Introducing Bluestone: Matthew Brown

Matthew is our Regional Account Manager for Huddersfield, Bradford, and Halifax. Since joining Bluestone in December 2022, Matt has been building relationships with existing and new customers and partners and focusing on growing new business. 

I really enjoy meeting new businesses and finding out more about them and their needs – I don’t have a background in the finance industry as I worked in the world of Tobacco prior to Bluestone, so learning about my customers and partners is really interesting to me.‘ 

Matt is really looking forward to getting to know his businesses and helping them grow. 

The world of work

Matt began his career working in a bar in one of his favourite stadiums in Sunderland and prior to joining Bluestone, he worked in the Tobacco industry. He is often complimented on his work ethic and tenacity alongside his passion for helping businesses. 

I’m new to the commercial finance sector but I’m really looking forward to taking on the role. I was attracted to Bluestone after being impressed and inspired during the interview process. The idea of helping businesses and customers take things to the next level and being part of that journey excited and motivates me.‘ 

The early days and education 

Matthew grew up in Sunderland playing sport from a young age. When he was younger, his dream was to grow up and become a palaeontologist. His favourite subject at school was biology due to his interest in the way the human body works.  

The most important non-academic lesson I learnt at school was that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.’

More about Matthew

At the top of Matthews bucket list is to go bungee jumping or sky diving, something that feels like he is on the edge of something that could be truly amazing or be his last ever experience. His life motto; 

There’s no point in living if you don’t feel alive.

Matthew wants to be remembered for… 

 ‘Being a laugh…hopefully!’ 

You can view Matthew’s microsite here.

If you would like Matthew to help your business to move forward with a bespoke finance solution, get in touch today with him today.

Introducing Bluestone: Leighton Davies

Leighton is our Regional Account Manager for Wales. Since joining Bluestone in December 2022, Leighton has been building relationships across the region with both existing and new customers across all sectors, particularly focusing on growing the hard asset industry. Prior to working at Bluestone, Leighton worked as an independent finance broker dealing in both the hard and soft asset market. His previous roles saw him working for some of the largest automotive groups in the UK dealing with commercial finance for fleets of vehicles.

A typical day for Leighton is reaching out to new clients and partners, focusing on business development across Wales, introducing himself and letting customers know that Bluestone is here to support. 

I really like meeting new businesses and industries and getting to know them – I’m always intrigued about how they work, how they run and what they are looking to do to improve.‘ 

Since joining Bluestone, Leighton has brought enthusiasm, a smile, and a willingness to integrate himself into the company and learn and develop.

The world of work   

Leighton began his career working predominantly in the auto industry, focusing on brands such as Ford, VW and BMW over the years. His very first job was in retail, working at the weekend whilst at college, for a painting and decorating company.  

Previously working as an independent finance broker, I was involved in everything from meeting clients, to drawing up the proposals and quotes for credit, so I was attracted to the company structure at Bluestone in my interview. The experience and support from the team and the values they portray made me feel like it was a good place to be.’ 

The early days and eduction 

Leighton grew up in Cardiff and has early memories of spending time with his grandfather, playing outside and P.E at school. 

‘I liked playing football or riding my bike – I’m ‘old’ now so we didn’t have computer games back then!’  

The most important non-academic lesson Leighton learned at school was ‘don’t be late.’ 

More about Leighton 

In his spare time, Leighton enjoys spending his weekend with his partner, walking their dog on the beach, having a roast dinner and drinking a couple of beers whilst watching Manchester United play – passionate about travelling and sport, seeing Man United in the Champions League Final abroad is at the top of his bucket list.   

Leighton’s life motto; 

If you don’t have discipline, you’ll have regret.

Leighton wants to be remembered for…

 ‘My amazing personality and generosity.’ 

If you would like Leighton to help your business to move forward with a bespoke finance solution, get in touch today with him today.

Case Study: Radnor House Sevenoaks School

Radnor House Sevenoaks is a private co-educational school in Kent that caters to pupils aged 2-18 for Nursery to Sixth Form Education. Radnor is housed in 29 acres of Grade 1 listed property and grounds, and is committed to educating and empowering the young adults of today to thrive in the world of tomorrow.

