be resold if required. If you are ready to find better answers to your business funding needs, contact the Rangewell funding hotline on 020 3318 2613 How we helped We know the lenders who can help provide funding to the construction sector, and called a number of them to find the most competitive rate for our client’s tipper purchase. Once we had found the rates and term that would best meet his financial circumstances, we helped him with this application. Ensuring that there were no last-minute problems helped ensure the application was approved - and funds made available in the shortest possible time. But we didn’t stop there. We had agreed the funding - but the dealer sold the truck on the morning our client received clearance to draw down the funds. So we used our knowledge of the truck dealers in the area - many of which we had helped with funding in the past - and rang around to find another truck with the specification our client wanted. He had his truck and the funding that he needed to buy it - because we went the extra mile. The deal we arranged Our client needed the most competitive rate as well as fast access to cash. We work with all the lenders in the UK market, and not only do we know which are most suitable for a particular type of deal or a particular sector, we know those that can offer the most cost-effective solution. We were able to secure the funding required at just 5.5% over five years. £90,000 - less 10% deposit - at 5.5% with 5 years to repay “Rangewell had someone on the ground who could deal with our application personally - and they were happy to put in the extra effort to get us the truck we needed as well as the finance. That is service that most finance providers cannot offer!” We provide refinancing too Are you currently paying for your vehicles under a finance arrangement? You may be able to reduce the cost by refinancing. At Rangewell we can look at your existing deal and can frequently arrange refinancing - a way of paying off your existing finance by replacing your current deal with finance from another lender, and at a more competitive rate. It could mean cutting your monthly outgoings. This is known as Asset Refinance. Ready to find out more about Asset Refinance? Contact us now if you think your business could benefit from it. Rangewell finds the financial solutions that your business needs now It is always tempting to try to get more use out of tired equipment, but it can be a false economy. Older equipment will make your business less productive, increase the risk of breakdowns – and mean safety issues that can lead to injury and liabilities. Investing in new or quality used equipment can actually reduce your costs overall - but getting the most competitive interest rates and the terms that are most appropriate for you and your business is vital for your bottom line. The Rangewell service is easy to use - and lets you talk to an Asset Funding expert to get a solution that is planned around your business needs. We can call on our network of lenders, which includes virtually every name in the UK market to get the funds you need quickly. Just call us and one of our Business Funding Experts will be able to discuss your options and work out the most cost-effective ways to provide the funding you want - whatever the challenge your business plans present - and in most cases, our services are absolutely free. To find out more call Rangewell for an informal discussion on 020 3318 2613 or email [email protected] Equipping your business costs less with help from Rangewell Asset finance expertise - for all types of asset Individual arrangements tailored to your circumstances Adverse Credit – no problem Repayments geared to your turnover Understanding the funding challenges for your sector Personal service Talk to Rangewell – the business finance experts
Success Story: Taking a vet training business online
Finding the funding to move your business forward TL:DR A training business for vets needed to move online due to Covid, but their bank did not think the business did not meet all the requirements of CBILS. However, we stepped in to help with the application for the full £250,000 allowed and, by making use of the government's guarantee under CBILS, we found a lender that was able to provide the loan with 5 years to repay - after the initial 12 month repayment holiday - at just 5% and with the funds arriving within a matter of days. “You need to find new ways to do business since Covid. That means you need new kinds of funding - and that means you need Rangewell.” Finding new ways to do business has become vital for any business that is going to thrive post-Covid - and it certainly was for a vet training business who needed funding to help them go online. Covid has caused problems for every business sector. Some have shut down for the duration. Others are trying to work with social distancing measures in place. And others have gone online. In some ways, Covid has, therefore, simply accelerated a process that has been gathering pace for years. At the beginning of the year, a teleconference was still something of a novelty. Now, in many sectors it has become the norm. The training sector is one of them and it is rapidly making the transition from classroom-based instruction to online training sessions. But, although there will not be the same costs required to offer learning in the real world, going online means some entirely new expenses. Creating websites, bringing in video and other equipment will all involve