Our latest guide details a range of challenges and opportunities facing the UK services sector today – such as product distribution and Open Banking, as well as how industry players can manage their business services finance to strengthen their market position.
Scenario 1 – Revamp your product offering and project management models
According to business services firm Mavenlink, an “overwhelming majority of service providers” believe clients’ expectations are on the rise, with these customers needing “more value, higher quality of work and a faster delivery of solutions as service” amongst other factors. Such demands place a far greater strain on the UK services sector; as its players race to maintain client satisfaction by tailoring products to specific criteria, there are also – as mentioned by 65% of executives in Mavenlink’s survey – shortages in terms of the skills and resources needed to complete the work at hand.
If this situation sounds familiar to your business services firm – striving to invest in procurement for further product development or enterprise software, bear in mind that a great range of funding solutions are available to support your operations. By pursuing an unsecured business loan, for example, your firm could access the advance funds needed to overhaul its product line and project management models, then make repayments over a prolonged period. This in turn would eliminate any danger of risking working capital or monies allocated to your current ongoing projects while expanding your service offerings to clients.
Scenario 2 – Launch an outsourcing marketing campaign
For many business service providers, such as business consultancies, accounting and law firms, IT or financial services firms, finding the time required to recruit and train new staff to meet their potential is a tiresome and unfeasible prospect given the aforementioned surge in client demand. Speaking on the subject in their coverage of Mavenlink and Research Now’s findings, Consultancy.uk reveals that some businesses in the UK services sector are consequently outsourcing certain work to “the talents of independents for individual cases” so as to prevent unnecessary time wastage, particularly since 30% more executives called their workforce structure a “roadblock to success” in this year’s survey than the last survey in March 2017.
Should your business embark on an outsourcing drive in the coming months, then one option could be running a marketing campaign to encourage candidates to help you distribute more personalised products to clients. While an unsecured business loan can benefit short-term marketing campaigns, you might alternatively consider selective invoice finance for longer promotions. Here you’ll choose invoices which amount to your monthly marketing costs and receive a high percentage of their value within 24 hours, meaning that the 30-120 day late payment cycles which beset countless services firms needn’t hamper your outsourcing efforts.
Scenario 3 – Update your data capabilities – Open Banking has arrived
It’s important that business services firms recognise not only the challenges facing them today, but also the numerous opportunities currently available within their sector. Take Open Banking, an initiative which City A.M.’s Lucy White reports will open new markets for financial services businesses as customers share their financial data with traditional banks and third-parties alike. Glenn Manoff, senior vice president of review platform Trustpilot, says this transformative process should “remove information barriers as a plethora of new fintech players access the data necessary to provide compelling new services”.
Two options therefore lie before financial services providers going forward: stick to the status quo for fear of venturing into uncharted territory or embrace Open Banking’s impending debut and take advantage of its possibilities. Mondaq’s Yvonne Dunn offers some useful suggestions on the latter front, advising UK services sector players “slim down processes and make it as easy as possible for distributors to deal with them”, “ensure that technology is robust and reliable” to avoid API shortages and “make it easy for customers to move between products”.
All of these approaches naturally will require additional investment, albeit to differing extents depending on whether your business needs technological improvements or an entire overhaul and migration to a new system. If you’re thus unsure whether invoice finance, business loans or another cashflow solution would be most suitable to your Open Banking preparations, then that’s where we come in: one of our expert team of consultants is always on hand to discuss which facility best fits your needs and long-term goals, from fixed / variable APRs to confidential invoice finance arrangements.
Find out more
You can visit our invoice finance and unsecured business loans pages for more information on our services, as well as our dedicated business services finance page for details of how we specifically cater for firms in your sector. But above all, get in touch today if you have any queries or want to pursue one of these business services funding solutions and one of our expert consultants will be happy to help.