Radnor House Sevenoaks School

Radnor House Sevenoaks School is very active with its extracurricular sports activities and has hockey, football and cricket as core sports for all pupils. To effectively compete against other schools in the local area, Radnor House Sevenoaks School secured planning permission to build a state of the art FIH approved floodlit hockey pitch , and given ongoing capital expenditure programmes, a financing solution was deemed the most appropriate use of resources.

Alongside the sports pitch, the school was also keen to finance a further coach addition to the fleet used for school runs and sports transport, a company vehicle, and provision of Microsoft Surface devices to all Senior School pupils.

Why they decided to utilise finance

Following acquisition in 2015, Radnor House Sevenoaks School has embarked on a major capital expenditure program totaling over £5m.

Utilising finance to help retain cash on the balance sheet would allow them to see a return on their investment sooner rather than later.

“Because of Bluestone’s consultative approach to financing, we were confident and felt fully informed throughout. We knew that we were working with industry experts that could deliver on the project.
Neil Moulding, Finance & Operations Director, Radnor House School Sevenoaks

The Solution

Bluestone worked closely with the school to understand their project needs and find a finance solution that best suited them.

As finance specialists who cover assets across several sectors, Bluestone were able to finance the school’s sports pitch, purchase a minibus, find a company vehicle and facilitated IT equipment upgrades.

The solutions allowed students to compete and make the most of the new sports pitch, provided them with a means of transport with the new minibus and access to new IT equipment to support their learning.

Ben Howe, Key Account Manager at Bluestone said, “Working with Neil and the team at Radnor House Sevenoaks School has been a pleasure. It has been great to help on multiple projects and see the difference this will help the students, and future students attending the school.”

Interested in finance for your business?

We can help businesses to by obtaining the best funding options and facilities, quickly and efficiently, whilst ensuring your short-term goals and long-term ambitions are considered in your financial strategy. 

If you are interested in a loan or asset finance for your business, get in touch with us today. We will assess your business’ individual circumstances and work with you to decide which, if any, finance solution would be the right choice. 

Complete the form below to send us an enquiry.

Case Study: R H Binks & Sons Ltd

About R H Binks & Sons Ltd

R H Binks & Sons are a quality Wholesale & Retail Family Butchers who have been serving customers in Wakefield since 1920. Whilst they are a traditional style butcher founded on their service and a strong passion for high quality British produce, they are moving with the times to create hand-made products, and innovative ideas to the butchery trade.

Sourcing the majority of meat from established Yorkshire farms, they support regional farmers who share their commitment to welfare and outstanding quality without the use of intensive farming or growth hormones and additives.

Their Need for Finance

R H Binks & Sons Ltd has been successfully running for generations and wanted a new lease of life to align with the creativity and innovation they are bringing to the trade. The shop needed a full re-fit, and they were looking for a way to give the butchers a face-lift without using their existing cash reserves.

“Without the support from Bluestone and our supplier H K Interiors and XL Refrigeration, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we have. The interior of our shop is now one we feel proud of and we feel it is another step in supporting our business continuing to grow.”

Jack Binks, R H Binks & Sons Ltd

The Solution

With the support of Bluestone and suppliers, H K Interiors and XL Refrigeration, R H Binks were able to utilise a £120,000 Hire Purchase agreement to finance the fit-out of a new, modern shop internally and externally. The agreement allowed them to benefit from retained capital within the business for further growth and investment whilst making affordable repayments at a fixed cost over time.

Laura Fallah, Regional Account Manager at Bluestone said, “It was great to be able to work on a project local to Bluestone, especially one that supports regional farmers at the same time. The shop looks great and I’m really glad we were able to help R H Binks with their re-fit and support their business.”

Interested in finding out how Bluestone can support your business?

We can help businesses by obtaining the best funding options and facilities, quickly and efficiently, whilst ensuring your short-term goals and long-term ambitions are considered in your financial strategy. 

