Unlocking growth in uncertain economic times


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The Independent Online

Continued economic uncertainty has led to some businesses abandoning any expansion ideas, but with careful planning and a strong support network, growth can be possible even during a recession.

Indeed, research by the Federation of Small Businesses shows that 58 per cent of small firms are looking to grow over the next 12 months.

The strategies employed to achieve this can be broadly grouped under two themes: organic growth or mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

Organic growth

Businesses can build up their existing competencies in a controlled manner, by introducing new product lines or entering new markets, for example.

Research and development forms an important part of this process, allowing organisations to identify opportunities that can resonate with their current, and a potentially new, customer base.

There is also the opportunity to expand a presence into new territories. Whether this expansion is domestic or international, a period of research beforehand is vital.

It is important to assess whether existing products and services are suitable for your target markets, the level of competition you can expect, and what legal and political challenges may occur if expanding abroad.

Mergers and Acquisitions

An often quicker route to expansion than that of organic growth can come through M&A.

By purchasing organisations that offer the same services as the existing business, or those that are complementary to it, perhaps with access to different markets, it is possible to gain additional expertise.

However, while an M&A strategy can provide a quick entry into a new market, it will produce a different set of challenges that it is important to mitigate against from the start, before the integration into the existing business begins.

Lloyds TSB Commercial’s team of locally based relationship managers can help business owners choose the right funding options to meet their growth ambitions. To find out more please visit www.lloydstsbbusiness.com

Methods for financing your growth

  • The National Loan Guarantee Scheme - a Government-led initiative aimed at eligible businesses with a turnover of up to £50milllion. The scheme allows banks to offer loans for businesses at a rate reduced by 1 per cent to eligible customers.
  • Term loans – a longer term solution which provides a fixed financial package to enable the undertaking of specific projects, such as company acquisitions.
  • Overdrafts – a flexible working capital safety net to cover periods of high expenditure and help you control cashflow
  • Asset based lending - enables companies to purchase new plant, machinery, equipment and vehicles, therefore improving services and product offerings without putting pressure on liquidity
  • Hold discussions with your finance provider as early as possible and ensure the funding you request is sufficient to meet your requirements in full

Any property given as security which may include your home, may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or other debts secured on it. All lending is subject to a satisfactory credit assessment.

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

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