How To Finance Business Growth – Part 3

You may need finance to grow your business – to purchase vehicles, move to better premises, launch an innovative product or enter a new market.

Use our blog series to understand your funding options and the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

Part 3: Asset Finance

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Asset Finance is a well-established, flexible method of financing the purchase or rental of assets such as machinery and vehicles.

It is available to new and existing businesses with any legal structure, and is also known as Machinery Finance, Equipment Finance, Hire Purchase, Operating Lease, Finance Lease, Refinance or Contract Hire.

The amount financed can be from £1,000 – £10M for 1-7 years, depending on the usable life of the asset.

Usually an asset finance provider buys the equipment and the business leases or rents it, making regular payments for an agreed term. The financier insures and maintains the asset over its lifespan.

The amount needed, security type and business track record will influence the term, conditions, interest rate, fees, and which Asset Finance provider can assist.

It is usually important the business demonstrates it can afford the regular payments.

 

Advantages of Asset Finance

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  • Quickly raise funds to get equipment, if you cannot afford to buy outright or want to spread cost over its lifespan
  • Reduce upfront costs of large capital purchases, meaning cash available for other purposes
  • Release cash for growth opportunities whilst retaining use of the asset via Sale & Leaseback
  • Often no additional security required except the asset being financed
  • The interest rate is sometimes  better than that of a business loan
  • Avoids depreciation – many assets such as vehicles, IT equipment and industrial machinery lose value and their security worth rapidly
  • No unexpected costs as the asset finance provider is often responsible for asset maintenance
  • Additional credit line to avoid extending an overdraft or loan
  • Sometimes a fixed rate is agreed to assist budgeting, or a tailored package to suit the business
  • Certain equipment, machinery and vehicles obtained through asset financing qualify for capital allowances, giving some tax relief against profits

 

Disadvantages of Asset Finance

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  • Lack of ownership as the financier retains the asset, although may agree buyout at term end
  • Can be more expensive than buying the asset outright
  • A deposit is often required
  • Not short-term finance, it is structured over at least 12 months and may be hard to cancel
  • Maintenance costs covered might exclude Accidental damage, so the business may pay for repairs
  • Some assets obtained through Asset Finance are not deductable for tax relief on profits

 

Types of Asset Finance

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Hire Purchase

The business leases an asset from an asset finance provider, who purchases the asset and owns, insures and maintains it throughout the leasing period.

The business pays a sizeable deposit then makes regular payments to use the asset, and ownership transfers to the business at the end of the leasing period for a small fee.

VAT is claimed back in the usual way.

Flexible payment plans such as a final “balloon” payment enable businesses to maximise cashflow through reduced monthly payments. This final large payment is based on the residual asset value at the end of the leasing period.

Finance Lease

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The asset finance provider purchases an asset which the business leases over a fixed period, making regular payments to use the asset.

A lower deposit is required than for Hire Purchase.

VAT is charged with each rental, and is reclaimed as payments are made.

The asset finance provider sells the asset at the end of the leasing period, the business and provider may share the proceeds.

 

The business owns the asset during the leasing period, and is responsible for insurance and maintenance, but does not keep ownership after that, although sometimes this can be arranged for an annual rental fee.

Operating Lease

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The asset finance provider purchases an asset which the business leases over a fixed period, making regular payments to use the asset.

It is useful if a business does not need the asset for all its working life, just to service a contract.

The rental costs are reduced as they are calculated on the asset value over the lease period, not on the full asset value.

The business owns the asset during the leasing period, and is responsible for insurance and maintenance, but does not retain ownership after that.

Contract Hire (Vehicle Asset Finance)

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Exclusively for vehicle leasing, the asset finance provider will source, provide and maintain the vehicles and dispose of them at the end of the leasing period.

The provider can use its network and volume discounts to obtain better prices than the individual business could.

Refinance

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The business sells assets to an asset finance provider who then leases them back to the business for regular payments plus interest.

Refinance enables businesses to quickly raise capital while still being able to use these assets.