If you are interested in speaking to someone who can talk through how to best support your business, get in touch with us today. We will assess your individual circumstances and work with you to decide which finance solution would be the right choice for you.

Complete the form below to send us an enquiry.

Case Study: The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance

The Institute of Comtemporary Music Performance (ICMP), based in London, has been developing and delivering education to students of contemporary music for over 30 years, longer than any other UK school. The key to their philosophy, is the understanding that every student is unique.

The ICMP have always focused on the needs and potential of individual students, ensuring that the education they provide is tailored and personalised, giving them the best chance of success.

The ICMP’s Requirements

As a provider of Higher Education emerging from the Pandemic and working within the tight constraint of the regulatory framework, ICMP used finance to ensure that key financial performance metrics were always comfortably managed at appropriate levels.

“Bluestone have been a supportive and communicative company, taking the time to understand our needs. That approach has enabled us to achieve the amazing results that we have!”

Pete Whittard,  Business Development Director, ICMP

The Solution

In 2019, when the project was initiated, ICMP’s growth trajectory clearly indicated the need for additional specialist space to accommodate recording studios and performance.

The solution was a 14,000 square-foot derelict public house in Queens Park that has undertaken a three phase renovation. Phase one delivered three state-of-the-art recording and post-production studios (featuring Dolby Atmos technology). Phase two delivered a 100+ capacity fully specified performance venue refectory with expanded teaching spaces and technology labs. Phase three completed with six further teaching spaces and professional services offices under a new roof and a rebuilt second floor.

Louse Harris from Bluestone said, “It was an absolute pleasure working with Pete and the team at the ICMP. We were delighted to support them with financing their projects, allowing them to continue with their exciting growth plans. We look forward to supporting them in years to come.”

Interested in finding out how Bluestone can support your business?

We can help businesses by obtaining the best funding options and facilities, quickly and efficiently, whilst ensuring your short-term goals and long-term ambitions are considered in your financial strategy. 

If you are interested in speaking to someone who can talk through how to best support your business, get in touch with us today. We will assess your individual circumstances and work with you to decide which finance solution would be the right choice for you. 

Complete the form below to send us an enquiry.

Interest Rate Rises & Inflation: The Impact and Benefits of Finance in the Current Market

We know the level of economic uncertainty the UK is facing right now can be daunting for many UK businesses. 

The last couple of years have seen many changes to the commercial finance market. With multiple announcements about interest rate rises, energy bills soaring and the cost-of-living crisis upon us, it’s a big ask for UK businesses to stay up to date with what’s in the news, but also the opportunities there are to ensure they are making the best financial strategy decisions to maximise the benefits available.

At Bluestone, we are working closely with our clients to ensure they are utilising the most effective options for their businesses, maximising tax savings, capitalising on deferred repayment options and accessing the most appropriate finance solutions for their needs.

The impact of interest rate rises and inflation in the current climate

In today’s current climate, understanding the state of the economy can help you better recognise how you should be utilising and managing your business’s finances. 

In recent months we have seen a rapid increase in the cost of living, higher energy bills, soaring interest rates, and the value of the pound dropping, putting financial strain on many people and UK businesses. 

The mini-budget

On the 23rd of September 2022, government introduced the mini budget to the public to combat the nation’s economic problems. Some of the key points announced in the mini budget were: 

  • A cut in the basic rate of income tax to 19%. 
  • A reversal of the 1.25% national insurance rise.
  • A freeze on energy bills that will cost roughly £60bn over 6 months.
  • Annual tax-free corporate investments allowance to remain at £1m indefinitely.

The budget came with its fair share of mixed responses and reactions, these being: 

  • The pound sterling fell sharply after the government’s planned spending increases and tax cuts were released, losing 3% against the US dollar. 
  • Banks and building societies withdrew several mortgage products in response to concerns about an increase in interest rates.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a statement criticising the plan because they believe “the nature of the UK measures will increase inequality”.

As a result of the negative response, the then Prime Minister, Liz Truss U-turned on a number of the decisions and subsequently replaced Kwasi Kwarteng with Jeremy Hunt who made further changes. We await to see what further changes are coming now Rishi Sunak is in office.  

