Throughout 2021 UK businesses can apply for finance under the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS). The scheme is a government-backed programme to help firms recover from Covid-19 and begin pressing ahead.
The Recovery Loan Scheme allows businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic to borrow from as little as £1,000 up to £10 million. Funding below £25,000 will typically be through asset or invoice finance or a similar mechanism.
The scheme could be an excellent opportunity for your business to secure the working capital you need to break out from the pandemic and push ahead as the UK economy recovers.
Here are some ideas for how you can put that capital to work in your business, to help boost growth.
1. Enhance your marketing
The long months of disruption have changed buying patterns and processes. The way many people live and work has altered, and some of those changes won’t be undone as the pandemic fades. Whether you sell B2B or B2C many of your customers will now have different priorities and processes for spending.
Marketing is crucial to rebuilding or growing your market share. You may need to remind people of how you can help them, and you could have opportunities to expand into new areas.
Investing in marketing is about more than having a smart new logo and signage. It’s about putting money into learning more about your ideal customers, how to reach them and how to keep them coming back for more.
2. Train your staff
Your business could be one of the many that’s seen significant changes in how staff work. Some may have been furloughed or required to work from home. The team you have now may look and operate differently from how it did before the pandemic.
It can pay to invest in your team, equipping them with both the technical and the softer skills required to play their part well. The result can be a more productive workplace, where people know how to get the best from the tools they’re working with. With the right training they can also learn how to get the best from one another.
3. Invest in productivity
The Recovery Loan Scheme could be your opportunity to address issues that you know are holding you back. The funds you borrow could be invested in new computers and software that allow your team to work more efficiently and get more done in the working day.
You already know where the bottlenecks are in your business processes, the points of frustration where you and your team know there’s a better way to get work done, if only you had the time and finance to fix it. Take the opportunity to deal with the situation.
4. Develop or stock new products
With so many now living their lives quite differently, it’s possible that your customers want something different to what they had before. You may have an idea for an entirely new product or service that would be popular.
Having additional funds in your bank account can give you the capacity to explore new products or even to develop your own. Innovation, particularly in the area of science and technology, also opens the possibility of claiming research and development tax credits.
Many businesses are surprised when they discover that their innovation qualifies them for this tax relief. If you think it may be relevant, have a conversation with your accountant.
5. Invest in yourself
As a business owner working hard day after day it’s easy to get stuck into a rut of what you do and how you do it. If you want to see significant change and growth in your business, it’s worth considering how you can bring significant change and growth to yourself.
This could be in the form of training and guidance on how to lead and manage a growing team, or in honing your entrepreneurial skills. You may want to consider taking on a business coach, someone who can help you think through what you want for yourself and your business.
The Recovery Loan Scheme funding could open the door to new ways of thinking, by allowing you to fund training and support, and also by paying for the help needed to give you time to step away from the day-to-day.
Don’t delay in applying for the Recovery Loan Scheme
The closing date for applications is 31 December 2021 and we predict a late rush. We recommend that you decide soon whether to apply for finance under the scheme, and if you choose to go for it, not to delay.
If you’re not sure of whether the Recovery Loan Scheme could be right for your business, get in touch and one of our team will be happy to discuss it with you. Don’t put off that conversation for another time - give us a call today.