Is your business struggling with debt? Regain control today

Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were hit hardest at the beginning of the pandemic.

They had access to support, like the Bounce Back Loan, which was easier to access and had lower interest rates, but those only helped during the short term.

Now a growing number of SMEs are struggling with debt. The latest Bank of England Credit Conditions Survey shows that the majority of banks (44 per cent) reported an increase in loan defaults by small companies in the third quarter of this year.

This is twice the levels seen during the height of the pandemic.

There are options for businesses that have got into a debt spiral, including:

Deal with priority debts first, including:

Consolidate or refinance loans

It may make sense to consolidate several loans into a single payment or refinance an existing loan.

With inflation increasing, businesses should take advantage of the historically low interest rates that currently exist.

You should seek independent advice before doing anything around consolidating or refinancing loans.

Tackle late-paying customers

Late payments are the bane of most small businesses. Despite Government efforts to tackle this issue, it continues to be a problem for many.

Challenging customers about their debts can be difficult. However, businesses should strengthen their credit control processes so they are paid on time.

Focus on cash flow

Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business and there are some simple measures you can put in place to help keep it healthy.

For example:

Boost your revenue

As well as cutting costs, you can also tackle a cash flow crisis and pay off your debts by improving your turnover.

This can be achieved by:

Managing your income and cash flow can be challenging so seeking professional advice and insights could pay dividends.

Avoid debt in favour of other forms of finance

You could explore the following:

Make sure you’re getting fair treatment from lenders

You’re entitled to be treated fairly by your bank or building society.

The Lending Standards Board operates as an independent body (albeit one funded by its registered financial firms), with an independent board made up of non-executive directors.

Link: Small business loan defaults rise substantially

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