Interest rate rises and inflation explained

In simple terms, higher interest rates make it more expensive for people to borrow money and encourage people to save more and spend less. With people spending less on goods and services overall, the prices of those things tend to rise more slowly – slower price rises mean a lower rate of inflation. 

The Bank of England (BoE) try to ensure that inflation remains low and stable to create a healthy economy and the Government sets a target for how much prices (overall) should go up by each year; the target is currently 2%. 

With inflation currently nearer 10%, interest rates need to increase to meet this target. The bank rate (more widely known as the ‘base rate’ or ‘interest rate’) influences all the UK’s other rates, including those you may have for a loan, mortgage, or savings account. 

We have all seen that the bank rate has increased from 0.1% last December, to 3% on the 4th November 2022, affecting everyone who has a loan or mortgage that charges a variable interest rate and putting a strain on their finances. 

If prices are and remain to be unpredictable, it can be difficult for people and businesses to plan how much they can spend, save, or invest. 

You can see how the rate of inflation has changed over the years on the Bank of England’s website here.

How to future-proof your assets

Despite the level of economic uncertainty at the moment, and the concern that we may be in this position for some time, there are some financial solutions that can support UK businesses retain capital and future-proof their assets. 

Consider refinancing recent purchases

Realistically operating costs are only going to increase in the coming months and cash will become even more precious to your business. Spreading the cost of your purchases over time via a finance agreement enables you to keep more cash in your business, boosting liquidity and cashflow. If you have recently purchased assets with cash, you might want to consider refinancing the assets. This will unlock the cash tied up in the assets so you can put it to better use in your business.

Investing in renewable technologies to reduce energy bills

With the increased uncertainty around energy costs, energy solutions such as solar and renewable technologies are becoming a viable consideration for many businesses across the UK looking at ways to reduce their energy bills whilst becoming more sustainable. 

Spreading the cost of going green using Bluestone’s finance solutions means you can spread the cost in line with the energy savings your business is likely to see, meaning immediate benefits for your business without the large upfront investment.

Financing your assets at a fixed cost 

When inflation is high, such as we’re seeing at the moment (10%), Net Present Value becomes an important consideration for UK businesses.

Net Present Value (NPV), in its simplest terms, is the value of money today compared to the value of the same amount, at a future point in time. 

As an example, £100 today, if we continue to see 10% inflation for the next five years, might only be worth £62 in real terms by 2027. If you spread the cost of your investment over those five years, the true value of your repayments (and therefore the actual cost you end up paying) will be significantly lower by the end of the term when inflation remains high; that’s well worth factoring in when you’re weighing up the cost of financing a project. 

Whilst it may feel like a substantial commitment for your business in the outset, financing your assets at a fixed cost can help you save money in the longer-term, keeping more capital in your business and ensuring you are being as cost-effective as possible.

Bluestone can arrange a variety of bespoke finance solutions to help you manage your business’ finances over the challenging months ahead, including.

  • Finance leases
  • Cashflow loan
  • VAT loans
  • Corporation tax loans
  • PI insurance loans
  • Self-assessment loans
  • Hire Purchase agreements
  • Invoice finance facilities
  • Commercial mortgages
  • Vehicle finance (personal or commercial).

What to expect in the coming years

The Government’s cap on energy bills means we may expect to see inflation rise a little further from where it is now (10%) to around 11% in October. It is expected that after that, it will remain around 10% for a few months before starting to fall to the Bank of England’s 2% target.

If necessary, the BoE will continue to raise interest rates further to bring down inflation to this target. What is still uncertain however, is how high interest rates will need to go in order for this to happen and is dependent on the economy. 

The BoE meet around eight times a year (approximately every six weeks or so) to evaluate further increase rate decisions, with the next announcement due to be made in December this year.  

Interested in finding out how Bluestone can support your business?

We can help businesses by obtaining the best funding options and facilities, quickly and efficiently, whilst ensuring your short-term goals and long-term ambitions are considered in your financial strategy. 

