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How SMEs can finance post-lockdown growth planning

Lockdown restrictions are being lifted and the economy is beginning to open up. As a result, small businesses are putting growth strategies in place for the post-lockdown era. The big question is: how are they going to afford this growth?

Covid-19 has thrown up all sort of challenges for small businesses – many more extreme than they could have ever imagined – and as the post-lockdown era begins, these firms face another test: how to achieve their regrowth goals.

Key post-lockdown growth areas for SMEs

A new survey from Hitachi Capital Business Finance shows that, aside from increasing income and managing costs, key post-lockdown goals for small business owners are expanding online marketing to support brand awareness and sales, and improving business digital capabilities.

The pandemic has done more than just underline the importance of online marketing and digital tech – it has put an already key trend on fast-forward. As a result, the use of e-commerce, social media, Google Listings, paid advertising and conversion rate optimisation, among other tools, has grown significantly, as has the automation of marketing and other business tasks.

The desire to target development in these areas, as market conditions become more stable, is a logical step. This growth will require careful planning, tailored investment and access to finance. However, as ever, this road is not without obstacles.

Adaptability key to success on bumpy road to recovery

Every business will have hurdles to overcome in the coming months. For retail and related businesses, fluctuations in consumer behaviour is one. As high-streets and shopping centres reopen, there is a natural inclination among consumers to return to physical purchasing.

This post-lockdown trend is likely to be a largely short-lived spike rather than a prolonged pattern, but small businesses have to be able to manage the impact and to be in a position to profit. This puts the focus on adaptability, in terms of business development and financial planning.

Regardless of the sector and business type, the ability to identify trends and the flexibility to pivot operations to take advantage of them is crucial. Liquidity and access to the right lenders and lending services is an important part of this flexibility.

So, how can small businesses finance the rollout of new growth planning and successfully navigate post-lockdown era market conditions? Alternative finance can help.

Post-lockdown recovery and how alternative lenders can help

In the wake of prolonged caution from traditional lenders, which is an issue that has returned during the coronavirus pandemic, alternative finance facilities such as invoice finance, asset finance and peer-to-peer lending are proving a vital source of capital for small businesses, both for maintaining cashflow and for essential investment.

These facilities, which offer a more easily accessible and personalised approach to lending, are helping small businesses survive and target recovery and regrowth.

Notably, alternative lending is playing a prominent role in the government’s new headline emergency support scheme, the Recovery Loan Scheme. Invoice finance and asset finance between £1,000 and £10 million per business are available under the initiative. This profile is helping cement the reputation of alternative finance in the business sector.

Post-lockdown growth and SME finance options

Post-lockdown planning is set to be far from easy, whatever the goals. To achieve them, access to finance on flexible, timely and affordable terms is critical. This is why it is vital that small business owners are aware of all funding options, including the services of alternative lenders.

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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