Starting a business demands much from its owners — time, energy, resources, manpower, and more. Developing a product or service that will be valued by consumers is half the battle; your focus should now be on devising a production process, securing a physical location or online space, building partnerships with suppliers or vendors, creating a marketing campaign, researching your market, and actually getting your offerings out to the public. And on top of it all, you have to obtain the capital to sustainably fund all aspects of your operations.
With hard work, dedication and sufficient resources, a startup can evolve to become a trusted name within its industry. But of course, it won’t be enough to break even or to remain successful in a single location or with the current company size. If you find that your product or service has become the preferred option over your competitors’, or if you’ve gained a substantial following even from consumers abroad, then the time may be right to think about business growth and expansion.
Getting the right financial support
If expansion is the logical next step for the business you’ve worked hard to build, then you will need the appropriate level of financial support to see you through this important evolution.
You’ll need to partner with a bank that can help you devise a solid business and financial plan. The growth and expansion may mean taking in a larger staff, or ordering raw materials in larger quantities, or shipping products out of the country. You must have the means to fund these changes and to beat the corresponding risks.
Here are examples of solutions that your trusted bank can offer to fuel your business growth and expansion:
Import and export finance
If taking your products abroad is part of your plans, then you will need a financial partner who can help you with international trading requirements. Commercial banking professionals who are well-versed in local markets from different parts of the globe can help you assess the existing economic conditions and relevant market risks. They can offer export loans that can help you improve cash flow and bridge the gap between the shipment of your goods and the arrival of the customers’ payments.
Likewise, with import finance, a reputable bank can give you access to working capital as well as help protect your bottom line and maintain your cash flow as you settle matters with suppliers and payments from your buyers.
In addition, your bank can use export documentary credits to ensure that you will be paid for the products you export even if your customers cannot pay on time or at all.
Since you are a business that is still finding its feet in a much larger playing field, you may not have a solid and established relationship yet with your chosen suppliers or buyers. The bank can assist in negotiating favourable terms — your needs will be addressed and, at the same time, your buyers and suppliers will be protected in the event of non-performance under a contract.
The bank can also advise you to secure financial and non-financial guarantees or take full advantage of standby letters of credit so you can conduct business with confidence even in still uncharted environments.