It can be useful for cashflow and to allow businesses with adverse/no credit histories to raise funds, as the financier may use asset value not track record.

What Assets can be Financed?

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Physical assets with a high value can be financed if they are considered durable, identifiable, moveable and saleable.

Hard Assets include machinery, vehicles, manufacturing equipment and plant.

Hard Assets are reliable security for financers due to their ongoing value.

Some providers now offer finance on Soft Assets, that traditionally would not have been appropriate for asset finance.

Soft Assets are assets with little second-hand value at the end of the leasing period, such as software, office furniture, CCTV and EPOS systems.

Soft Assets are much riskier security, so asset finance providers need to know the business can afford repayments, and often require additional security such as a director’s guarantee or a cash deposit of up to 20% of the asset value.

 

For further information see

 

Consult an Adviser to check which Asset Finance option is best for your business situation and the tax implications.

 

For SEO and blog-writing services contact jan@brilliantbusinessblogs.com or call us on 0745 208 6994/0344 545 9461.

Visit https://brilliantbusinessblogs.com/ for more blogging and business growth inspiration.

How To Develop Resilience in Business

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Business can seem a never-ending path of challenges and roadblocks. But you can decide how you frame setbacks, and your choice can help you succeed.

So how do you develop resilience and harness it for business growth?

Continue reading “How To Develop Resilience in Business”

Top 5 Tactics To Get Your Website Found – Tactic 5

We know putting fabulous fresh Content online is the secret to attracting new website visitors and helping Google rank you higher in its search results. But what do you need to know to maximise your visibility?

Tactic 5 – Workout Your Website

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A healthy website is essential to attract and retain the attention of search engines and visitors. Google is getting smarter at recognising context as well as content, and prioritises sites with expertise, authority and trustworthiness.

Backlinko https://backlinko.com/seo-this-year explains that Google ranks search results by measuring how users interact with them.

A good User Experience (UX) where the article is relevant and authoritative so the user stays on Page (Dwell Time) will get rankings boosted.

A bad UX where the user ‘bounces’ back quickly to search results because the article is not useful or appropriate will get rankings lowered.

They add Google also takes account of organic Click Through Rate (CTR), which means that lots of people clicking on your search result should improve your rankings.

There are many factors affecting rankings, and not all of them hold the same weight. So what do you need to check to make sure your website is top of the pops?

 

1. Optimise For Mobile-First

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Google’s Mobile-First Index uses a website’s mobile version as the starting point to crawl https://developers.google.com/search/mobile-sites/mobile-first-indexing, to reflect the ever growing number of searches from mobile devices.

Make sure your content is consistent across Desktop and Mobile, in case Google ignores content ‘hidden’ behind menus, tabs or buttons on mobile versions.

If you have the old mobile ‘ m’ version of your website, switch to a Responsive Design.

Deliver a great UX so people stay on your Mobile site. For example, avoid pop-ups that cover content and frustrate visitors.

Check how mobile friendly your site is with https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly and the Mobile Usability report in Google Search Console https://search.google.com/search-console/about.

2. Speed Up Your Website

Continue reading “Top 5 Tactics To Get Your Website Found – Tactic 5”

How To Use Content Marketing To Win New Training Business

If you are a training company looking to stand up and be found, Content Marketing is the way to win more business.

What Is Content Marketing?

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Content Marketing is the creation of entertaining and educational material that solves problems for your potential customers, generating interest in your business by offering solutions in a non-salesy way.

It includes blog posts, articles, podcasts, newsletters, e-books, webinars, quizzes and videos, and sets you apart from your competitors.

Consistent Great Content builds trust and loyalty with your target audience, and interprets your offering to search engines – through keywords and text (SEO) – to allow more buyers to find you online when researching answers.

Informative Content Marketing is a long-term strategy that continues reaching quality buyers by ongoing sharing of your valuable insights through blogs, forums, social media, paid and influencer channels.

Accurate and relevant Content Marketing brings people to you rather than you approaching them, bringing you website traffic, leads, customers and advocates.
How Do I Plan Content Marketing?