costs - as well as providing online marketing and support. We were recently approached by the owner of a business specialising in training vets with a request for help. “We have been steadily growing the business for a few years now, and I have brought together a really good team of instructors. It's their skills that are the real wealth of the business. When lockdown came along, I thought we were going to be in trouble - but then we realised that we could go online.” There would be some new costs to deal with but it would mean that the business could continue to operate, providing a range of training courses. The government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme - or CBILS - looked as though it could help. About CBILS CBILS is a government-backed scheme that was introduced to provide financial support to smaller businesses across the UK that were losing revenue and disrupted cash flow as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The scheme provides loans of up to £5million, but in most cases will be much less - and crucially, with nothing to repay for the first 12 months. However, when our client approached her bank, they were unable to provide funding under CBILS - because they did not see her business as meeting all the requirements of a CBILS loan. Using it to set up an online business seemed to be too radical a step. So she talked to our funding experts instead. We helped our client complete an application for £250,000, the maximum that can be offered under CBILS without a personal guarantee, and approached our contacts at alternative lenders. By making use of the government's guarantee under CBILS we found a lender that was able to provide the loan with 5 years to repay - after the initial 12 month repayment holiday - at just 5%. What’s more, we were able to arrange the funding fast. Our client had the cash they needed in a matter of days, instead of the weeks of delays that were being reported by those who turned for the banks for the help they needed. “Rangewell found me the cash I needed to take the business to the next level. It means we have the cash to go fully online, I can keep all my staff on, and we can continue to offer the training that people want. Coronavirus has forced us to take a step we needed to take - and Rangewell found us the funding we needed to take it.” Ready to find the answers to your business funding needs? Contact the Rangewell funding hotline on 020 3318 2613 Funding solution £250,000 at 8% with 12 months payment holiday and 5 years to repay The client had the funding she needed to successfully introduce a new way of providing her services - taking her business several steps forward as a result Rangewell finds the financial solutions that your business needs Many business sectors have hit problems thanks to Covid - but many businesses are finding new ways to work and to generate profits again. Going online is a big step, and it may involve a big investment in people, skills and web facilities. Rangewell can help you find that investment, and to used government schemes such as CBILS to reduce the cost. The Rangewell service is easy to use - and lets you talk to a funding expert to get a solution that is planned around your business needs. Just call us and one of our Business Funding Experts will be able to discuss the options, and work out the most cost-effective ways to provide the funding you want - whatever the challenge your business plans present. It can be a lifeline for your business. We’ll search the entire lending market to find the most affordable solutions to your funding needs - and in most cases, our services are absolutely free. To find out more call Rangewell for an informal discussion on 020 3318 2613 or email [email protected] Taking your business further with help from Rangewell Individual arrangements tailored to your circumstances Adverse Credit – no problem Repayments geared to your turnover Expertise in funding for your sector Bounceback and CBILS expertise Talk to Rangewell – the business finance experts
Knock it down and start again
How planning changes could open the door to profitable new building projects As part of its response to covid - and its attempts to kickstart the economy - the government has made some major changes to planning laws. They are designed to cut council imposed red tape and help get development projects off the drawing board and onto the ground much faster. Among the proposals - which will become the rules in September unless something goes drastically wrong - is one to scrap the need for full planning applications to demolish and rebuild unused buildings, and rules to make a change of use much easier to arrange. It could open the doors to exciting new developments across the country. Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said the new planning laws would deliver much-needed new homes and revitalise town centres across England. Building new homes is the obvious answer to the UK housing shortage, but suitable plots of land are becoming scarce and are rarely in the key locations that people actually want to live in. With the UK economy in turmoil after Covid, the government is looking at ways to stimulate activity - and especially the building market. In his ‘Build, Build, Build’ speech, Boris Johnson set out some major changes to the planning rules. Major changes to planning rules The new rules, which will come into effect by September, mean full planning applications will not be required to demolish and rebuild unused buildings. “I acquired an old factory building some years ago. It is close to the centre of a bustling market town and it would be the ideal location for some townhouses which the town desperately needs. But because it is more than a century old, the council believe that it is part of the fabric of the town. Most people who live here think it is an ugly old ruin. The new rules will stop the council dragging its feet, and let us get on with building those homes” This change is expected to reduce pressure on greenfield sites and provide more homes where they are needed, without the red tape. ‘Cutting out unnecessary bureaucracy’ Housing secretary Robert Jenrick, explained: “We are reforming the planning system and cutting out unnecessary bureaucracy to give small business owners the freedom they need to adapt and evolve, and to renew our town centres with new enterprises and more housing. “These changes will help transform boarded up, unused buildings safely into high-quality homes at the heart of their communities.“ It is not, however, a complete tearing up of the rulebook. Pubs, libraries, village shops and other buildings considered essential to communities will not be covered by these flexibilities. Listed buildings of any shape size or function will continue to be fully protected. But redundant commercial buildings of all kinds, from retail premises that shut up shop years ago to office buildings that have been overtaken by technology and fashions, could be fair game. Outdated factories, workshops and warehouses could all be replaced. Derelict buildings are dangerous and ugly - now they, or rather the land they stand on - could be a source of profit for you. “People want homes, not boarded-up buildings. This means that it will be easier to provide the homes they want, and to get rid of the old structures that actually blight neighbourhoods” The industry's response The building industry is cautiously optimistic. Commentators are asking how the new rules will work in practice, and what exactly will be considered to be an ‘unused’ building, and therefore capable of being repurposed or replaced. Many welcome it as key to opening up brownfield sites for development, removing obsolete and ugly buildings and replacing them with newbuilds - mainly housing that is in such demand. It should ease the mounting pressure on Green Belt and greenfield sites and promote urban regeneration. Time is money - the new rules can streamline the entire planning process, helping you get started and get to completion in less time. That means less time and less money is wasted. Other changes include requiring local housing plans to be developed and agreed in 30 months, down from the current seven years, to accelerate the categorization process which sees entire areas graded for ‘renewal’, and extending the current exemption of small sites from having to make “section 106” payments – the means by which developers are forced to provide affordable housing. It looks as though there could be some very rewarding times ahead for builders and developers, as well as the broader economy that depends upon them. “We’ve had machines standing idle all through the crisis and costing us money. I’m hoping the new rules will see us putting them to work again soon. We’ll be bringing people in off furlough, and giving them real work to do” The government’s announcement of the new rules could shorten the planning cycle, opening the way for profitable deals and projects. But the need for the right finance for the acquisition and development of property will remain. Keeping control of your costs is the first step to profitable property development At Rangewell, we can help you find the lenders who are able to offer Development Funding. Development funding Development Funding is designed for experienced property developers and investors. They can provide a complete solution to the need to fund the purchase of a property needing work, with potential for extension or change of use - or complete demolition, and the funds to carry out the work required. The work could be a conversion, an out-of-the ground development, a single newbuild or the development of a major new estate on a major factory site, and can be scaled to the level of work required - from a few hundred thousand pounds into the millions. “I saw the potential of some old railway land. There was the land for the sidings and a huge old warehouse building. It was hard to appreciate the size until you looked at the survey, but with well over an acre, there was ample space for a small estate. The council needed assurances that there would be affordable housing provided and all the other usual niggles. But even though we met all their demands, they still have not given us the approval to put up anything larger than a fence. The new rules will change all that - and thanks to a few calls with Rangewell, I now have the funding I need to start work.” Development Funding is always arranged on an individual basis and, whatever your project and whatever your funding needs, there will be a solution to help you. At Rangewell we know the steps to take to help you secure it. The lender will want to see the existing property - if it exists - and see a schedule of works. This is a detailed breakdown of the work and costs involved in the project, together with projected timings. A valuer will comment on whether the intended budget is realistic and if the time scale is achievable. Lenders will also want to see evidence of past projects, to ensure that