The construction industry has faced significant challenges in the last few years, with projects delayed due to an uncertain economic climate and firms hesitant to invest too heavily in future plans.
But there are encouraging signs that the sector is undergoing something of a resurgence. Confidence in the market is growing, this boost in activity looks set to continue following the launch of the Government schemes like funding for lending.
With first-time buyers and home owners returning to the market there is increasing demand for quality new residential properties. Welcome news for the construction industry.
These favourable market conditions are generating a renewed sense of optimism in SME’s that are looking to move projects forward and increase their financial investments.
When firms have made the decision to press ahead with growth opportunities, it is important that the right funding package is secured. Whilst loans and overdrafts are the traditional route, many businesses often overlook the alternative avenues of finance that are available to them.
Whilst there is steady growth in the uptake of asset based finance products, there are still firms that are unaware of the mix of facilities it offers them. One solution that is ideal for SMEs looking to release a steady flow of working capital is invoice finance, which includes invoice discounting and factoring. This funding is leveraged on the value of a firm’s bills, bridging the gap between issuing invoices and receiving payments from customers.
Factoring is particularly suitable for smaller companies and start-ups as the funding does not require businesses to have filed their first year accounts. It enables them to capitalise on initial demand and provides a built-in account management function which serves to free up administrative time previously spent chasing late payments.
Additional funding solutions include asset based lending, which is designed for firms with annual turnover of at least £1 million. It works by releasing capital against a business’ stock, plant, machinery, land or buildings, enabling the firm to expand or restructure, or can be used to fund the acquisition of another business. Firms that need to purchase necessary machinery or equipment can take advantage of hire purchase facilities, which enable companies to pay down the full amount over an agreed period to ensure its cash flow remains fluid.
Asset based finance facilities are a dynamic solution as they grow in-line with sales, creating increased financial headroom for businesses. When mixed with traditional loans and overdrafts, firms can put themselves in a strong position to move ahead of competitors as confidence grows in the construction sector.