If you are interested in speaking to someone who can talk through how to best support your business, get in touch with us today. We will assess your individual circumstances and work with you to decide which finance solution would be the right choice for you. 

Complete the form below to send us an enquiry.

World Mental Health Day 2022: Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace 

Today, on World Mental Health Day 2022, we explore the importance of creating a safe environment in the workplace to support the mental health of employees. 

Last year, in our blog on investing in employee wellbeing, we talked about how business leaders and managers can look to make their employees’ wellbeing a priority by changing the culture and the working environment. 

It’s one of our longer reads, but definitely still worth a moment of your time. 

Mental Health in the Workplace: Statistics

The Mental Health Foundation states that 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace and evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions1

Mental health can impact employee engagement, productivity, and reputation. Mind, the mental health charity suggests that right now, around 1 in 6 workers are dealing with a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or stress2

Supporting Employee Mental Health

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released their recommendations for employers to help them better support the mental health of their employees. 

The evidence-based guidelines include advice on helping organisations to feel confident offering individual and group interventions and challenging stigma in the workplace. 

Employers have a ‘duty of care’ to do everything they reasonably can to support their employees’ health, safety, and wellbeing, including making sure the working environment is safe, protecting staff from discrimination and carrying out risk assessments. 

As people spend a large proportion of their lives in work – a safe and healthy working environment is critical. We need to invest to build a culture of prevention around mental health at work, reshape the work environment to stop stigma and social exclusion, and ensure employees with mental health conditions feel protected and supported.” 
Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General.

Creating a supportive environment 

Standing by employees when they experience a mental health problem supports them as a valued member of the team, but it also highlights the values an organisation withholds. 

Trust and integrity are key drivers of engagement and organisations that support staff reap the benefits with regards to loyalty and commitment from employees. 

It’s important that employers create an environment where staff feel able to talk openly about mental health by: 

  • Treating mental and physical health as equally important to one another. 
  • Making sure employees have regular catchups with their managers, giving them the opportunity to talk about any problems they’re having.
  • Encouraging positive mental health, for example arranging mental health awareness training, workshops or appointing mental health ‘champions.’ 

Mental health education

Delivering training in mental health can improve managers knowledge, attitudes and behaviours for mental health and improve employees help-seeking behaviours. 

The training available is designed to enable managers to identify and respond to employees who need a little more support due to mental health and encourages those who might be struggling in silence to share how they feel. 

It is important that leaders set an example and educate employees on a culture of openness and understanding about mental health in the workplace, including considering where there may be any unhealthy working habits. 

There should be no stigma around a healthy work-life balance and taking some time for mental health issues, as there wouldn’t be around taking time off for physical illness or injury. 

Encouraging a social culture

Encouraging a more social culture will allow employees to socialise with one another and build deeper connections. 

Employees who work remotely are at risk of feeling disconnected and isolated in their roles but having regular catch up’s and organising group social events and activities (either in person or online) gives people to opportunity to show an interest in the personal lives of others encourage better connections. 

However, it is also worth bearing in mind that not everyone feels comfortable taking part in these activities and it’s important to ensure any social activities are varied and inclusive (for example those with personal commitments who might not be able to attend any after work events.) 

Offering flexible working arrangements

Particularly after the pandemic, a lot of businesses have considered more flexible working arrangements after seeing the benefits this can bring for employees. 

Flexible working policies help employees balance family commitments and their work schedule. Whilst is may not be for all workplaces, more and more are looking at ways they can introduce flexibility to support employee mental health and improve engagement. 

Supporting Bluestone’s Mental Health 

Our employee’s health and wellbeing are important to us. Bluestone has access to mental health platforms through Westfield and Bupa which include a 24-hour counselling and advice line, and access to confidential guidance on medical, legal or domestic issues, as well as face to face counselling and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). Employees can access these platforms at any point. 

We also encourage a culture that is professional, friendly, and respective by providing a sound and supportive platform for success. 

We are proud to support the mental health charity, Mind, who have developed a Mental Health at Work website, hosting over 400 resources to inform and advise employers on managing mental health in the workplace. 

