So why use a commercial finance broker? The days when you could pop in and see your local bank manager for some business advice or a loan are now long gone, and instead, today’s business owners have to rely on their own resources or use a broker to find lenders that can supply the finance that they need.
So how can a broker help? Firstly, the job of a finance broker is to find the best financial product for the client’s needs and circumstances. Secondly, a broker will also have access to some lenders whom you will never have heard of and some who will only talk directly to brokers. Finally, the simplest and best solutions to secure funding are not always the most obvious, and this is where a broker can really bring benefits.
Can brokers offer financial guidance?
The huge range of finance now available to businesses can be daunting to the inexperienced, so it always makes sense to get some professional advice.
A business owner may think they need a loan or an overdraft to provide fresh working capital when in fact a simple factoring facility may be far more flexible and cost-effective. Alternatively, if the business is asset rich, then an asset refinance facility can give a business the cash injection it needs.
Do brokers save time and money?
Just as most small businesses outsource their legal and accountancy needs to specialist an increasing number are also using the services of a specialist broker, leaving them with more time to focus on running their business.
An increase in the number of lenders in the market has led to more competition but also an explosion in the range and complexity of finance products available. Brokers can navigate this complexity, saving their clients both time and money in the process.
Brokers bring experience
While every business owner is an expert in their own business and sector, the complexity of modern business finance means that a little expert help can go a long way.
Commercial finance can be daunting to the uninitiated, packed as it is with jargon and acronyms that seem to be designed to confuse the inexperienced. There should be no shame in asking for help, and any good broker will help cut through all the jargon and give their clients clear, impartial advice answering their questions in plain simple English.
Brokers are human too
In these days of online application forms and computers that say “no”, brokers are often the human face of commercial finance. A professional broker will get to know and understand his clients, their businesses and the sectors in which they operate. This attention to detail means the broker is best placed to guide the client to secure the most suitable finance for their particular needs and circumstances.
Is a broker on your side?
It is now simple to approach lenders directly, and they will naturally try to sell you one of their products. However, while it might be a good product, it may not be the best product for your particular needs. Alternatively, you can employ the services of a commercial finance broker who has the contacts and market knowledge to get you the best deal. Having someone you can trust on your side who can look at the wider market cannot be understated.
The NACFB backs brokers
Brokers who are members of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) operate to an industry recognised code of practice that puts clients at the centre of everything they do. They can also be relied upon to have professional indemnity insurance for the protection of clients.
Professional brokers will also be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means they have to adhere to FCA rules which include ‘treating customers fairly’ and also commit to take part in continuous professional development training which ensures that they are always up to date with the latest financial products and services available in the market place.
In many regards, the commercial finance broker has become the new bank manager. He can offer guidance and advice to clients regarding commercial finance but also offers far more choice in terms of products and services than the traditional, and now almost extinct, bank manager ever could.
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