HELLO 2021 & GOODBYE 2020!
By Chris Horgan, Director, Finance for Entrepreneurs, Chris organises commercial borrowing for businesses, from start-ups to mature companies; advising on the suitability of the lending and products selected and working collaboratively with your existing advisors along the way.
As the year starts to turn – how are you feeling about 2021?
I have some large and challenging goals for Finance for Entrepreneurs as we head in to 2021, the environment of business will no doubt continue to be difficult and uneasy. While the COVID-19 pandemc will still be with us there is still the backdrop of Brexit that will continue to bubble along and no doubt still cause some unrest. 2020 has been a Challenging year for many businesses and I have been no different. I have continued to provide as much support to business as possible whether it has been directly related to the government lending schemes, local authority grants (which I have had to learn a good deal about) or just being a shoulder to cry on.
I have continued to deliver of commercial borrowing which has helped a number of businesses but I have also remained true to the core values of doing the right thing, which has led to many difficult conversations about why businesses can’t or haven’t qualified for funding, but this hasn’t been without further support and signposting of ways to reduce and mitigate that impact.
2021 will no doubt start out difficult but towards the end of Q1 I expect more businesses to engage with increasing demand as the government loan scheme repayments start to make their impact. Finance for Entrepreneurs are continuing to work with a large selection of partners that will no doubt continue to added value to my client base and help navigate another unprecedented year.
What are your business goals for the coming year?
Next year will see a continuation of business diversification and flexibility. Increasing and strengthening my partnerships and networks. I am working hard to provide as much of a resource to business owners for the start of 2021 to ensure they are on the front foot of any restructures or growth opportunities that need funding.
Will you be introducing any new products or services?
I started Finance for Entrepreneurs to always be adaptable to the needs of the client and their business and I don’t think much will change in that way. The biggest product changes will be a heightened focus of commercial property finance including development and refurbishment, and with the increase demand of staycations predicted for 2021, Holiday Lets and Residential Buy to Let mortgages will be available from 2021 as an adjusted panel as been put in place.
It is likely there will be a further addition to Finance for Entrepreneurs as a product offering, but I’ll talk more about that in the new year.
Will you be looking to employ any new staff during the new year?
I am always keen to start recruiting and at the beginning of 2020 I thought this year was going to be it. Part of the business goals and growth plan will be to recruit via apprenticeships within the commercial finance and property space.
Are you looking to invest in yourself as a business owner or company director in 2021 in any way?
I always feel like I’m learning something, there’s quite a bit of CPD to keep up with when you’re working in any form of financial services; but I do try and focus a bit more on me and how I can a better person in whatever form that takes. This year saw a few mor podcasts and books being read as well as completing a First Aid Mental Health course.
I want to make more of a conscious effort in 2021, more of scheduled approach. I already have a list of books and podcasts to get through, and I really need to get in the TEDx Talks game.
Looking back across 2020 – name three highlights for you and your business?
1. I survived! My business is still here and while there have been slight adjustments in operation, I have been able to continue supporting clients through what has been a difficult time for most.
2. I have created some game changing partnerships, friendships and networks
3. Supporting clients who thought their businesses were over and the enjoyment of reading their messages and emails telling me how busy they are.
Looking back across 2020 – were there any lowlights?
1. Watching clients and acquaintances even family members, involved in the hospitality ad entertainments industry struggle to find traction and not be given the same chances of survival as many of the other forms of trade.
2. The initial lack of business from the first lockdown and introduction of government funding removed a large number of enquiries and opportunities overnight, with no immediate recourse. It did allow me to provide a number of hours of advice and guidance in the funding schemes helping a number of accountants and business advisors along the way.
Who, in your business community – have been the shining stars of 2020?
1. Optimum Professional Services (www.optps.co.uk) - I have had a number of clients as well as myself, who have relied on these guys to get them through the furlough scheme and self-employment grant as well as business as normal.
2. Pride-Construction (www.pride-construction.co.uk) – These guys have been ace in giving work to people who have been in the entertainment sector whether its odd days labouring here and there or actually teaching them a few skills to take away and work on to provide a new income stream in the short term.
3. Nanogreen Cleaning (www.nanogreen.co.uk) – I love watching this company around Swindon, they have continued to employ staff during this pandemic, they have become almost first responders to local authorities and local business for decontamination and sensitisation while still maintaining their cover values of Corporate Social Responsibility and integrity.
Any special offers for 2021 you’d like to mention?
You can visit the website to keep up to date with any offers; but the most important to consider is the Business Funding Review, this is designed to help with any cost cutting for existing funding or just to plan for any funding restructures for the government loan schemes, to make sure your business is underwriter ready, contact email@example.com.
I would just like to add a few pointers for you to consider in your business, that may help on many different levels; everyone should C.A.R.E!
C – Check for significant risk – have you prepare your business for any further interruption and continuity?
A – Apply objectivity in your business and be honest about what is working or isn’t
R – Reassure your staff and clients and provide information, take control of your news good and bad
E – Encourage colleagues, staff and other business owners, signpost them to support where you think it may help.
For more information visit www.financeforentrepreneur.co.uk