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How SMEs can finance essential workplace innovation

Workplace innovation is essential to the growth of a business. However, small firms are struggling to achieve their growth ambitions in the face of weakened market conditions. Alternative finance can help them afford the investment.

Whatever the industry and whatever form it takes, innovation is an integral part of business success. And in order to develop and launch new dishes, new software, new publications or new products, businesses have to have the necessary expertise and resources, and this requires investment in talent and technology.

However, according to a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses, two thirds of small business owners are unable to realise their growth ambitions. The study attributes this inability to invest in new staff, equipment and facilities to rising costs and economic uncertainty.

Findings from the latest quarterly CBI SME Trends Survey offer further evidence of this malaise. According to the publication, business optimism among SME manufacturers fell in Q3 at the fastest pace since mid-2016. This comes shortly after delivery company CitySprint released research that revealed a significant number of SMEs believe that ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit has cost them around £1 million in revenue.

Market conditions are undoubtedly challenging for small businesses, with demand in many areas sluggish and access to funding still problematic. Nevertheless, opportunities exist and it is important for the business sector, and the economy, that businesses are able to take them.

So, how can these firms afford to do so?

Alternative finance can help.

In the wake of prolonged caution from traditional lenders, a position that Brexit is helping to entrench, alternative finance facilities such as invoice finance, asset finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding are proving a vital source of capital for small businesses, both for safeguarding cashflow and for essential investment, including in the talent and technology necessary to drive innovation.

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 invest in new resources.

Innovation is the lifeblood for any business and without it, a business will struggle to survive. This is why it is imperative that SMEs find a way to develop new products and services, and grow despite the market headwinds that they are facing. In order to achieve this, business owners need to be aware of all the funding options available to them, including alternative finance.

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

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