04 April 2018: Despite South Africa’s economy showing signs of recovery, with the 2018 Budget outlining a number of measures to bolster the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), businesses are still under significant pressure to finance their expanding operations.
This according to Simon Leps, CEO of XPRS Capital Africa, who says that in order for business owners to grow their operations and ultimately employ more staff, they need to overcome the challenges that come with obtaining finance for their business. “A recent report by accounting software firm Xero1 reveals that access to finance is one of the top ten challenges for local small businesses, with cash flow rated as one of the top two concerns. This is not surprising as securing business funding is a lengthy process, with traditional lenders having incredibly strict criteria in place. As a result, not many SME’s are able to find the finance they need.”
Leps explains that access to funding is vital for the survival, and ultimately, growth of almost any business. Even if your business is not currently dependent on finance it is important to understand all the available options and how to obtain access to funding for when you need it. “As an entrepreneur, you will probably need credit from time to time in order to maintain your operation’s cash flow or to take advantage of a growth opportunity. In addition, you may want your business to be an attractive acquisition target for a larger company, in which case you will need to be able to demonstrate that you have the ability to maintain positive cash flow.”
Maintaining a positive credit record and ensuring that a business has access to as many options as possible requires business owners to take a holistic view of their business, says Leps. “Ensure that all areas of your company are looked after to the same degree as most funding providers want to see that all aspects of a business are well managed. Up to date, audited financial statements and management accounts, well managed bank accounts, and good budgeting and forecasting show that the owners are attentive. Owners also need to know their businesses inside and out and be able to answer questions about their cash flow and deal pipeline.”
In addition to this, Leps says that the customer’s experience when dealing with the business could also have a measurable impact. “Any touchpoints that are available to your customers will be looked at by potential funders, so all customer facing assets should look professional and be kept up to date. This goes for websites, online portals and social media accounts.”
He adds that the technology being employed by business lenders is changing, making it possible for more companies to obtain funding. “Online applications, automated credit vetting that can be done in minutes and decisions based on cash flow are all already making the process easier. Leps explains that by utilising a unique algorithm, that XPRS Capital has optimised for the South African market, it is even possible to accurately assess any SME, and provide funding within a 24-hour window should the application process be successful.
“Cash flow is the lifeblood of every small business, and the ability to access additional funds when your company needs it is the key to long-term survival. That’s why it is paramount to maintain the best possible credit record. However, it is also important to remember that, whatever the financial state of your business, business owners are never completely out of options,” Leps concludes.
About XPRS Capital Africa:
XPRS Capital Africa is a funding provider working directly with South African small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The company specialises in offering rapidly approved short-term funding to SMEs, based on the health and cash flow of the business with repayment periods of 3 to 12 months. XPRS Capital Africa makes efficient use of the latest risk-modeling technology to ensure that more SMEs are approved for affordable and reliable financing. Visit xprscapital.co.za for more information.