Getting a Business Loan When The Bank is Not Helping

Most business owners I speak with have already tried their bank. Sometimes they have simply been declined because their business hit some difficulties and the accounts are not too strong or they are near the limit on their overdraft facility. Other times the bank is taking too long and they need a quicker turnaround than the situation they find themselves in.

So what can you do? Here are a couple of examples of recent clients that can shed some light on potential solutions.

Machinery Refinance

John is a farmer whose business suffered badly with the heatwave in 2018. This affected his accounts and cash flow and he was struggling to get a loan approved. He identified an opportunity to buy an excellent breed of cattle from Denmark at a knock down price. A heatwave there affected the price of feed badly resulting in a sell off and this bargain appearing. He needed to act quickly.

John wanted a €50,000 business loan. Over the years he had bought a lot of machinery. Some were fully paid off and others were still on finance but were mostly paid off. We discussed potential options and settled on a secured business loan as the way forward. He put together a list of vehicles and machines stating the manufacturers, models and years of manufacture as well as amounts of finance outstanding. The partner credit team assessed this and was able to propose a loan facility over 5 years secured on the assets. John was then able to draw down the loan and get on with his business initiative.

Card Machine Finance

Mary is a small hotel owner in the west of Ireland. It’s a family owned business that’s performing well after a quiet number of years. The hotel was badly in need of a renovation and this would in turn drive more profitability however, the bank had said they were at the limit of finance that could be extended to them and no unsecured business loan could be made to facilitate the renovation.

Mary required a €100,000 business loan to upgrade and refresh the hotel rooms. As a busy hotel it had a large volume of card transactions. Mary was able to provide 12 months merchant statements showing average turnover of over €100,000 a month. We decided that a merchant cash advance application was the best way forward to get the funds quickly and the renovation done in time for the busy season. Mary was able to get a loan facility that would be paid back over a year. It had a flexible repayment that suited her seasonal business. It works by taking a small daily percentage of the card machine income. That means when it’s busy you pay back more but when it’s a quiet time of year you pay back less. The percentage is set with the aim of repayment within the year. Mary was happy with this and was able to draw down the funds within days.

So that outlines a couple of past clients we could help. There are many other solutions that can fit your needs right now. We are here for you 7 days a week to talk finance. Call us on 015563655 now?

90% of Irish Business Owners Can Save On Their Card Machine Charges With This New Service

Let’s see if we can save you money on something your business may already be using. That's your card machine and the charges you pay every month on your merchant services statement. We have partnered with Ireland's only independent merchant services consultants & brokers who have over 30 years experience in the banking and financial services area. They can identify savings for over 90% of clients they help and uniquely often without the need for a provider switch as it may be possible to simply amend your existing solution.

Key benefits in getting your review

  • Businesses in Ireland are paying large fees annually to acquiring banks for the ability to accept cards. Many of these fees lack transparency and are loaded with unexplained and hidden charges. Our partner works on behalf of your business not the bank. You can have proposals professionally evaluated from any provider in the market

  • You will find out if you have been overcharged and may be entitled to a refund or compensation from your provider

  • You will get a detailed independent audit to identify all areas where savings or security improvements can me made

  • You can have savings identified without always having to switch provider. Often savings can be secured from your existing acquiring bank

  • If you are currently waiting days for settlements you will no longer have to. You will have access to leading Irish, European & international acquiring banks with next day full gross settlement at the lowest possible cost

  • If you accept payments over the telephone "customer not present" transactions can be charged back many months after processing. Find out how to build layers of security in to your payment process and dramatically reduce your risk

  • PSD2 Regulations come in to force in this September and you will receive independent advice procedural or structural changes that may be necessary for your existing payment solution

Testimonial

"They professionally assisted our busy bar business to significantly reduce the cost of accepting debit / credit cards and ensured that funds were in our account on the very next day. We would strongly recommend that every business should have an audit carried out as the level of detail and expertise is sure to be an eye opener. Our experience is that you have all to gain and nothing to lose as they worked on our behalf in assessing and negotiating with a number of different banks. Highly recommended."
Grainger's Pebble Beach, Dublin 3

"They prepared a detailed audit for our business, identifying a number of serious issues even apart from transaction pricing. They assisted us in fixing all problems and sound fraud prevention advice has been invaluable to our company."
Merlin Properties, Dublin & London.