Mental Health Foundation – Mental health at work: statistics

2 Mind: How to Support Staff who are Experiencing a Mental Health Problem

Helpful Resources 

Introducing Bluestone: Danielle Gilbert

Danielle is our vehicles account manager here at Bluestone. Since joining the company in 2022, Danielle has worked closely with the team and established herself in the vehicles department as the go-to person for all things vehicle financing.

The world of work

After leaving school, Danielle began her career working in hospitality and retail before moving on to work in finance for other brokers. At Bluestone, Danielle is committed to supporting customers and partners across all regions by understanding their requirements and sourcing the right vehicle for them or their business needs.

“I love helping other people achieve things for their business or helping individuals get their dream car. I really like cars myself so I find it very interesting dealing with them daily.” 

The early days

Danielle grew up in Tamworth, a town in Staffordshire. She would often spend her free time as a child outside playing whenever she could, and putting her bike to good use. One of Danielle’s earliest memories was playing in the snow with her Nan & Grandad’s Labrador Barney.

“I like that I am in a town but I am located on the outskirts so I have a lot of countryside around me where I can go for lovely walks. It’s in a good location where I have everything I need. When I am homesick, I just think of my lovely home and am thankful for what I have around me.”

How does Danielle like spending her time off?

Danielle is a keen traveler who has visited a number of amazing destinations across the years. Danielle’s perfect weekend would be spending time with her family and going out to do something nice with her little girl.

I love seeing the sights around me when I’m on route to my destination.”

Danielle wants to be remembered for… 

Being the one that was always there for them no matter what. Being kind, funny & caring.

If you would like to speak to Danielle about finance for your vehicles, get in touch today: 

Cashflow Loans: Key Features and Benefits

Whether due to slow-paying customers, inadequate cash reserves, too much debt, or another factor, cash flow problems are a common frustration for businesses of every size. 

Having healthy cash flow is vital to keep your operation running like clockwork, and we understand that finding the right finance for your business can be overwhelming. There are so many choices and considerations to keep in mind, it’s easy to become confused.

For many businesses, taking out a cash flow loan can provide much-needed financial breathing space during leaner months and/or enable them to invest in key areas of growth that will improve their operation. Read on for more information on cash flow loans. 

What is a cash flow loan?

A cash flow loan is a short-term commercial loan that can provide financial support through challenging periods in business. In simple terms, you borrow the money you need, and pay it back in fixed instalments over a short period of time. 

Every business needs a healthy cash flow, but because of cash flow issues, many small business owners aren’t able to pay vendors, loans, bills, or even employees. This can prevent businesses from realising their ambitions and can, in extreme circumstances, force them to close down. 

A cash flow loan is there to bridge the monetary gap left by late payments and other unforeseen circumstances.

How do cash flow loans work?

A cashflow loan is unsecured which means lenders are more interested in your past and future cashflow than your asset value. You will usually pay back the loan in full between 3 and 12 months, and as interest rates are fixed the regular repayment amount will not change.

Cash flow finance is an unsecured loan, which means lenders don’t fixate on your asset value, they’re more interested in your past and future cash flow. So, your business would borrow based on estimated future revenues.

For example, you have invoiced a customer, but they have missed their payment deadline. You are chasing the payment, but they are not responding or are telling you they will need more time to pay. While they may have nothing but good intentions, you need to pay your own invoices, bills, rent, and employees.

You could try not meeting your own financial obligations, or you could take out a cash flow loan to cover your costs until you are in a more comfortable financial position. 

It is important to note that a cash flow loan is not a long term solution for cash flow issues. If you are experiencing ongoing cash flow problems, you may need to look at alternative ways to help manage it. 

Examples of other types of cash flow finance include a revolving credit facility (a type of business credit line where you can access a pre-agreed maximum amount of funds whenever you need them) and invoice finance which helps your business get up to 95% of the value of an unpaid invoice from a lender when you need it – you then pay the lender back when your invoice is paid. 

What can cash flow loans be used for?

