He Ain’t Heavy…

June 22nd, 2017

He Ain’t Heavy…

We all saw the dramatic images of Alaistair Brownlee helping his brother Johnny across the finish line at the World Triathlon Event in Mexico, but who is helping you in these times of change?

Uncertainty following the BREXIT decision remains and this is unlikely to change quickly as the Prime Minister considers the date to invoke Article 50.

We are in a period of limbo but as business owners we cannot operate in a vacuum and play a waiting game. So as ever, SMEs in Northern Ireland are just ‘getting on with it.’

Having listened to Michael O’Leary of Ryanair give his own post BREXIT view, in his direct, colourful and inimitable fashion at the CBI Annual Lunch this week, I can’t help but agree with him. The worse may well be yet to come and his passionate call for the respective governments to maintain an open sky policy and free borders to enable travel to and from Europe both for tourists and workers alike, is well made.

Business owners in NI have very real concerns for their futures but there are pressing issues beyond even BREXIT including:

  • National Living Wage impact which is rippling up and through all businesses
  • Auto Enrolment costs
  • Apprenticeship levy implications for the larger employers
  • Energy costs – and the availability of same
  • Infrastructure improvements which are necessary but constrained in budget negotiations
  • Skills gap and access to the ‘right people’ – locally and from overseas
  • Attracting FDI and Corporation Tax changes
  • Business Rate costs

These are just a few of the key discussion points around the corporate coffee cup so BREXIT will simply add more furrows to those brows .

These examples are fundamental issues that SMEs have been encountering for some time and they should not be ignored. But there are other more pressing considerations for the business owner on a daily basis and statistically the key one remains: Funding – working capital or cash flow.

One of the main concerns of SME owners is late/slow payment by debtors and funding the gap that this creates. It has become a bad habit for many business owners to allow customers to take extended credit and many forego a robust collection process to get the next sale, which then just becomes a vicious circle of costly behaviour.

As a business owner, you need to be able to concentrate on winning business and fulfilling orders – not on worrying when your customers are going to pay and what to do if they don’t.

  • Upstream has an ideal solution to remove the unpredictability of the timing of customers’ payments and, perhaps, most significantly, the time spent chasing them. The availability of additional working capital and bad debt protection can also be of benefit.
    Trade/Supply Chain and Invoice Finance are becoming increasingly popular sources of finance for SMEs and this is how they might be of benefit to you:Cash flow is improved by releasing immediate cash from existing business assets such as sales invoices
  • Suppliers can be paid early against documents to secure settlement and bulk discounts and to free up raw materials to grow the business
  • An immediate injection of working capital is made available – up to 85% of the value of your outstanding supplier or buyer invoices – facilitating cash flow from order to delivery
  • An effective invoice collection service can be provided on a fully confidential basis – saving you valuable management time.
  • Bad debt protection is available, providing added security and peace of mind as you expand , diversify and spread geographically.

With a wealth of experience in the industry we offer innovative and unique ‘end to end’ funding solutions to all business sectors and in all shapes and sizes – we tailor to your needs, not vice versa.

Upstream is the only truly independent working capital provider in Northern Ireland and as a privately owned SME ourselves, we really do understand that sometimes we all need that helping hand to get us over the finishing line.

Let us help you today. Email alan@upstreampositive.co.uk or call us on 028 9099 9450.

To discuss opportunities in any of these areas, please get in touch with one of our partners.

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