Steven Brown on the importance of efficient access to business finance
Further to the launch of our live EIS eligible investment opportunity with Business Finance Market (trading as Finance Nation), we asked their Chief Distribution Officer and Co-Founder, Steven Brown, about how and why they will offer more straightforward and efficient access to business finance than ever before.
If you’re a small or medium business, getting a loan is complicated. Much more complicated than it needs to be. Regrettably, it’s not just a case of “I want to borrow - you want to lend” and everyone lives happy ever after.
More often than not a business approaches their own bank - which is still typically one of the traditional high street banks - only to find that they are not interested due to narrower and more constricted lending criteria than ever before.
So, these days if you’re a business, the chances are you’ll either give up completely or end up consulting a commercial finance broker if you want a loan.
And if you’re a commercial finance broker, things can get complex. On the one hand you have multiple customers with varying requirements and on the other you have hundreds of lenders – all with different lending criteria and varying deals.
Consequently, every time a broker makes an application for one of their customers, life can get pretty busy!
Applications are made up of fragmented pieces of what brokers know about their customers and disconnected data feeds that don’t even talk to each other.
In fact, it’s kind of all over the place.
But that’s ok, because what seems like chaos contains everything a broker actually needs and that creates possibilities: potential opportunities for businesses, brokers, and lenders; insights; indicators of the best, fastest and most flexible route for customer finance deals.
There are 5.9 million small and medium-sized businesses operating in the UK and, with even more founded during the pandemic, it might seem odd that the high street banks don’t make more of an effort to court this client demographic. Unfortunately, they are content to keep taking cost out of their models and to stay out of the spotlight by delivering an average proposition. And that’s good, for them.
But it’s not good for those businesses in need of finance. Post-Brexit and as the UK recovers from Covid, businesses need confidence to invest for the future.
To take advantage of this, we need a little imagination and tons of hard work - but we also need technology that puts all this data and our commercial broking and banking experience to good use and builds things that work for us, our customers, and the lenders. Technology with a human touch.
Welcome to Finance Nation, one intuitive place to manage applications for loans for customers.
Finance Nation has created a new kind of business lending platform that adapts to lenders' needs and our experience. It’s faster, more efficient and has a higher percentage success rate on deals than ever before. And the lenders love this idea, too, so everyone’s happy.
This is an easier way for small businesses to get the funding they need. Finance Nation works with multiple customers and their trusted advisors as well as hundreds of best-in-class lenders all looking for the same thing: one place to exchange the lending requirements of the 5.9 million small and mid-sized businesses in the UK, delivering detailed, accurate and focused client applications and giving them more time, reduced errors, and a higher proportion of successful deals.
Finance Nation’s platform not only makes time spent on applications more productive, but gives peace of mind that every deal application made through the platform leads to a much higher likelihood of finding the best and most appropriate finance for their customers and more value for everyone in the long run.
Brokers and lenders spend a huge part of their lives doing deals, so for them, Finance Nation automates the time-consuming, repetitive tasks so they can spend their time on meaningful, profitable work. In fact, it’s a hidden platform, so everyone can get on with doing what they do best - their business.
There you have it. Finance Nation is bringing commercial finance into the 21st Century, with an intuitive, simple, and easy to use interface powered by incredible computing power.
Whilst the need for human relationships and business savvy ‘gut feel’ will never go away, our platform will deliver faster, better finance for small and medium sized businesses; a simple, less hassle way for a broker to do business, and much more efficiency and deal accuracy for lenders.