Next Step

So what are you waiting for? To get going we’ll need some merchant statements from you for our partner to conduct your review. If you're interested in learning more send us a message now or call us on 015563655


Master Lease Agreement - The Secret "Line of Credit" for Business Equipment

There is a nothing-to-lose pre-approval line of credit available to business owners in Ireland called a Master Lease Agreement (MLA). It’s basically like an overdraft for getting new business equipment and fast.

At BusinessLoans.ie we get calls from panicky restaurateurs on occasion when business-critical equipment has gone kaput at the worst possible time for them. They need it replaced quickly. We can always assist in getting a standard asset finance quote at a great rate in this instance. However, for their own peace-of-mind, if they had a MLA in place they would have known as soon as their equipment was in need of replacement, they are already pre-approved. Less stress. Sound good?

So what are the requirements for getting a MLA?

  • You need to have a business that is performing reasonably well and expect to spend at least €25k on new equipment over a year

Here are some of the business items that can potentially be leased:

  • Equipment

  • Machines

  • Vehicles

  • Larger fixtures & fittings

The key benefits of the MLA are:

  • It costs nothing to get the MLA approved

  • It gives you comfort to know you can get a quote for an item you need and have it financed quickly without having to find a deposit

  • Leasing in general has tax deductible benefits

How do you go about getting your MLA approved?

  • That’s simple. We’ll help! Send us a message now or call us on 015563655

3 Tips on Digital Transformation for Irish Retail SMEs

This past few weeks I’ve been reading positive news stories about some retail businesses such as Boohoo, Asos, Primark and Next. This contrasts with disaster stories for businesses like Arcadia Group (which owns the high street clothing retailers Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge). Business costs such as high rents are a factor but the key issue is how businesses have tackled online sales. The winners have invested in IT and logistics. Let’s compare Topshop (spend a whopping €75 for free delivery and returns) to Boohoo (pay €11.99 and get unlimited delivery and returns for a year). Boohoo’s sales soared 27% this year while Arcadia is clutching at straws to make agreements with landlords and save the business.

But how does this story of battling titans have meaning for a small Irish SME retailer? Well for one thing I’m constantly reading stories about Irish businesses lagging behind our European counterparts in having an online presence, so here’s a few ideas that could help.

  1. Trading Online Voucher Scheme

You can get €2500 towards web design, building your online presence etc. for free if you have a business that’s been open at least 6 months. On top of this your Local Enterprise Office and give you lots of training and support around building an online presence. You can read more about the Trading Online Voucher Scheme by clicking here.

2. Pointy

This is a great way to get more people in to your store. You plug a pointy device in between your point of sale & barcode scanner, carry on and over time your scanned products will appear on your Pointy web page and your shop and products start appearing higher in Google search results. You get found by people doing Google searches for your products in your location. Check out Pointy here.

3. More serious Digital Transformation?

It’s not cheap to have a slick online sales presence and once you have done your homework on what it will cost for your business ask us how to find finance to make it happen. A few quick suggestions include:

  • Unsecured loans - If you have 2 years accounts showing profit. Sometimes 1 year will do.

  • Merchant Cash Advance - If you use a card machine, Stripe or PayPal and have 12 months statement history.

  • Leasing - If you want a better point of sale system, computer equipment etc. get some quotes and we can help arrange leasing

To ask us about finance send us a message now. We’re generally available 7 days from early morning to late at night. Or call us on 015563655

Unpalatable Premium? Make it Bite Size with Insurance Premium Finance

We’ve all heard the horror stories about insurance premium rises in the news. They’re just going up and up and it’s becoming a factor in many business closures. While the politicians, courts and insurers are in this seemingly never-ending finger-pointing charade you still have your hefty business insurance bill to pay. So what can you do about it? One thing you could consider is asking us about insurance premium finance.

We have a partner who can finance your business insurance premium over a year so you are better equipped to manage your cash flow. Here’s what we’ll need from you:

  • Your insurance quote

  • 2 years accounts

  • 6 months bank statements

  • Your tax clearance certificate

The partner credit team will then assess this and you can expect your approval information within 24 hours and funds transferred shortly after this. The interest will be 10% with a 4.9% set up fee which is comparable to the offerings of more established insurance premium finance companies in the market however, the turnaround time for this is generally far quicker.

So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us now on 015563655 or send us a message now. We’re here to answer any questions you have.

4 Things I Learned from an Irish CEO who Raised $750 Million for his Startup

This evening I went to an event and heard the story of Dómhnal Slattery, CEO of Avolon. He started in 2010 with Ireland’s biggest ever funding round for a startup. He managed to raise $750 million venture capital – Ireland’s biggest VC deal ever. Now Avolon have turned that $750 million into a $30 billion balance sheet today. They have 958 aircraft. If you put them all in a row you would need to complete a marathon distance from start to finish! They have made Ireland in to a major player in the aircraft leasing sector worldwide.

Here are my key takeaways of the evening and suggestions how these can apply to an average Irish SME owner.


1. You can raise money when the economy is down.

It was 2010 and we were in the midst of a worldwide recession. On top of this a volcano erupted in Iceland (Eyjafjallajökull – try say it aloud!) It grounded flights all around Europe due to all the ash clouds drifting over the continent. This negativity in the aviation industry didn’t deter Avolon and they cracked on and raised a tremendous amount of money. Then in 2011 there was a widespread perception that the Euro was going to go bust. Avolon spoke with smart investors who could see the bigger picture and invested $300m at a critical point for the company.

From the above examples, you can see that by speaking with the right lender you can find success. Businessloans.ie speaks with many business owners who may not have had success in getting loan approval from their bank. These days there are many alternative finance providers who can help. You just need to speak to the right one and we can help get your loan approved with the right partner.


2. Company culture has to be a top priority even if it means getting rid of important people.

Dómhnal said “in business you rarely leap forward if growing organically.” At one point Avolon acquired CIT Group aircraft leasing business and it had around 150 employees. Avolon is big on values.

Here’s what they have to say on the matter: “Our corporate values - embodied in the acronym TRIBE (Transparency, Respect, Insightfulness, Bravery and Ebullience) - form the basis of how we run our business, how we interact with one another and with all of our stakeholders. Our TRIBE is who we are and what unites us as a company.”

Within one year of acquiring CIT Group aircraft leasing 130 of the 150 original employees were gone. If you stick with your values you need to be willing to risk losing valuable people who don’t fit them.


3. You can manouvere your business out of a sticky financial situation and maintain access to credit.

Avolon listed on the New York Stock Exchange. This was a huge milestone for an Irish company. They listed at $20 a share. Then 13 months later a company called HNA offered to take a controlling stake at $31 a share. This was a $1 billion premium on the value and the board accepted this excellent offer. HNA had lofty goals for expansion and over-extended themselves and became cash-strapped, risking the very existence of Avolon. They had to find a solution and they worked out a deal with Japan's Orix who bought a $2.2 billion stake in Avolon. This deal enabled them to upgrade to a BBB- rating and have access to the US capital markets to sustain themselves.

So what can be learned from this example? Businessloans.ie speaks with business owners who have put themselves in a sticky situation by leaving it too late to get a business loan. They start missing payments and their bank statements are looking too bad for a credit team to pass. It’s so important to do some forward planning and get your loan while the going is good.

4. Give back.

Avolon already has an enviable corporate responsibility policy. “CARE enables our employees to take the lead in collaborating with local and international partners to promote innovation, social development, education and meaningful change in the world. The CARE intiative is delivered under four pillars: Community, Avolon Care Days, Resources and Education / Entrepreneurship”.

This evening I heard Dómhnal introduce Project i. This is a white paper outlining a bigger-picture initiative on how Ireland can build a better start-up scene. You can download it here

They wanted to understand how Ireland compared and contrasted with the best startup eco-systems in the world. To do this Avolon took many of their best employees off the job to meet stakeholders around the world. They learned from these best-in-class startup eco-systems and make recommendations under the headings Education, Early Stage Funding & Support, Acceleration, Venture Funding and Growth & Exit.

This project really is a BHAG (Big Hairy Audatious Goal) and it’s going to take major players throughout our society to get involved. But what can you do as a small business owner? I would suggest looking at your own company culture and corporate responsibility. Start small and do what you can in your locality. Take a small step towards giving back.


I would like to thank the Irish International Business Network and Grant Thornton for making the event possible.

What I've learned so far about business mentoring

I started out on my Businessloans.ie journey in October 2018 with the desire to make it easy for Irish business owners to get approved for alternative finance. There have been so many different challenges that have come up in getting the business going but as time goes on I’ve been working on a more solid plan of action.

I did some psychometric testing and it gave me great insights in to myself. One thing I’ve had to accept is that I’m not suited to every role and task in the business. On the flip side, it’s helped me play to my strengths. I got support with a pain point (administration) leaving me free up more time to focus on what I enjoy: working on finding new business. Another interesting thing about this activity was how it helped me adapt how I communicate with people with different personality types than me. I’m quite sure a finance deal I recently closed wouldn’t have happened it it weren’t for this.

I’ve been getting private coaching sessions from The Alternative Board (TAB). Business leaders such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Richard Branson have all had mentors. In fact, Branson said “If you ask any successful businessperson, they will always say they have had a great mentor at some point along the road.” Closer to home, Irish business people like Brody Sweeney of Camile Thai uses TAB. This coaching is helping me formulate my goals and most importantly keep myself accountable and on track.

Yesterday I sampled my first TAB Board Meeting. Business owners get together and use their collective minds and experience to overcome their individual challenges. In short, it worked like this. The business owner described the biggest challenge they were having in their business. Then other business owners were encouraged to ask open ended questions to get more clarity on the issue. There was a facilitator to keep everyone on track. After everyone’s questions were answered it was time to make suggested solutions. The business owner could choose to take some on board and give feedback on results in the next session. Taking this action results in TAB members profitability being 2.5 times that of non-TAB members.

If you’re a business owner potentially interested in learning more about this, feel free to get in touch with me. I’m happy to answer any questions.

Getting loan approval for hospitality and retail businesses in Ireland

It’s not always easy managing cash flow. Often when you realise you’re going to need a loan the bank statements are already looking bad enough that it might not pass a credit team assessing your unsecured loan application. The good news is that there’s an alternative way to go about it if your business uses a card machine (or is an online business using Stripe or PayPal). Every month you should see your merchant services statement. Some credit teams look at this information and provide you with a loan they call “merchant cash advance”.

The application and approval process is quick. You will need to get 12 months merchant statements (but sometimes you can get away with less if your business hasn’t been going that long). You will also need to provide 6 months business bank statements, recent accounts and fill in an application form. We’re happy to help with that.

So I’m sure you’re thinking, how much can you get? In short it depends on the repayment capacity showing by looking at the bank statements, as well as the turnover you’re doing monthly on the card machine. One of the credit teams are happy to look at a maximum loan of 3 times your monthly card machine turnover average. So if you do €50k a month it’s possible to get €150k.

How the loan is repaid is different than a typical loan. The loan company sets up a repayment of a small percentage of the daily income of the card machine. It could look something like 5%. That means if you took in €1000 one day they would take €50 towards the loan repayment. The credit teams are aiming to set a percentage that gets the loan paid in around a year. They are often happy to renew the facility with you again in future once they see it’s being paid down. This type of repayment shows flexibility for seasonal businesses. If you’re a hotel owner with a great summer business and quiet winter the small daily percentage repayment means that when you’re quiet you’re not paying much and when you’re busy you’re paying more.

The interest on these loans can vary according to risk but expect it to be around 1% to 1.5% a month which is comparable to rates for overdraft facilities many SMEs are quoted for. I hope this information helps and remember it’s only one of the business loans options currently available to hard working Irish business owners in the hotel, bar, restaurant, e-commerce and retail industries.

We’re always happy to answer any questions you have so get in touch via the web chat box in the bottom right of this page or by calling 015563655

5 reasons why business owners use alternative finance

  1. Bank taking too long.

  2. Bank requesting too much information.

  3. They have some missed payments.

  4. They have a seasonal business and they need an understanding credit team.

  5. They have a particular amount they require and they only got partially approved.

Business Bridging Loans up to €10m For Entrepreneurs Now Available

Businessloans.ie has a new partner providing small and medium sized business owners with bridging loans up to 24 months against property and other real assets. Those assets may be based in Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, France or Germany. Funds can be used for working capital or to expand a real estate portfolio. Minimum loan of €250k / Maximum €10m and up to 70% LTV. Loans can be set up on an interest-only basis.

For more information please get in touch on 01 55 636 55.