Brought to you by
Capitalise

Your capital advisory service, ready-made. Go beyond the numbers and help your clients get their balance sheet match fit.

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How to get funding conversations flowing

28th Mar 2022
Brought to you by
Capitalise

Your capital advisory service, ready-made. Go beyond the numbers and help your clients get their balance sheet match fit.

Share this content

It’s no secret that small businesses are turning to their bank managers less and less for advice about funding. In fact, with branch numbers halving since 2015, many businesses won’t have a dedicated contact person at their bank at all. 

We asked 500 small business leaders how they felt about funding (among other key topics) in our recently-released Get Fit For Business report. A striking 61% said they know there’s funding out there besides traditional bank products but they simply don’t know how to access them.

If leaders are left without a bank manager and feeling lost when it comes to funding, who can they turn to for support? You, their accountant, of course. Here are our five top tips for having those conversations about funding that your small business clients are crying out for.

1. Make the first move

According to our research, 59% of leaders wish their accountant would start conversations about funding. Now’s the time to make the first move with questions that get the funding chat flowing. 

Ask your client… 

  • Where they see their business going during 2022 and what their long-term plans are for the future
  • Whether they have the cash reserves to fund the goals they’ve set for the business
  • Who they usually turn to for funding advice and how confident they feel in their understanding of the options available

2. Get into the numbers

To know how much and what kind of funding your client might need, you first have to understand their financial position. Many of your clients will need your support in sifting through the numbers to figure out where they are and how far that is from where they want to get to. 

Find out… 

  • If your client has any concerns about their current cash position
  • Whether the business has any outstanding debt (good ro bad) and what impact that’s having on cashflow
  • How they’ve kept their finances on track in the past through investment or funding

With Monitor from Capitalise, you’d have real-time access to a 360° view of your clients’ cashflow, credit profile and funding to make these conversations easy. You could also share a Capital Report with your client to point out cashflow trends, highlight overdue payments, review business performance numbers and track their credit score.

3. Ask about goals

Despite the challenges small businesses have faced in recent years, the outlook for 2022 is one of optimism and plans for growth. Of the leaders we surveyed, 61% said they’ve got ambitious for this year and they know they’ll need funding to reach them. To set your clients up with the finance that fuels the way forward, you first need to find out where they’re headed.

Get a handle on… 

  • Your client’s key projects for the year and whether they’ve run the numbers on the cost of making them happen
  • Their growth trajectory in 2022, including predicted timelines and where they’re expecting funding gaps to appear
  • The overall strategy for the next 12 months and how you you can help your client draw up a comprehensive business plan

4. Nail down thier needs

The knowledge and understanding of business finance among your clients may be foggier than you think. In fact, 50% of the small business leaders we spoke to say they have no idea what kind of funding their business needs. This is where you can step in and add a bit of much-needed clarity.

If you nail down their funding needs, you can recommend and demystify the products and solutions to meet them. Find out what’s triggering an interest in funding, how big of a gap they’re looking to fill and whether their needs are once-off or ongoing. Once you know that, you’re in a perfect position to provide informed advice.

You might suggest… 

  • Invoice finance if long payment terms are putting pressure on your client’s cashflow
  • Asset finance if your client needs to buy new vehicles, machinery or equipment to take the business forward in 2022
  • Working capital finance if they need ongoing support to keep day-to-day operations running smoothly as the business grows
  • A business loan if a large lump sum your client can repay over a long period of time would kickstart their ambitious plans
  • Property finance if they’re looking to bridge the gap between buying a new and premises and receiving funds from the sale of their existing one
  • A grant or R&D tax credit if research and innovation are their key focus this year
  • Funding through the government’s The Recovery Loan Scheme if their business was impacted by the pandemic but they’re ready to rebuild stronger and move forward

5. Unlock your advisory potential

There are a lot of reasons why your clients might be struggling to access the funding they need. They might not know they need additional funds or where to find them if they do. They might not have a clear understanding of their options or a sense of which lenders they can rely on to provide them. In fact, 59% of small business leaders say that applying for funding is a long and admin-heavy process that they just don’t have time for.

But you can change all that. When you unlock your firm’s advisory potential, you give your clients transparency and control over finance so they can build healthier businesses.

By partnering with Capitalise, you can expand and add value to the services you offer your clients by advising and giving them access to…

  • business performance insights
  • credit improvement
  • debt recovery
  • funding

You’ll get tools and CPD-accredited training to identify a need for advisory support as well as insights to initiate and guide those conversations. Your Partnership Manager and our team of funding specialists will also be on hand to help at every stage.

Book a chat with our team or download your free More Talk, More Action guide for more tips to supercharge your client conversations.