While other types of commercial loan have to be used to cover specific costs, e.g., tax bills or insurance payments, a cash flow loan offers more flexibility. 

A business cash flow loan can be used to pay for whatever you need it to in your day to day operation. This might include utility bills, wages, rent, stock, or other materials that will keep your business running in the leaner months. 

This type of loan is particularly useful for seasonal businesses to help them maintain a consistent cash flow throughout the year. 

Cash flow loans can also be used for:

  • business renovation or expansion
  • stock
  • business equipment
  • recruitment
  • marketing your business (e.g. building a website)
  • paying rent and bills. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of cash flow loans?

Just like any type of commercial finance, there are advantages and disadvantages of cash flow loans. You should always research every suitable financing option before signing on the dotted line.

Advantages of cash flow loans

  • The loan is unsecured making it a quicker form of finance to secure, and you won’t have to use your property or commercial assets as collateral.
  • It’s a short-term loan so you won’t be committing to an agreement that lasts for several years.
  • Boosts your cashflow during slower periods of trading.
  • While your business’ credit history will be assessed when applying for a cash flow loan, lenders tend to focus more on your business’ current financial health and future prospects rather than a bad credit history.
  • In some cases, if you repay your cash flow loan in a short amount of time, your credit score may improve.  

Disadvantages of cash flow loans

  • Because the loan is unsecured, it attracts higher interest rates. 
  • Some cash flow lenders may require automatic payments to be set up which could become an issue if you cannot afford to pay the same amount at the same time each month. 
  • Directors will need to provide a personal guarantee with most lenders as the loan is unsecured. By providing a personal guarantee, you’re agreeing to pay the loan from personal funds if your business cannot make the repayments for some reason.  

Interested in a cashflow loan for your business?

We can help businesses to by obtaining the best funding options and facilities, quickly and efficiently, whilst ensuring your short-term goals and long-term ambitions are considered in your financial strategy. 

If you are interested in a cash flow loan, get in touch with us today. We will assess your business’ individual circumstances and work with you to decide if a cash flow loan or another finance solution would be the right choice.

Complete the form below to send us an enquiry.

What does a commercial finance broker do?

A commercial finance broker can be an invaluable professional to have on your team when looking to make smarter financial decisions for your business. Whether you are looking at overcoming short-term challenges or making plans to realise long-term ambitions, the right commercial finance solution can solidify your position and accelerate your growth significantly. 

But what exactly does a commercial finance broker do, and what are the key benefits and considerations when using their services?

What does a commercial finance broker do?

A commercial finance broker provide a go-between service for businesses that are trying to secure funding from commercial lenders. This is might mean securing a loan, finance leases, hire purchases, mortgages or cash flow products such as invoice finance on your behalf. 

The broker will be with you from start to finish as they work with you to decide on the best product for your needs (ensuring you will be able to afford the repayments and relevant interest fees), identifying the lender(s) most likely to accept your application, preparing and submitting the application and facilitating the transfer of the funds from the lender to you. They should also be on hand to ensure you are fully aware of your current and future obligations when entering into any finance agreement, as well as explaining any potential tax benefits you may be able to access. 

Why use a commercial finance broker?

There are several benefits to working with a commercial finance broker when making financial decisions for your business.

They are experienced in identifying the most suitable finance product 

What is right for one business may not be appropriate for another which is why a competent finance broker will take the time to get to know your business, your goals, and the unique challenges of your industry. They are used to asking the right questions to make the most suitable recommendations. 

They have an extensive knowledge of finance products

There are several finance products out there each with their own terms and conditions to be aware of before you commit. This can be confusing and overwhelming, but a finance broker will be able to help you understand your options to make the right choice for your business. 

They have access to a wider range of lenders 

Commercial finance brokers have relationships with multiple lenders and often lenders that you would not otherwise have access to. This can enable them to access lenders that are best suited to your needs or better interest rates than you would be able to find alone. At the very least, they will be better positioned to identify an appropriate shortlist of lenders to approach which saves a lot of time. 