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People are looking for information online, so answering your target clients’ questions with valuable knowledge via blog posts, e-books, and videos will push you up search results and  highlight you as an authority in the training industry.

Research who your audience is, then use a content calendar (such as these http://soloprpro.com/the-best-content-and-social-media-calendar-templates) to plan what to publish when and where.

Use timely ideas (such as holidays, industry events, seasons, awards) plus evergreen topics that stay fresh (such as ‘How To Motivate Difficult Staff’).

Choose your goal – new customer sales, increased existing customer sales, improved brand awareness, industry expert status, education of Influencers, building a long-term audience, a larger social media following, more website visitors, increased conversions to sales – and tailor content accordingly.

Choose a content marketing mission to keep you focused, such as “We provide SMEs [our audience] with staff development information [our type of content] to help them increase profitability through reduced sickness and improved safety [their business goals]”.

 

What Content Should I Publish To Win New Training Business?

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Blogs

Blogs are the main starting point for Content Marketing. Provide, for  example:

  • Useful How-To Guides – Establishing A Safety Culture In The Workplace In 2019
  • Educational Tutorials – How To Perform A Risk Assessment
  • Industry news and Insights – Mental Health At Work – Your Obligations
  • Checklists – Comprehensive Accident Reporting, Fire Test Procedures
  • Inspirational Case studies – How Company X saved £50,000 per year on staff sickness and recruitment after Company Y Delivered the Mental Health First Aider course
  • Expert Advice – 10 Most Common Health & Safety Myths

Blogs Should Be:

  • Relevant and Recent – How Shell Could Have Avoided a £60,000 Health & Safety fine
  • Long-Form – Complete Guide To Care Home Workplace Safety
  • Targeted to a Specific Persona – How To Manage Working At Heights In The Commercial Cleaning Sector

Lead Magnets

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Lead magnets can be ebooks, webinars, resource lists, reports, free trials, quizzes, mini-courses that generate leads by solving a real problem for your customers, such as ‘How To Manage The Health & Safety Of Mobile-Workers’.

They should provide valuable insights with easy-to-implement solutions that show off your expertise.

 

Guest Blogs

Guest blogging is a fantastic way to improve SEO, raise your brand awareness, attract inbound links, build trust, and get new online visitors.

  • Identify appropriate and authoritative sites that your ideal customers visit, such as business agencies, enterprise news, trade journals, management, health and finance platforms.
  • Pitch and write a great topic such as ‘ How To Protect Yourself From Personal Liability In Workplace Health & Safety Claims’.
  • Respond to comments and shares to engage individuals and build new relationships.
  • Promote content using social media and measure results.

 

Gated Content 

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Gated Content means hiding some content to entice visitors to subscribe, using a powerful Call To Action (CTA) in your landing page.

You can gate blog posts, news articles, white papers and research, webinars and videos, checklists and cheat sheets, downloadable resources and tools, lead magnets.

Whilst gated content can annoy visitors, and reduce the number of people you connect to, it can help you understand who your true audience is, what matters to them, build deeper relationships and create more targeted marketing.
Videos

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Video is one of the most popular content formats around, and is proven to generate leads and make sales.

You can create explainer videos, showcase your services, deliver tutorials and lots more simply using a mobile and YouTube, so it’s easy to get started.

Have a look at our guide for more ideas: https://brilliantbusinessblogs.com/2018/11/08/video-marketing-for-the-terrified-what-to-post/

 

Find Out More:
https://www.google.pt/amp/s/sproutsocial.com/insights/content-marketing-vs-social-marketing/amp/
https://www.socialreport.com/insights/article/115005490783-The-Beginners-Guide-to-Content-Marketing
https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-content-marketing
https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2018/09/explain-content-marketing-anyone/
https://optinmonster.com/content-marketing-guide/

 

For quality blog writing services, please visit http://www.brilliantbusinessblogs.com or e-mail jan@brilliantbusinessblogs.com

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