How to build long-lasting and profitable relationships

By Rob Straathof, CEO, Liberis

In an increasingly uncertain economic climate, there is greater need to protect small businesses and provide them with much-needed working capital. With 55% of SMEs unable[1] to access the funding they require, it is crucial for brokers to offer up alternative lending platforms to their clients.

Considering the UK’s ever-changing business rates and the continuous evolution of customer behaviour, keeping up to date and staying innovative is key to building strong, lasting relationships.

Following on from research recently published by alternative finance provider Liberis, we have put together some tips on how to build relationships that will last.

Keep up to date

‘Keeping up to date’ was among the top five reasons for UK small businesses requiring funding[2].

A great way to aid your client with their worries of keeping up to date – whether it be with new technology or even regulations – is to secure your position as a resource of knowledge they can rely on. One of the simplest ways to do this, is to focus on what your ideal client is, and spend time working out which markets and sectors you can add value and expertise.

Look for innovation

It is also key here to be aware of innovations in the financial sphere, such as accounting software or Open Banking. We were one of the first alternative finance providers to use Open Banking technology to process a full-funding application. The benefit for clients is a faster application process and a more convenient renewal process. Time saving is also a benefit of using accounting software, great for busy small businesses.

Tailor your advice

Our research also revealed that 23% of SMEs[3] needed funding in order to pay for tax and bills. When advising a client on potential funding, it is important to consider the size and nature of their business. If the business is seasonal, for example, and receives a higher income at certain times of the year, it would be most helpful to suggest a loan where the payments mirror cash flow. Liberis offers repayments based on a business’s weekly income. To help tackle the challenge and cost of tax and bills, it may also be valuable to your client to offer anticipatory services such as annual reviews.

When it comes to small business finance, there are no standard answers. However, as long as the funding and advice you are offering your client is well considered and tailored to their needs, you will have the materials to build a great relationship.

[1] Liberis Q2 Research 2018

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid