6 times you might need a small business loan

Running a small business comes with many ups and downs, as well as many occasions that may require a bit more cash than you have at your fingertips.

Here are six scenarios where a small business loan may be just what you need to keep your small business moving.

1. You need more space

If your employees are using the table in the kitchen as a workstation, or your office is now doubling up as a stock room, you could probably do with a little more space. But just because you’re ready for expansion doesn’t mean you necessarily have the cash on hand to make it happen. Whether the answer is a refit, full-on renovation or even a move to new business premises, a small business loan could provide quick funds to expand the operation.

Remember to calculate the financial benefit when deciding whether to go ahead or not. For example, will the renovation or refit enable you to sell more stock or take on more clients? Or will it just make room for Molly the office dog’s bed? Speak to your financial advisor who can help you crunch the numbers.

2. You need more stock

Buying products that will enable you to provide a service and improve your offering is a crucial part of doing business. Every business needs an up-to-date inventory, and if you’re a seasonal business, you’ll want all your stock in place before peak sales periods. If your turnover is dependent on the stock you’re carrying, but you don’t have the capital to invest, then a small business loan could be worth considering to bridge the gap.

3. Opportunity knocks

Many opportunities emerge for small businesses, and knowing which ones to chase, and which ones to pass by, is a skill in itself. If you have completed your due diligence and believe an opportunity is worth grabbing, but you don’t have the cash flow on-hand to do so, a small business loan could be the answer. It provides a simple cash lump sum that puts business owners in control of how they respond to opportunities.

4. You need to recruit to grow

Small business owners often wear many hats, but sooner or later juggling your supply channel, bookkeeping, marketing, customer service and tea-making all by yourself can take its toll. Ultimately, if you’re going to grow your business, you will need time to give the operation the attention it deserves. Employing staff can free you up to do just that. If there’s a clear connection between the hiring decision and an increase in revenue, then a small business loan could make good business sense.

5. Your premises need a makeover

First impressions count a lot in business, and if you’re a cafe with shabby furniture, you may be losing customers based purely on your interiors. Alternatively, if you’re an office-based operation, your poor ergonomic set up may be negatively affecting your employees’ productivity and/or your ability to attract star candidates. A small business loan could help give your small business the face-lift it needs.

6. You need more customers

Build it and they will come? Not quite. You could have the best product and service in the world, but if no one knows about it, you’ll not sell a bean. An investment in marketing is critical to attract customers. A small business loan could help you fund a promotion or marketing campaign to acquire new customers.

If your business needs funds for opportunity, growth or cash flow support, get in touch with one of our small business lending specialists on 0800 005 797 to discuss your options, or find out more.

The information on this website is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisors. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

4 things to consider when investing in your small business

It’s safe to say that small businesses are the lifeblood of New Zealand’s economy. They account for 97% of all companies, employ 29% of workers and generate an estimated 26% of the country’s gross domestic product.

For the people behind these enterprises, success usually means long hours, hard work and a commitment to the future of your businesses and staff.

And, for most small business owners, that relentless dedication is being rewarded.

New Zealand small business growth: A pulse check

The latest CPA Australia Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey shows a positive trend in the growth of small businesses. Nearly 60% of Kiwi small businesses have grown over the past year, with 63% expecting further growth over the next 12 months.

This comes despite headwinds at home and abroad. Faced with a cooling global economy and cost pressures, the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research recorded that local business confidence dipped slightly in recent months with business owners now showing signs of caution around further expansion.

However, this pessimism may be unwarranted. Export demand remains strong and key domestic indicators are ticking along nicely. BusinessNZ’s recent economic summary points to “solid economic growth”, and the spectre of a capital gains tax has also been laid to rest.

Business groups – including Retail NZ and BusinessNZ – have welcomed the news, which would have curtailed small businesses’ ability to invest in their growth.

For a small business owner with a growth mindset, it’s never been easier to access capital via a small business loan. But growing a business also demands a solid strategy on your people and products, day-to-day functionality and physical location.

These are four of the key considerations for any small business owner thinking about growth:

1. Your people

For the vast majority of businesses, having the right people in place is critical. And, if you don’t have a talented team that’s invested in the business, your growth plans may fall at the first hurdle.

Investment isn’t a one-way street, though, and investment in your employees should be a top priority for you, as a business owner who’s looking to grow. Without a focus on the career development of your key workers, wider expansion may not succeed.

According to the Human Resources Institute of NZ, the loss of a staff member who has been with a company for over a year can cost the business three times that worker’s salary.

Begin by setting goals for your employees and aim to consistently give them a clear purpose and direction, aligned with your growth plans.

Once this is in place, review your training, remuneration and working benefits (such as working from home and flexible hours) on a continued basis.

2. Your products and services

Having a strong product offering, that has potential to grow, evolve and expand, is as critical as having the right people in place. While services that are either embedded into or sold alongside goods also play an important role in trade.

Ensure you have the right technology and processes in place to help you identify cross-sell and new product opportunities.

3. Your functionality

How well are your business processes and functionality set up for growth? Are they well established, tried and tested, and scalable? Or do they need creating and refining?

Many New Zealand business owners are turning to technology to achieve business efficiencies.

In the past two years alone, 28% of businesses have introduced automation technology to help process data, increase productivity, reduce human error and improve the quality of products and services they offer, according to Stats NZ. What have you implemented?

4. Your location

For all businesses, expansion usually involves relocating to larger premises or moving into new territories.

Aside from the physical structure of any new building, it’s essential to consider its wider geographical location. Direct concerns include access to transport hubs, road networks and public transport.

Also, does the location profit from proximity to related businesses? By clustering in one area, similar businesses – and those along supply chains – can increase productivity and profitability through economies of scale.

The tech clusters in Wellington and Canterbury are examples of the positive impacts of similar businesses locating and working together.

Building a small business is as challenging as it is rewarding. But with careful planning and access to the right finance, small businesses in New Zealand can best ensure that any investment – financially and emotionally – will provide healthy returns over the long term.

The information on this website is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisers. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.