ABL Finance, share their expertise with TopicUK readers.
We recently received an urgent referral asking if we could help a business venture that was heading for the rocks, having run into serious financial difficulties.
It was a high-profile hospitality sector project which was eagerly awaited, so there was much speculation building up about why there was no sign of it opening, more than a year after it was originally promised.
Far from being an ill-thought-out scheme, it was part of a very credible expansion plan by a successful entrepreneur. The problems that arose were, on the face of it, no fault of his own.
It wasn’t until things reached crisis point with negative rumours being discussed online, that the business owner decided to speak out publicly about the situation.
When our contact raised the alarm, we quickly set the ball rolling, knowing there’s nearly always a way to source funding that will salvage a viable proposition. Very sadly in this case, “too late was the cry”. The landlord of the premises had reportedly terminated the lease and called time on the venture.
No-one likes to dwell on a negative, but this was not an isolated case and we feel there’s a lesson to be learned.
The moral of the story is that “it’s good to talk” in many cases where we’d really rather not; about our health problems both physical and mental, and about the ill-health of our business and finances too. The time to speak up is when there’s still chance for someone to step in and save the day.
This entrepreneur already had a successful business, so maybe asset finance, borrowing money against existing property, would have sustained the new venture to fruition. With a venue poised to open, invoice finance might have been appropriate, lending against future payments owed to the existing business. A bridging loan could tide things over until the new venture is off the ground.
Nowadays, there are numerous alternative lenders who tend to be much less risk-averse than traditional banks. Alternatively, we may have been able to connect the entrepreneur with potential investors or venture capitalists through a partner organisation.
Unfortunately, there’s still a huge taboo around airing our financial woes in public. Understandably no-one wants to admit to themselves and others that a venture or a business is in trouble.
But, just like with our health problems, there’s no shame in asking for help. An expert with a different perspective may be able to turn the situation round or, at worst, help you protect your personal assets from the impact of a business failure.
So, in conclusion PLEASE DO “talk to a human” before it’s too late.
Alex Beardsley is joint Managing Director of commercial finance brokerage ABL Business Ltd, based in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire.
- ABL Business Ltd is a member of NACFB (National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers) and regulated and authorised by FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).