It’s a familiar tale: a new business launches, thrives for a time, but at the critical point of expansion is unable to cover costs and achieve that big ticket contract. Across multiple industries, the same story can be heard time and time again.
It might be a stationery business that convinces a national retail chain to stock its range, only to find it can’t afford to pay for both pens and paper up front. Or, it could be a national cleaning firm that has won a new contract to provide daily visits to a well-known coffee house chain, but finds itself unable to cover wages or cleaning supplies for the first two weeks.
In both scenarios, it is highly likely that an unpaid invoice is what is holding them back: that job that was completed a few weeks ago that hasn’t yet been paid, because the agreed payment terms state three months. An invoice paid represents a vital cash injection. When a business has no access to alternative finance it leaves a business lacking in control or flexibility.
Last year research conducted by the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA) revealed the scale of the impact of waiting on payment terms for goods/services already rendered, finding that Britain’s SMEs were owed £67.4 billion, up 36% from £49.5bn in 2011. The knock-on impact of this was reinforced in a recent inquiry conducted by the House of Commons which stated access to finance continues to be one of the main barriers faced by SMEs to investment and growth. In the US, research published on PYMNTS.com revealed that the value of funds tied up in unpaid SME invoices is $825 billion – equivalent to 5 percent of the national GDP.
The truth is, alternative finance is often the missing link between a business just surviving and positively thriving. Plugging the gap is high on our radar, which is why we’ve decided to strengthen our finance offer for thousands of businesses across the UK, with an overhaul of our Early Payment scheme for SMEs and a new product for larger businesses.
Originally launched in 2015, Tungsten Network Early Payment has been offering flexible, transparent funding to many SMEs at the touch of a button. The mechanism is simple: submit an invoice electronically via Tungsten’s digital platform, and get paid immediately rather than wait until the end of the agreed payment terms for that job.
With the latest extension to the Early Payment offer we’re enabling attractive rates to be charged alongside more transparency and flexibility, which we’re hoping will increase the number of businesses for whom we can provide finance to support their growth and stability.
In addition, we are broadening our network solutions to launch a new product that includes receivables financing and payables financing. More suited to larger businesses, it will support businesses looking to scale up their operations further.
We believe access to finance is vital for a business to thrive, especially for those SMEs across the globe that make up the backbone of the global economy. Too often these agile and able businesses are overlooked, because of the type of work they do, how long they’ve been in business or where they are located.
This is something Tungsten’s Early Payment offering seeks to address, with a finance proposition that will provide more options while being non-discriminatory based on industry. We want to match the needs of our SME clients and mirror the nimble, flexible approach demonstrated daily by so many of them. In our view, everyone should be able to access the finance they need to grow in a fuss free, no nonsense manner.
Our brand of finance is flexible, so it can be used as and when a business needs it – introducing greater flexibility and control to their day-to-day operations. As well as enabling smaller firms to grow, it also supports their counterparts; those larger businesses that rely on goods and services from their suppliers.
In our view, good business relies on the positive relationships built between buyers and suppliers. We want to ensure that next time a paint maker receives a bumper order in time for the inevitable spring bank holiday DIY rush, both manufacturer and retailer can take up the opportunity to thrive. As a business that sits at the heart of the financial supply chain, this sums up what we stand for: Tungsten Network is constantly looking to help keep cash flowing and businesses growing.