Managing Risk – A Key Skill for Small Business
By Lloyds TSB Commercial
Successful business owners recognise very early on that identifying and managing the risks facing their business is an essential survival skill. Risk can mean many things, from an increase in competition to disruptive weather, and the trick is to put measures in place to ensure that the risks you can’t control don’t derail you completely.
Exploring new markets is one way to mitigate the risk of falling sales. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, only 23 per cent of its members nationally currently export, which leaves plenty of opportunities for SMEs to explore overseas trade for the first time.
The organisation argues that an exporting led recovery would be helped by ‘more effective and targeted promotion of the support available and tailor-made information for small businesses.’
That’s why at Lloyds TSB Commercial we’re dedicated to providing suitable guidance and support to small business customers to provide tailor-made information and ensure they have the right strategy in place to overcome the barriers to exporting.
We can introduce you to our Financial Markets team, which specialises in working with businesses to manage the impacts of movements in foreign exchange and interest rates on their businesses, helping them to protect their profit margins and plan for the future. This support helps companies create a business plan which doesn’t just focus on the opportunities but also takes an honest look at the hurdles.
It may be that you are importing raw materials from overseas or have identified a great foreign market for your end product. Either way, a small adverse move in the exchange rate could write off the profit on your sale or increase the cost of your purchase if you haven’t anticipated it.
Not all risk relates to overseas markets – bad debt is an ever present issue for small businesses wherever you trade.
The Experian Late Payment Index issued earlier this year shows that businesses in the UK are seeing customers pay their bills an average of 22.58 days late.
To help mitigate the risk of late or even none payment, we can offer a stand alone debtor insurance product to give you an important safety net.
It makes sense to have an early discussion with your bank so that we can understand your appetite for risk and give guidance on lending and financing solutions. These may be in the form of a loan or it could be that factoring and invoice discounting, backed by an optional Debtor Protection facility, provided by Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance, is more suitable.
This flexible option allows you to release the value of your invoices and can help bridge the gap between supplying services or products and receiving payment, helping stabilise cash flow and manage the impact of late payments.
For more information about how Lloyds TSB can work with you and your business, please visit www.lloydstsb.com/business
Lloyds TSB Commercial is a trading name of Lloyds TSB Bank plc and Lloyds TSB Scotland plc and serves customers with an annual turnover of up to £15M.
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. All lending is subject to a satisfactory credit assessment.
Factoring, Invoice Discounting, Hire Purchase and Leasing facilities are provided by Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance Limited. When using these products and services your agreement will be with a Lloyds Banking Group company whose terms and conditions will apply.
Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance Ltd. Registered office: No. 1, Brookhill Way, Banbury, OX16 3EL, Registered in England and Wales no. 733011.
The Lloyds Banking Group includes Lloyds TSB Bank plc and a number of other companies using brands including Lloyds TSB, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, and their associated companies.