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Every small business 2020 survival kit should include this

The first weeks of January have brought the usual slew of survival tips for small businesses. What firms should do varies from list to list, but there is one tool that every small business survival kit should feature.

After the decisive nature of December’s general election, all eyes are on the government and how it manages the development of business sector policy in 2020, in particular the impact of Brexit on the marketplace. Small businesses are integral to the economy and owners are desperate for meaningful reform and renewed growth.

There are a lot of issues to be addressed. Late payment remains a particularly spiky thorn in the side of small businesses, despite notable advances in combating the practice in 2019, including new legislation. It is still costing the economy billions of pounds and forcing tens of thousands of business to the wall.

Business rates is another hot topic, with many calling for a root and branch reform of what is widely considered an outdated system that is pushing small firms to breaking point. In addition, GDPR compliance and data protection continue to be a challenge for many small businesses, while the financial pressures relating to matters such as cyber security and pension auto-enrolment remain significant.

Regardless of how the economy and market perform in 2020 – and predictions are difficult, in particular while question marks remain around Brexit and exactly how withdrawal will impact the country – managing these costs will be as much a priority for small business owners as identifying and taking opportunities.

As such, careful planning will continue to be the order of the day. Small businesses will need to have the resources to pay the bills, maintain cashflow and have capital available for investment. This is where the essential small business survival tool comes in: alternative finance.

In the wake of prolonged caution from traditional lenders, a position that the stalled Brexit process 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. These facilities, which offer a more personalised approach to lending, are helping small businesses grow.

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.

At present, 2020 looks set to be another year of uncertainty. It may well bring the positive change that so many firms want but equally, it seems there is likely to be few bumps along the way. This is why comprehensive financial planning remain essential and why small businesses should be aware of the benefits of 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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