Using a broker saves you time and hassle

There are literally hundreds of potential banks and lenders to consider not to mention all the different products. Finding, comparing and contacting them yourself will be time consuming and potentially not productive if you are approaching the wrong lenders. A commercial finance broker takes on this work saving you time and stress. 

They provide long-term vision and support

While some brokers might only be interested in standalone finance deals, the more reputable ones will want to establish a long-term relationship with your business. This includes being available once the finance has been secured to answer your questions and iron out any issues as well providing ongoing advice and support as your business grows and your financial circumstances change. 

They can manage complex projects and challenging credit

If your business has a poor credit history, a complex corporate structure, or you have only recently started trading, securing finance can be more difficult. A finance broker is perfectly positioned to help you navigate these issues increasing the likelihood you will be able to secure finance. 

They can help you realise your goals sooner

With a commercial finance broker helping you make the right choices, you will be able to secure the funding you need to achieve your goals sooner rather than later. Whether you want to purchase new machinery or equipment, to complete a fitout of your premises or simply bridge a cash flow gap, a commercial finance broker help you access the most appropriate solutions to boost your cash flow and support your success.

How do commercial finance brokers make their money?

This will differ depending on the broker you are working with but generally commercial finance brokers are either paid for their work via a commission paid by the lender, but in some cases there may charge you – the client – a fee for their service. In either case, they should be upfront and transparent about this from the beginning. 

Questions to ask a potential commercial finance broker

To help you find the most suitable broker, there are several questions that you need to ask. Put them to your potential – or even your current – finance broker to ensure that you’re getting the best support for your business’s needs and ambitions.

Do you understand my industry?

Each industry has its own challenges, regulations, seasonal sales patterns, etc., so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to commercial finance. Working with a broker who has knowledge of your industry can be a big help when securing finance. 

Do you have experience in arranging the finance product that I’m looking for?

Some brokers will specialise in asset finance, while others will primarily focus on loans or cash flow solutions. You may want to approach a broker with specific expertise in one finance product, but in some cases it might be beneficial to speak to a broker with a broader knowledge as they may be able to recommend more suitable solutions that you have not considered. 

Are you independent?

Some brokers are part of larger financial organisations which can mean that they are restricted or influenced in terms of the products they can offer you and the lenders they work with. An independent broker like Bluestone Leasing will objectively assess the finance market and concentrate on sourcing the best fit for you and your needs. 

How long have you been operating?

Of course, the length of time they have been operating is not a sure indicator of trustworthiness or quality of service, but in some cases being a more established brokerage might mean they have more experience and stronger relationships with lenders. 

How many lenders do you work with?

Commercial finance brokers work with a panel of lenders, and the bigger and more diverse this panel is the more likely you are to secure the most suitable solutions for your business’ needs.  Therefore, it’s essential that you consider how many lenders your chosen broker works with. A good broker will go one step further and have direct communication with the decision makers and will know how to structure an application with more likelihood of success. This ensures your company can be put in contact with the right person and often speeds up the application process.

What support do you provide after my funding has been secured?

Finance brokers should not disappear after your funding has been secured; they should be in touch regularly to ensure that you are happy and able to offer ongoing support as your business’ needs change. 

Are you FCA regulated?

Brokers who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are subject to codes of conduct and disciplinary procedures that ensure they operate to the highest standards. It could also be beneficial to check for associations and affiliations with the leading industrial bodies that are relevant to their field of expertise, for example UK Finance, the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) and the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA).

Can I see recent case studies from your other clients?

One of the best indicators of quality of service in a commercial finance broker will come from their previous clients. Ask them for case studies and testimonials from other businesses they have helped to secure funding and conduct your own research where possible. 

Why choose Bluestone Leasing?

Whether you are a sole trader, partnership or limited company, the team at Bluestone can help you to secure finance that will help your business to grow quickly and easily. 

We are an independent brokerage working with a large panel of funders and have experience of financing just about every asset in every sector. After more than 25 years of arranging commercial finance we know what lenders are looking for and we can help you prepare the best possible application to secure the right finance. For further information regarding the different types of commercial finance, the service we can offer you and how we can help your business now and in the future, complete the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.