you have the skills and vision to complete the work. Costs may be substantially higher than more conventional commercial property funding, but it may be possible to roll up all payments until the property is sold on. Looking to take advantage of the new planning and development rules? Find out what property funding options are available to you How it works Conventional commercial property funding such as mortgages are based on the actual value of a property - which may actually be negative when extensive and difficult demolition is required. If you need to acquire a brownfield site, it may not be possible to secure it with this type of lending, as it may not cover the value of the land itself. Development Finance, on the other hand, is based on the gross development value (GDV) - the value of the project - once completed. This is also known as the post refurbishment works value. In other words, with Development Finance, it is your vision and your ability to turn it into reality which is being used as the basis for the funding you receive. Loans may be available from £100k to £10m. Lenders may consider lending up to 70% of GDV, with funds released in stages. These funds may cover both the property purchase as well as refurbishment works, although funds may also be available for developers who already own a property in need of work. Terms of up to 18 - 24 months are often available and interest payments may be rolled up in the total loan amount, but, as with all Property Finance, there will also be fees. However, one of the questions lenders will always ask when reviewing your application for Development Funding is “what about when the project is complete?” You will need to provide an exit strategy. If you are simply selling on the complete homes, this will not be an issue. You can pay off the lender in stages as each one is sold. But what if your development is intended to build your own property portfolio? For example, the new rules might make it simpler to convert an office block from the 1960s into lettable flats or studios. Financial solutions exist to repay short-term Development Funding with a long-term Commercial Mortgage. “I bought a small council office with a Development Loan. It was in an ideal location, on a hill with views overlooking the town centre. It was solidly built, and with a great deal of work, I had converted it into eight flats. I saw that property values were only going to go up, and I didn't want to sell them on, so I got a Commercial Mortgage for the whole block and let them out instead. I have a steady income coming in, and I created enough equity to fund my next project.” Commercial Mortgages If you are planning on keeping the property you developed part of an investment portfolio, a Commercial Mortgage is one of the most common solutions These operate much like a residential mortgage, with a large loan secured on the property itself. “Rangewell has helped me get development finance in the past, and then when the work was done they helped me get a Commercial Mortgage to take over finance for the long term. Naturally, I’m coming back to Rangewell again to help me get funding to take advantage of these new planning regulations.” Generally, Commercial Mortgage terms last for 15 years or more and, as with a residential mortgage, the premises will be at risk if you are unable to keep up your repayments. Lenders will look at your business, your accounts and projections to ensure that it has a future and set interest rates based on the level of risk they believe it presents. The funding you will need to fund development With the high cost both of property and of this type of building work, getting a full understanding of all the costs will be vital before embarking on a development project. Not only will you need to know how much you will need to borrow, but you will also need to know how much borrowing will cost. At Rangewell, we know the property lending sector and can help find the lenders who are ready to help. Whether you have a straightforward, small-scale funding need for a single property, or require a complicated ‘Jigsaw’ funding plan made up of a combination of financial products, we can work with you to find the answers. Call us now to get our experts working for you The Rangewell service is easy to use - and lets you talk to a funding expert to get a solution that is planned around your business needs. “Buying and doing up property is never as straightforward as you want it to be. There are always problems, whether it is a cost overrun or a problem with the planning. You need to ensure that you have the lowest cost finance you can get because if you pay any more for it, you are just giving your profits away to the banks. Rangewell know the business - their experts can help find the right deal, and they can tell you about the kind of problems you are likely to face. Other people you talk to tell you about their own product. Rangewell will tell you about everything that is available, and help you see what is best for you, not the lenders.” Just call us and one of our Business Funding Experts will be able to discuss the options, and work out the most cost-effective ways to provide the funding you want - whatever the challenge your development plans present. We’ll search the entire lending market to find the most affordable solutions to your funding needs - and, in most cases, our services are absolutely free. To find out more call Rangewell for an informal discussion on 020 3318 2613 or email [email protected]