By Nick Sellars, Group Managing Director
In the second article we took a look at our business; how we reacted to the Covid crisis, what our slant was on managing the crisis and what we had started to do to help our clients fund their business through this. This time we will discuss how our clients have been faring three months post lockdown, as I always believe that the activity and success of SMEs are a great barometer to the wider economy as a whole.
You only have to turn a page of a newspaper, or more likely these days click to turn, to see the word ‘crisis’ bandied around, which fuels worry and negativity. It is amazing how the media in general manage to talk everything down and seem to take a kick out of spreading gloom instead of hope.
Once that mentality becomes engrained in the minds of the public, then it is so much harder to drag everyone back to reality and start focusing on earning a living and taking financial responsibility for themselves and others. This is exactly why as I write on 1st of July, as we emerge from the fog, that Boris tries to deliver an energising and uplifting speech on the future, on investment in infrastructure, science, technology, house building and in public services. It is because he wants that malaise kicking out of our mindset and spread a bit of hope for our future.
I read today that the translation of the ancient Greek word ‘crisis’ also means ‘opportunity’. I would like to think that not only tragedy but also opportunity presents itself during times like this. By and large I think our clients see things in the same light; as business owners, they have taken risks by putting everything on the line to make a success because they have seen an opportunity and have acted positively. With that mindset I would like to think they can drive their businesses forward and take with them, their colleagues, staff and other businesses with which they deal. As things open up, I hope this message seeps through to the general public and once again brings back confidence en masse.
So how are our clients faring? There is certainly a return to work and more activity in general and across our portfolio. There is a real shortage of raw materials, particularly in the construction sector and fixing an entire supply chain has been neither quick nor simple. Therefore, the result of increased sales is only just beginning to show. Others still await the big opening of the leisure and food and drink sectors, not to mention tourism and travel so I think July is when we will really see things take off. It is amazing how intertwined we all seem to be.
Many have taken advantage of CBILS loans and furlough schemes, and it will be a fine balancing act as we are weaned off one and stand on our own two feet. So in many respects, businesses will need great support from financiers for a long time to come to ensure that working capital remains available for as long as possible, but I have no doubt that most businesses will be sufficiently equipped to deal with things. As long as communication and trust between the business and the lender remains intact, I would like to think the future will be good.
4Syte was accredited in June to provide CBILS invoice finance top-ups, so we have another mechanism to help businesses going forward. But I think a good attitude, great service and pragmatism will be the qualities that make for successful client relationships in the future.
We see many opportunities to assist both existing and new businesses in the future as we continue to write even more business through our various divisions. We are very much open for business and we look forward to a year of growth and opportunity ahead of us, as well as for our clients.
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At 4Syte we strive to be different from the typical finance providers. We look beyond “here and now” and focus on what we do best, by providing Financial Peace of Mind.
If you would like to speak to us about any of our services, then please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts will be more than happy to talk to you and answer any questions you might have.