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Rob Warlow
Commercial Finance Specialist, author of 'Loan Sharp: Get the Business Finance You Deserve
Commercial Finance Specialist, author of 'Loan Sharp: Get the Business Finance You Deserve
Rob's posts

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If you have plans to grow your business, don’t underestimate the vital role cashflow has to play. Fresh from delivering a workshop on financing growth for business growth specialist Gavin Preston, I share the importance of managing cashflow when you’re going for growth… an important lightbulb moment for those attending the session.
The banks are starting to learn from the alternative finance players with news from RBS/Nat West that they are launching an online platform where new and existing customers can apply for loans up to £150,000.
Marketinvoice, the online invoice discounting platform, has announced an enhancement to its service with Marketinvoice Pro. I look at how it will allow frequent users more flexibility in accessing funds.

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Getting finance for a start up business has always been tough but with the Start Up Loans Company, the pain has been eased. In this week’s Bulletin, looking back on the loans they made in 2016, which UK start up hotspot cities have taken advantage of the loans available?
Different methods of calculating interest rates can make comparing finance options a challenge. I take a look at a new online tool from short term lender Fleximize, which can help you compare finance offers on a like-for-like basis.
The latest SME Confidence Tracker survey from Bibby Financial Services reveals the top three challenges facing UK manufacturers. The top slot is taken by concern about rising prices but other constraints are also weighing heavy on the minds of UK SMEs.

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With alternative finance becoming an increasing source of finance I kick off this Bulletin with news of the launch of The Association of Alternative Business Finance. Formed by seven players on the alternative business finance scene, the Association is focused on delivering higher standards in the industry.
Time is moving closer to government action on late payment. To lessen the prevalence of late payment I take a look at the forthcoming Duty to Report regulations which places an obligation on large businesses to disclose details of their payment practices.
Are there signs that business appetite to borrow money from banks is beginning to wane? I examine the latest bank lending figures released by the Bank of England.

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I open the latest edition of the Business Finance Bulletin with a look at two surveys from the Federation of Small Businesses and Barclays Bank. The question asked of small businesses is how Brexit will impact those trading overseas and whether confidence has taken a knock. What are our SMEs thinking?
I take our regular look at how the alternative finance sector is performing following the release of the last quarter 2016 statistics by the Peer to Peer Finance Association. Lending to both businesses and individuals continues to remain strong.
Scale-ups appears to the latest ‘new thing’ with the news that the government has appointed a Scale-Up Champion. What is the government looking to achieve?

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According to the Centre for Entrepreneurs new company formations are at an all-time high. In this episode of the Business Finance Bulletin I look at the numbers and where the entrepreneurial hotspots are.
Metro Bank, one of the so-called challenger banks, has committed to helping more small businesses in 2017 with funds to support growth. How could they help you?
Cashflow problems can hit a business at any time but quarter end and quiet seasonal periods can be particularly tough. I take a look at how short term loans can provide much needed cashflow relief.

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For many businesses, this time of year is a struggle when it comes to juggling cashflow; sales may be lower during this quieter period, getting payment on overdue invoices is harder and to cap it all you may be faced with your quarterly VAT bill or personal and business tax.
What can you do?
One little know option is to look at a short term loan….

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In this latest Business Finance Bulletin I start by looking at news from Funding Circle of £40m from the British Business Bank to invest in business loans alongside private investors. In addition to this there is news of £82 million raised to support Funding Circle’s growth plans.
How hungry are small businesses to borrow money in 2017? That’s a question posed by Zurich in their latest SME Risk Index survey. Are businesses looking to borrow more or less than in 2016?
To close, I take a look at separate findings from the Federation of Small Businesses and Smith and Williamson on how confident small business owners are entering 2017. It’s clear that many are choosing to ignore any gloomy economic messages.

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In this week’s Business Finance Bulletin, I kick off with our monthly round-up of how lenders are supporting businesses in terms of accessing finance. I look at the latest figures from the Asset Based Finance Association which reveal record business being written by the asset finance sector and levels of support given by the traditional High Street banks.
I review research from Aldermore Bank which shows that business confidence continues to define expectations with SMEs positively looking forward to 2017. How are they planning to expand?
The government is finally beginning to share the rules and regulations they plan to implement in 2017 to curb the late payment epidemic. I look at the steps they will be taking with effect from 1st April 2017 and no doubt large businesses will be concerned about another set of bureaucratic rules to follow!

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The recent Autumn Statement saw the Chancellor announcing two initiatives to assist growing businesses. In this Business Finance Bulletin, I look at support the Chancellor is giving to boost exports and of the additional funding granted to the British Business Bank for businesses in search of equity finance.
New research carried out by Axa Business Insurance reveals that small businesses remain relatively buoyant in 2016 but as I discuss, 2017 looks less certain.
We are seeing more finance schemes designed to get funding to businesses in certain geographical areas. In this Bulletin, I look at an announcement from Market Invoice of its tie up with the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership which will see up to £2 million available to Leeds-based business via invoice discounting.

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Whilst bank lending to businesses is slowly on the up, in this Business Finance Bulletin I look at the latest statistics from the Finance and Leasing Association which reveal that the Asset Finance sector is on a roll.
Carrying too much stock can tie up cashflow which can be better employed within your business. I look at research from the Asset Based Finance Association which highlights exactly how much cash SMEs have invested in unsold stock.
Another drain on cashflow is of course late payment. A new report from the Federation of Small Businesses is calling for more action on tackling the late payment endemic.

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