Raising Finance for SMEs
Are you thinking of raising finance for your small or medium sized business?
Before you make your move, and there are lots of moves to make, listen to the guy that helps firms raising finance. Colin Cowap is helping SMEs to raise finance in a way that every business owner would appreciate. With a complete absence of BS.Colin joined us on The Next 100 Days podcast. He hails from Dublin but lives in Milton Keynes. It’s accessible, he says, but too industrial! He is the founder of We Raise Any Finance. Colin is an ad hoc consultant to accountants. His Proactive Accountants network is very large. And if you are wondering, you pronounce his surname like Co-op. His background is sales and marketing. He markets for accountants, solicitors, IFAs, and book-keepers. As long as it is financial services or legal. Professional service companies are his niche.
Colin Cowap’s History
Colin has been involved in marketing, advertising and lead generation for a number of companies. He moved slowly into the accountancy sector. As he says, everybody needs an accountant. On top of that, so many people want to collaborate and partner with accountants.
As his network of accountants grew, people would approach Colin to access his accountancy network. He has formed some considered views about accountants. For accountants, it is never about value. It is mostly about how much will this cost us and what am I getting back in return. Ring a bell for you too? 🙂 So what makes an ideal accountant? Someone that isn’t predominantly all about numbers. Colin prefers the role of accountants to be known as business consultant. If you ask 100 Business Owners what qualification does your accountant have…? They wouldn’t tell you. Another thing. Most accountants become quite stale when in their 2nd and 3rd year onwards. If you are just one of 200-400 clients. What do you look for from your accountant?
- Business advice?
- Good competitive fixed fees?
- A numbers coach?
This last area is where Colin says accountants need to be.
We Raise Any Finance was a reaction to helping accountants
Colin recognised that Accountants were a conduit to businesses who required specific help with raising finance. He’d spent a lot of years promoting so many companies to accountants from banks, insolvency practitioners, brokers, solicitors and software companies. They all wanted to work with accountants, collaborate with them or tap into their account base. Colin knew that no-one was offering commercial financial solutions for raising finance. Yet, it is the one value that everybody wants and needs. Finance, working capital and cash flow is required in just about every business.
What does We Raise Any Finance do?
It was built as a concept for some insolvency firms about 12 months ago. The agonising factor was that insolvency firms, or recovery specialists, was that they are all competing for the same business. They all rely on accountants. Referrals are very few and far between. There is not a lot of marketing and advertising around helping someone that is facing financial pressure. We don’t like to admit that we are struggling. He did a survey for insolvency firms, asking WHO would be the first point of contact, if your company was struggling? Most people don’t know when they hit the point of insolvency. Or they don’t admit to it. The idea was to be that first point of contact for struggling firms. If your firm is not good enough to get credit, then maybe you need to talk to someone-else. Someone who can HELP your business before it gets to the point of no return. We Raise Any Finance soon became liked for raising finance. People liked the site and would recommend the site. There was a great influx, predominantly from accountancy clients, through business networks on facebook, twitter and linkedin. Even though it was built as an aggregator, to help insolvency firms get more recovery work, it actually came out as a very positive place to go when a firm is raising finanace.
A Destination For Raising Finance
Now, We Raise Any Finance is NOT a last resort, it is the destination for firms who are raising finance. The first point of call. Before you go to a broker or a bank for finance. A big reason is We Raise Any Finance do not affect people’s credit scores. If they cannot get funding within 24 hours, they will go back to the client and say so. There are a lot of alternatives for firms raising finance. We Raise Any Finance wanted to be unbiased. It made more sense to widen the reach of their solution beyond simply serving insolvency firms. Colin realised there were TWO types of clients. Those finding they were being turned down by lenders and struggling and they could also help firms even where they were NOT struggling.
Why are firms raising finance?
The biggest demand they are getting outside of bridging or property, is to satisfy VAT and tax finance, and everyday business expansion and working capital. 60% of firms are looking for working capital or business expansion. Firms may have spent the VAT monies they have collected and now the VAT bill is due. They need financing. We Raise Any Finance even offer independent Tax advisers who will cover the finance aspect of their requirement but also negotiate with the Revenue on their behalf. They will actively offer advice on reducing their tax liability by speaking to one of their tax advisers. Smart, eh? Even accountants and solicitors fall prey to needing finance to cover VAT and tax bills. Kevin rightly pointed out that the REASON this happens is a lack of cash flow forecasting ability in firms. Colin has noted:
“there are too many financing options for firms and a general lack of awareness of where to go to get the best options.”
We aren’t a credit broker!
Colin despises the terms credit broker. Most people when they are raising finance DO NOT REALISE that they are not dealing directly with funders, principle lenders, underwriters. They are dealing with someone in the middle. Credit brokers are KILLING deals. Not because the firm cannot get funding. It is because the credit broker requires commission. Fees that get added that make it unattractive to a business owner. Colin does not work with credit brokers. Why We Raise Any Finance?
- Your credit score is unaffected.
- Brokers don’t produce the best deal.
It is about getting finance through a solid journey through raising finance.
The purpose of the loan
Raising Finance is easy if you know how. You’ll follow an adviser’s advice if applied. Raising finance for investment and commercial are 2 different things. It all comes down to WHAT THE PURPOSE OF THE FINANCE AND WHAT IS THE EXIT. 1 in 6 applications get approved. Most rejected applications feature a client who doesn’t understand the difference between secured and unsecured lending. Regardless of it being commercial or any other type of finance. ASK YOURSELF:
- What is the money for?
- How will they pay it back
- Servicing the loan – depending on rate and term – makes such a big difference.
What’s the perfect solution, with so many options. There is an education job required. A lack of understanding exists.
The vision moving forward. He wants to be seen as the Samaritans for finance. Your details will not be passed around 20 dealers. He wants the firm to have a greater say in advising client of their options – which are many! Once options are understood, firms have better outcomes. It is all about managing expectations. Colin is offended by being referred to as a broker. Others do not care as much. He wants positive outcomes for them. Different ways and means of raising finance. Have patience as a borrower. Find someone who is bothered about solutions.
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR FINANCE TODAY
YOU CAN GET HELP RIGHT NOW THOUGH THIS LINK
Click this link: As a listener, you are assured of Colin’s very best attention. PLUS he’ll do a special review of your requirements! That might be re-financing. In most cases Colin can get 25 to 50% savings on High Street loans can act on your BEHALFThe Next 100 Days Podcast is brought to you by Graham Arrowsmith and Kevin Appleby