Monday, 30 September 2019

UK businesses are seeking ...

More funding, apparently. 22 percent more. 'Who says, boss?' The IGF, Voice. 'And what do they know about it?' A lot.

Okay, okay. No more lame jokes about football firms. I'm in a serious mood this morning. This is a PR email from Independent Growth Finance. They're not hooligans.

Growth and funding ambitions have strengthened amongst SMEs over the course of 2019, according to the latest report by Independent Growth Finance (IGF), the leading independent asset based lender. Almost three quarters (73%) expect to see their revenues climb in the next 12 months, compared to 69 percent at the start of the year. Of those seeking to raise funds to support growth, the average amount has also increased by 22 percent - or £250,000.

No mention of Brexit, of course. Some people just like to ignore it. I suppose we can understand. Even after the Titanic had hit the iceberg, some nutters were still playing their violins. It's human nature, for some people. Facing horror is too horrible.

Despite a turbulent year, IGF's Powering Freedom Report finds that British businesses turning over between £1 million and £500 million are determined to secure a brighter future. Little has proved effective in reducing Brexit concerns amongst SMEs - up from 90% to 93% since January. Yet, new findings suggest investment is high on the agenda for 2020.

Oh, okay, okay. They are thinking about Brexit! Well, well. Yes, yes, I can understand. Listen! Sometimes we push bad things to the back(s) of our mind(s), but then we have nightmares where they bubble up again. We wake at three in the morning, sweating, shaking. 'Ha! Never mind.' You, YOU - !!!, dear reader(s), must see yourself as being detached from the world. Oh yes. Whatever is happening has got NOTHING - !!! to do with you, you, you dig? Be yourself, on your own. Stay on your own path. Tell everyone else to do one. Slags!

Three quarters of businesses (75%) are looking to secure funds in the next 12 months. On average, they are seeking £1.4 million - up from £1.15 million. A 22% increase on funding sought at the start of the year. The majority of this spending is earmarked for innovation with investment being poured into technology (45%) and product development (27%). Similarly, retaining staff (30%) is a key investment area for businesses, while international expansion (16%) is also on the agenda.  

Ha! 'Ha, ha!' Why don't they earmark the money for something nice? Life is short. Treat yourself, business owners! Don't invest in retaining staff - those bloody cretins! - when you could go on holiday to Cornwall for, oh, I don't know, say, eight weeks, and just eat pasties, and drink lager, and walk the cliffs, and stare at the goddamn sea. Yes, even in winter! Don't be a square. Don't think of tomorrow, and tomorrow, and, uh ... tomorrow. NO, no, no - !!! Live for today!

To enable these plans to become a reality, however, businesses need to secure suitable funding. As a result, 85% are open to switching their funding provider in exchange for more flexibility (35%), sector-specific expertise (32%) and 48-hour decision-making (26%).

Plans, plans, plans. Who needs them?! The devil laughs while we make plans.

Ah, come on, John!

John Onslow, top boy of Independent Growth Finance, comments: "It's incredibly encouraging to see so many SMEs focused on the future. Making decisions that are best for them and their employees in an unpredictable landscape. This includes a greater willingness to switch funding providers to get the flexible funding they need, when they need it. We're not surprised that our research shows three of the top five funding sources are alternative finance."

Right. Of course, when Bodhi wanted more funding he would just rob a bank. This enabled him to follow his passion, surfing.

Onslow concludes: "Many would have expected the bullish spirit we revealed in January's report to have waned under Brexit-related uncertainty. Yet, what we're actually seeing is an even more determined outlook. Determination to grow and innovate is higher than the start of the year amongst UK SMEs. It's in all our interests that they have access to the right financial support to help them make it a reality."

Yeah, yeah. Those violin nutters were determined, son. One last show or something. Then they disappeared beneath the waves.

It's all dick, as John Lennon says in Backbeat.