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This is how SMEs can finance international expansion

The goal of most small businesses is to become bigger ones; to do well, to grow. And for some, this means international expansion. Of course, such a step requires investment, and accessing funds can be a challenge for small businesses. Alternative finance can help.

If an SME is taking the step from national to international, it involves a significant evolution in infrastructure and strategy. This article from smallbusiness.co.uk is a good place to start in terms of the changes that have to be made and how to approach them. It covers topics such as business travel, international delivery, employing local experts, the use of videoconferencing and developing a brand’s online presence.

It is also important that, when a business scales up, it continues to function well, and that people, processes and platforms remain focused and strong. International expansion needs a solid domestic base, and taking your eye off the ball at home will only make achieving success in a new market more difficult. This Realbusiness article offers some interesting insights into the theme, as well as five steps to successful scaling-up.

Of course, taking all these steps and developing infrastructure in the right way, from hiring the right staff and communicating changes properly to choosing the right delivery methods and building new websites in different languages, take time, resources and money. Regardless of the scale of the international expansion that is being targeted, access to funding is critical. And with traditional lenders still proving cautious in terms of small business lending, business owners need to ensure that they are aware of all the funding options available to them.

And this includes alternative finance. The likes of invoice finance, asset finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding are offering small business an alternative means of accessing funds for investment and raising capital to safeguard cashflow. More and more small business owners are turning to challenger banks and non-bank finance as confidence in these facilities grows.

This is how a small business in Sussex used peer-to-peer lending, through a commercial finance broker that specialises in alternative finance, to raise the capital to buy new equipment.

Despite the growing chaos surrounding Brexit and its impact on market conditions, small businesses in the UK are still targeting bigger, better futures. For some, this includes international expansion. For these firms to achieve their goal, they have to have the right financial support strategy in place. And in today’s marketplace, it’s critical that business owners are aware of the benefits of alternative finance.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact Tony on 01903 602211 or tony.hedger@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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