Bluestone’s Q4 Market Update by Richard Tamlyn

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW

Hi there, I’m Richard Tamlyn and this is Bluestone’s Q4 update for 2021.

Hopefully, as it is for us here at Bluestone, life is beginning to feel a little more like normal. As we moved from Q3 in to Q4 we saw a big increase in businesses now looking to move out of survival mode and back in to business as normal.

But it does feel like a new normal – office space is now about collaboration and meeting space, hot desk provision and accommodating a more flexible working pattern than we’ve seen before in the UK.

The green agenda is being ramped up and the prospect of no petrol or diesel cars in production from 2030, along with next month’s COP 26 Summit in Glasgow, seems to have focused business minds on their own carbon footprint and how they can contribute to the global energy crisis. Be it solar panels, electrifying their fleet, or just changing to LED lighting, energy efficiency seems to be being discussed at board tables up and down the country.

We’ve recently launched two new assessment scorecards that can help give a very top level insight in to how well equipped your business is for the new normal. The first – Is Your Business 2022 Ready? – gives you an insight into how set up you are operationally, how fit for purpose your office space is, how green you currently are, and how well you’re using technology to facilitate the modern working requirements of your team. Achieving all those can be an expensive process but we’ve helped hundreds of business achieve each of those affordably and efficiently.

Is Your Business 2022 Ready? Click here to find out.

The second scorecard is a top-level financial heath check – How Financially Savvy is Your Business. Are you thinking about cashflow, spreading costs of your VAT or corporation tax bills, and are you making sure that any purchases are paid for in the most efficient way for your business? Again, all things we can give you support and guidance with.

How Financially Savvy is Your Business? Click here to find out.

We’re re-launching our website early next year and the scorecards will be available on there for anyone to get a quick overview of how their business is performing.

And our website is not the only thing we’ve been working on during lockdown. Like many businesses, we took the lockdown period as an opportunity to re-assess how we operate and used the time to ensure we’re set up for the new world in the best way possible. We’ve invested in technology, better management information, new marketing software, and greater online accessibility for our clients. We’ve restructured our sales team and reconfigured our office space to enable better remote/office hybrid working arrangements and more virtual meeting space. We set our sights on ensuring we could provide a better service than ever before to our clients, partners and funders and, as we approach 2022, we’re confident of doing exactly that.

And we know we’re not alone. Aside from the mad rush to buy laptops, headsets, monitors and VOIP phone systems to facilitate home working at the start of lockdown, many businesses have used the time to invest and set themselves up for the future. Much of it was funded through CBILS or Bounce-back loans, or just purchased out of necessity and speed with cash. As we come through the other side, and furlough has ended, we’ve launched the Bluestone CAUSe product to help businesses unlock that capital to re-invest in their business and maximise on the growth opportunity as the UK emerges further out of lockdown. Whether it’s marketing for your business, additional staff to meet increasing demand or increasing your stock levels, access to capital to make that happen is vital.  

CAUSe stands for Coronavirus Asset unlock scheme, and enables your business to raise finance against any assets purchased during the lockdown period. In fact, any assets purchased within the last 24 months. It’s completely unique in the market with most funders only able to finance assets purchased in the last 3-6 months. If you’d like to know more don’t hesitate to leave a note below or visit our website for more details.

Back on the green agenda, Bluestone is delighted to have launched a new product to assist farmers in planting Miscanthus crops which are used in bio-fuel power stations. The crop has a two year maturity period before the farmers will realise a yield so we’ve managed to secure funding with a deferred repayment period so the farmers repayments are matched to their income stream commencing. The key to launching the product was ensuring the farmers crop was backed by a fixed term contract from the power station which Bluestone were able to do. It’s a massive boost to the UK Committee on Climate Change’s objective to see 23,000 hectares of Miscanthus planted each year and another sign of our commitment to help drive the green agenda and support more industries and businesses move to carbon neutrality.

Now, if you’re in the professional services arena like us, you probably saw a huge spike in the price of your Professional Indemnity insurance this year. Some of our clients have seen increases of up to 50% year on year. If you’re in that position, we’re able to help spread those costs over the coming year. It might not make the extreme hikes in price easier to swallow, but it will certainly make them easier to manage in your business. We also offer finance for self-assessment, corporation tax and VAT loans, so get in touch if you want to look at spreading the costs.

Lastly, for the first time in 18 months, we’re heading in to a quarter with a sense of optimism and excitement. It’s well overdue and we hope you’re sharing in it. Our business is set up to help businesses just like yours; we’re delighted to have help our customers navigate through the challenges of lockdown and now capitalise on the pent-up demand and opportunity the easing now presents.

If you’d like some guidance, or support managing your purchases efficiently, managing cashflow or accelerating growth, just leave us a message below and we’ll connect you with one of the team.  

Here’s to a brighter future.

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