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Business
8 Jan 2024
Should I be exploring alternative finance for my business?
Anna Dearden
Home sector specialist
blogPost

Navigating the world of business finance can be tricky, particularly if you’re just starting out or need to reevaluate your company’s accounts.


You've likely heard of traditional bank loans, but what about 'alternative finance'? This term might sound a bit mysterious, but don't worry — we're here to demystify it for you. Let's dive in and see if exploring alternative finance could be the smart move for your business.


What is alternative finance?


Have you ever felt lost in a sea of financial terms and jargon? We've all been there, particularly when moving beyond traditional finance options from the bank. So, what is alternative finance? This term essentially covers any financial services and products that don't fit into the traditional banking box. This includes several innovative and flexible options that can be a game-changer for your business, such as:


Peer-to-Peer lending


Imagine borrowing money directly from individuals, bypassing traditional financial institutions. That's peer-to-peer lending for you. It's often quicker to arrange and can offer more competitive interest rates. 


Crowdfunding


Have you got a brilliant business idea but need funding to kickstart it? Crowdfunding allows you to raise small amounts of money from a large number of people, usually via the internet. It's not just about the money, however — it's also a great way to build brand awareness and create a community around your company.


Invoice financing


Are you concerned about cash flow issues? Invoice financing lets you borrow money against the amounts due from customers. This means you don't have to wait for clients to pay up. Instead, you get immediate access to a portion of the funds.


Business cryptocurrency accounts


Embracing the digital age, business crypto accounts allow transactions in cryptocurrencies. This could be a savvy move if your business operates globally, offering speed and potentially lower transaction fees.


Merchant cash advance


A merchant cash advance provides you with a lump sum of cash upfront. In return, you agree to pay back a portion of your future credit and debit card sales. It's perfect for businesses with a steady flow of card transactions. 


What’s more, the beauty of a merchant cash advance lies in its flexibility — repayments adjust with your sales. So, when business is booming, you pay back more, and during quieter times, your repayments reduce. It’s a hassle-free way to support your business's cash flow.


These alternative finance options offer a level of flexibility and accessibility that traditional banking methods might not. They can be particularly valuable for small businesses, startups, or companies looking to innovate and adapt in fast-changing markets.


Why consider alternative business finance?


Alternative finance is becoming increasingly popular for a range of reasons. From quicker access to more lenient credit requirements, it brings a level of flexibility that traditional bank loans often can't match. 


Tailored repayment plans


One of the standout features of alternative finance is the customisation it offers. You're not stuck with a one-size-fits-all repayment plan. Instead, providers often work with you to understand your cash flow and create a schedule that aligns with your business's financial health. This can be a lifeline, especially for businesses with seasonal revenue fluctuations.


Speedy fund access


Alternative finance typically processes applications faster than traditional banks. This means you can get the funds you need without long waiting periods, which is vital when you need to jump on time-sensitive opportunities or handle unexpected expenses.


Less stringent credit requirements


Traditional banks can be strict with their lending criteria. Alternative finance options, on the other hand,  often have more flexible credit requirements, making them accessible to a wider range of businesses — including those that might not have a perfect credit history.


Stepping into the future with crypto


With business crypto accounts, alternative finance is also at the forefront of financial innovation. These accounts allow transactions in cryptocurrencies, offering potentially lower transaction fees and faster international payments — ideal for businesses in the global market.


Can my business benefit from alternative finance?


Virtually any business, irrespective of its size or stage stands to gain from the advantages alternative finance brings to the table. Whether you're a fresh-faced start-up looking to get off the ground, a small enterprise aiming to fund a new venture, or an established company seeking to manage cash flow better, alternative finance has something to offer. 


Start-ups can particularly benefit from the flexibility and speed of alternative finance, as they often need quick funding to capitalise on market opportunities. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) find the tailored repayment plans and less stringent credit requirements a boon, helping them navigate the often unpredictable waters of business growth. Even larger enterprises can leverage alternative finance to diversify their funding sources and explore new, innovative ways of managing finances, such as through business crypto accounts.


How to find the right alternative finance method and provider


Once you’ve established that alternative finance could be a positive option for your business, it's time to work out which form is best for you — and find a reliable provider.


Step one: assess your business's unique needs


First things first, what does your business really need? Consider these key questions:


  • Do you need quick access to cash for an urgent project or opportunity?

  • Are you looking for flexible repayment terms to align with your cash flow?

  • Or are you aiming to innovate with a business crypto account for digital transactions?


Your answers will shape your search for the ideal alternative finance solution.


Step two: research and compare different options


Once you've got a clear idea of your needs, it's time to dive into the diverse world of alternative finance. From peer-to-peer lending to cryptocurrency, we’ve explored several financing forms that could work for your business. 

If you’re ready to start comparing providers, our platform is ready to help. We’ll help you connect with the perfect partner for your business's financial needs.


Step three: check reviews and testimonials


It’s also helpful to look at reviews and testimonials from other businesses. Their experiences can provide valuable insights into the reliability and suitability of different providers.


Step four: seek expert advice


Still unsure? Consult a financial advisor. They can offer tailored advice, ensuring you make an informed decision that aligns with your business's long-term goals.


Step five: take the leap


Once you've done your homework, it's time to take action. Choose the alternative finance option that resonates most with your business's objectives and needs. 


Finding the right alternative finance method and provider isn't just about securing funds; it's about partnering with a financial service that understands and supports your business's vision. So, take a moment, assess your needs, use the tools at your disposal like SpotDif, and step forward confidently into the realm of alternative finance. 


Search and compare alternative finance providers with SpotDif


Whether you're making your first bold steps in the business world or steering a well-established enterprise, alternative finance opens doors that traditional banking might not, offering you the chance to tailor your financial journey to your unique business narrative.


With SpotDif, you can find and compare alternative finance providers from across the UK. Our easy-to-navigate platform will help you make an informed decision for a finance solution that supports your business and its growth. Start your search for the right alternative finance provider today and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

author
Anna Dearden
Home sector specialist
I'm driven by curiosity, and constantly seeking to unravel and explore the ever-evolving trends in the realms of lifestyle, finance, and well-being.
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