How to speak to your clients about business finance

21 Jun 2021

For some, securing the right type of finance can be the difference between success and failure. It’s never been more important for the business community to understand what funding is available and how to apply. Here’s how you, as an advisor, can kickstart the conversation.

man and woman on laptop talking

It’s been a disruptive 12 months for many businesses, with the ripple effect of Brexit (border delays and extra bureaucracy) adding to costs.

Some of your clients may also be looking to secure business finance for growth as they ramp up operations following the coronavirus lockdown. 

So, what’s the best way to approach the subject of business finance with clients, and how can you help ensure they apply for the right type of finance for their needs? 

It’s all about asking the right questions. 

Here are a few examples of things you can ask when talking to your clients about business finance. At Funding Options, we work with a rapidly growing panel of over 120 lenders, from high-street banks to niche AltFi providers.

Join our Connect platform today to help your clients access the right funding so they can trade, plan and grow with confidence.


Business finance questions for advisors

Q: Do you have historic debt? 

A: A Recovery Loan Scheme facility or another type of non-bank business finance could offer lower rates than your existing debt. With a Recovery Loan Scheme facility, you could also refinance with no personal guarantee required. 

Q: Do you have an asset finance agreement in place?

A: This could also be refinanced under the Recovery Loan Scheme without the need to for a personal guarantee. (Under the RLS, personal guarantees aren’t required for finance worth up to £250,000).

Additionally, there is the option to look at asset refinance options to reduce monthly expenditure or raise capital against any assets.

Q: Do you have stock finance (or where stock is included as part of a wider asset based lending facility)? 

A: From 1st December 2020, Crown Preference returned, meaning HMRC ranks higher in insolvency for some of a company’s tax debts. 

As such, lenders with floating charges over stock have tightened their lending criteria. Fortunately, a Recovery Loan Scheme facility or another flexible type of business finance could provide an alternative.

Q: Are your customers taking longer to pay than usual?

A: If your trade debtors are taking longer to pay you at the moment, invoice finance can help you cover your cash flow needs in the interim. You can get an invoice finance facility to cover all your debtors or individual ones.

Q: If you received a Bounce Back Loan or CBILS, is it enough to keep you going for the next 12 months?

A: Even if you received a Bounce Back Loan or CBILS facility, you may still be eligible for further funding through the Recovery Loan Scheme or a non-RLS facility.

Q: Have you been declined by your bank for a Recovery Loan Scheme facility? 

A: Don’t panic. If you’re not eligible for a Recovery Loan Scheme facility you might be able to get finance elsewhere. There are lots of non-bank lenders on the market today offering flexible financial solutions that don’t require security or a personal guarantee. 

Q: Are you in rent arrears or are your suppliers pushing you for payments? 

A: A Recovery Loan Scheme facility or a non-RLS funding option could provide you with the cash flow boost you need to get your business back on its feet.  

Q: Do you need to purchase new assets to meet an increase in demand for your product or services?

If you’re in need of new machinery, vehicles or equipment to facilitate business growth, or if an asset you rely on needs replacing, you may be eligible for asset finance through the Recovery Loan Scheme or elsewhere.

Q: Do you require additional funding, and if so, does your business take customer card payments?

With a merchant cash advance, you can make flexible finance repayments through a percentage of your customer card payments. Repayments are typically made as a percentage of revenue — so they go up and down in line with your business’s income. 

Q: Are you planning to grow your business over the next 12 months?

A: Securing the right type of business finance can give you the room you need to scale. You can use a Recovery Loan Scheme facility for any business purpose — including to fuel growth. There’s no maximum turnover and businesses operating in most sectors can apply.

The Recovery Loan Scheme isn’t the only option, though. In fact, you might be able to get non-RLS finance at a better rate. It’s always worth exploring all the options out there.

How to prioritise your clients for business finance

When it comes to discussions around business finance, there are several ways you can prioritise your clients. For example, you could move those who’ve been declined by their business bank to the top of the list. 

Next, you might decide to approach those who took out a CBILS or BBLS facility but didn’t max out the 25% of the turnover cap, so could be eligible for more. 

However, if you’re a member of Connect, you don’t need to prioritise your clients at all. Instead, you can offer all your clients the best possible service by referring them to the experts at Funding Options. 

We’re committed to empowering UK businesses to access the funding they need to succeed and grow. Register and start tracking your client referrals today.


Thomas Boyd
Thomas Boyd

Head of Commercial

Thomas Boyd is the Head of Commercial at Funding Options. Thomas started his career in the finance sector at LendingCrowd. His work over the past five years has focused on supporting the vibrant and growing community of SMEs across the UK.

Subscribe to our newsletter today

Sign up for the best of Funding Options sent straight to your inbox.