COSCO Portugal in Hamburg 2015
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Member Article

The Export Opportunity: Liverpool firms can go international

Paul Roylance, regional manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance, discusses how businesses in Liverpool can access the finance and support needed to capitalise on growth opportunities both at home and overseas.

As the economy continues to stabilise, many firms across Liverpool are keen to expand, with owner-managers looking to capitalise on a variety of new opportunities. Speaking to businesses across the area many are looking to develop products, target new markets, or increase their operations; but in order to do so effectively it’s vital that they can access the right form of finance to help facilitate their growth.

The recent Lloyds Bank Business in Britain report found that nearly one in five North West companies experienced cash flow problems in the past six months. This demonstrates how essential it is for owner-managers to speak with a knowledgeable banking partner about the range of specialist products available to help them expand with confidence. One product that is ideal for growing businesses is invoice finance, which allows firms to release capital tied up in invoices to invest in the business’s growth. This can be highly effective for companies taking on new contracts, as it allows them to purchase new machinery or fund extra staff before the order has been fulfilled and paid for.

Of the firms that experiencied cash flow problems nearly three fifths (59 per cent) stated this was due to late payments. Invoice finance is an effective way to help alleviate the pressures of late payments by increases the working capital within a business, which means firms don’t have to wait 30, 60, or in some cases 90 days for payment. For some businesses it can be a particularly useful short term finance option, due to the fact that, at Lloyds Bank, a company will incur no termination fee, unless agreed at the outset, if it wants to cancel their facility. All we ask is that they give us 28 days notice and that all outstanding balances are cleared by the termination date.*

Exploring opportunities overseas

With the International Festival of Business taking place once again in the city during the summer of 2016, many firms will be looking to international markets for new opportunities. This was also reflected in the recent North West Lloyds Bank Business in Britain report, which found that 45 per cent of the region’s businesses saw exports grow in the first half of the year, with the Eurozone, the US and Canada the main targets for firms.

Exploring opportunities overseas is without an element of risk. Businesses may be nervous about the different working practices where they plan to trade; or they may be concerned about late payments – especially when trading in markets where not all risks are known. Speaking to a trusted business advisor can help a firm navigate these issues, while currency payment solutions can support companies when handling international transactions, allowing firms to process regular foreign payments securely, quickly and economically.

Lloyds Bank’s trade finance facility also can help to protect a company’s day-to-day cash flow, providing enough working capital for firms to fulfil a contract without affecting its operations at home. Lloyds Bank also works closely with UK Export Finance to ensure customers receive the tailored guidance and support needed to trade abroad successfully.

However they grow, small and medium sized businesses are a key driver of economic growth in Liverpool, and are helping both the city, and Britain, to prosper. Firms with ambitions to grow should consider talking to an advisor to see how they can make the most of current opportunities, turning their aims and ambitions into a reality.

*Terms and conditions apply

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Lloyds Bank .

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