Archive for July, 2013

Angel Investors


Every now and then business owners will ask me  about the availability of Angel Investors. I do have access to some players in this market and they are genuine decent investors. However at the same time, the very description “angel investor” does rather create a very benevolent image which even stretches to someone dropping from the sky to lavish any business with cash with absolutely no strings attached

Sadly very few people lend without the expectation of return or without a level of  security. All this “new’ lending” (peer to peer being another example) might have very nice fluffy titles but ultimately will still be driven by  the hard edge of lending and return 

Categories: Uncategorized

Invoice finance . Buyer beware?

A couple of active net blogs have set their sights firmly set on a two certain high profile invoice finance providers. Being largely made up of quotes from disgruntled parties and perhaps rather too one sided analysis of certain situations, it is a little hard to swallow every item as gospel but there is a theme to a number of the quotes that certainly took my eye.

” we were only able to use a fraction of our facility”

I can certainly appreciate this frustration but are the complaints fully justified?

Unfortunately for the borrower there is no recourse to complain and also probably no grounds to do so. Simple fact is that the restrictions on the account will be clearly stated in the contract.

So why the surprise? Well the issue is clearly that the borrower is simply not aware of how these restrictions impact, whether it be client “concentration” limits, export or credit worthiness of their clients. And it is true that the lender will often be at fault at simply glossing over these items before the contract is signed

This is why before any arrangement is agreed to, a thorough understanding and appreciation of the borrowers trading is essential. This is where the brokers input should be invaluable

I say should of course but that is often going to be dependent on their knowledge of commercial debtors rather than the processes of banking

Categories: Uncategorized

Laughable credit management


Would be a generous description of the following.

On a linkedin thread, a credit manager responded to the question “is credit part of the sales process” with following…

I don’t associate credit with sales, I do associate credit and risk, Credit isn’t a relationship killer, and giving credit is no guarantee of profit, generally giving credit is a reduction in margin, through an increase in the cost to serve.

More importantly, and something the customer needs to understand, and be told, is that any credit granted is a financial investment into their business. If discussion are on this basis it puts you in the same rhelm as the Bankers.


This is my response

Cannot agree with that at all. “Credit isnt a relationship killer” ? Are you kidding!

Credit is absolutely an essential element of the sales process. 100%

“More importantly, and something the customer needs to understand, and be told, is that any credit granted is a financial investment into their business”

Oh that will go down wonderfully well when pitching to say…. Tescos

Sorry but i cant stop laughing

Categories: Uncategorized

Retail continues to fail

Apologies for some gloomy news on such a fine day but the latest figures from the retail sector suggest that the failure rate is running at its highest level since the start of the downturn

Perhaps this is not too surprising but re-emphasises the difficulties the sector continues to face in terms of competition and also that businesses are more at risk of failure at the tail end of recession. 

Companies failing
Stores Affected
Employees Affected
2013 (to end June) 36 2,142 20,945
2012 (12 months)
2011 (12 months) 31 2,469 24,025
2010 (12 months)
2009 (12 months)
2008 (12 months)
2007 (12 months)
Categories: Uncategorized

Sunshine and optimism

Not a bad time to be in the UK now perhaps. With the hot sunny spell seemingly here to stay for a while yet (met office is predicting a few weeks) and at last the uk economy picking up with growth rates expected to be higher than predicted and sins that the housing market is strengthening

Good news but the real impact will be more psychological for now rather than material. The growth of 0.9% expected for this year is still pretty anaemic as we can see from the table below

Annual GDP growth rate (1990 to present)[edit]

Year GDP Change[146]
1990 0.5%
1991 -1.3%
1992 2.1%
1993 3.1%
1994 4.7%
1995 2.8%
1996 3.1%
1997 4.2%
1998 3.3%
1999 3.1%
2000 3.0%
2001 2.1%
2002 3.0%
2003 4.4%
2004 1.9%
2005 4.4%
2006 1.7%
2007 3.6%
2008 -4.3%
2009 -2.5%
2010 1.7%
2011 1.1%
2012 0.0%
2013 (Q1) 0.3%




Worth noting that 0.9% is half of the worst year between 1992 and the present recession. A long way to go

Categories: Uncategorized

Oil price to halve?


According to this analyst, its possible. 

All good news but my take on the fracking boom is that the consequences are going to be much greater than the pure price of oil, as welcome as a cut will be

Firstly there is the very likely possibility that the USA will be entirely energy self sufficient in the very near future. This clearly is a game changer with their relationships with certain middle eastern countries and it will psychologically give the great nation a feeling of greater self confidence. Or at least I hope so. 

However it is not a straight line and it has to be said that the USA does have many structural problems which are superbly covered in Edward Luce’s book


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