How Flexible Financing Can Drive Growth for SMEs

SMEs are the lifeblood of the European economy. According to advisory group, Interreg Europe, they represent 99% of all businesses and two-thirds of all private sector jobs in the EU, while according to the European Investment Fund’s SME Access to Finance Index: “together, SMEs produce more than half of value added in the EU.”

That is why the success of SMEs is so crucial to the overall health of the European business landscape. Yet, far too often lack of easy access to finance threatens their prospects. Starved of the flexible funding they require, many small businesses struggle to survive, while others find growth opportunities severely restricted.

At Capital on Tap, we have seen at first hand the challenges UK SMEs face. There is often a sense that retail banks don’t speak their language or prioritise their needs. These banks certainly struggle to come up with finance offers that really work for SMEs, mainly because it is hard for them to make the economics work for a small loan.

“We continue to see small businesses being underserved by retail banks and we are trying to solve that issue not only in the UK but now also across the rest of Europe.”

That’s where we believe we can step into the breach. Our automated technology platform can run with minimal costs, meaning that we are able to provide start-up enterprises with loans of as little as £25,000 – and, critically too, we put SMEs front and centre of our whole approach.

The online application process is straightforward, with 97% of customers getting an instant credit decision. SME customers pay no interest on card purchases if they pay off their balance in full every month. Otherwise, they only pay interest on the funds they use. As well as having no monthly or annual fees, they also benefit from having no ATM charges or foreign transaction (FX) fees to worry about.

Since launch, we have provided £500 million worth of funding to 40,000 businesses across the UK. That’s why, while continuing to focus on the UK, we are now looking to also branch out into the wider European marketplace.

“Businesses have loved that our platform was simple and easy, and demand has matched what we have seen so far in the UK.”

It’s clear that SMEs across Europe face many of the same concerns that they do in the UK but generally there are even fewer funding options for smaller businesses in other European countries than there are in the UK.

We have tested our platform in five different European countries already – and have had an incredible response in each. Businesses have loved that our platform was simple and easy, and demand has matched what we have seen so far in the UK. It’s a positive sign.

We continue to see small businesses being underserved by retail banks and we are trying to solve that issue not only in the UK but now also across the rest of Europe. Flexible funding really can provide the answer here. Simply: businesses can go from having no options to having a fantastic option for growth.

– David Luck, CEO, Capital on Tap

Capital on Tap Journals: Edinburgh

It was easy to understand why Capital on Tap chose the beautiful capital of Scotland, Edinburgh, for our inaugural company retreat. A mixture of different cultures, classic monuments, iconic picturesque views, we were definitely instore for a fun weekend.

Greeted by glorious weather and charming historic buildings, we arrived at the heart of the city late Friday evening. As our hotel was conveniently located in the city centre it presented itself with opportunities overflowing at every corner to discover more about the city’s past.

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First stop on our agenda consisted of evening food and drinks at the The Refinery which was perfectly situated at the iconic St Andrew Square.
Filled with traditional Scottish details overlooking the square, The Refinery appeared to be the perfect setting for the team to embrace the bustling environment. As the evening continued to the late hours, we took the opportunity to not only feast over the delicious burgers, but also enjoy the signature cocktails. While some entered a competitive game of Jenga, some continued to debate whether the World Cup was ‘coming home’, nonetheless this kickstarted what appeared to be an awesome weekend ahead.

Saturday

After being well rested after a long day of travelling and a night of laughter, we all gladly accepted a glorious buffet breakfast. Engaging in discussions about the day ahead and perhaps more importantly, whether England had any chances of bringing the world cup back home; Saturday was set out to be a fun day.

As the day began, we kicked off the morning with a company wide exercise asking team members from mixed departments to create a variety of vision boards. This consisted of teams brainstorming ideas and reflecting on new opportunities that the company could possibly venture into. While these brainstorming sessions forced each department to think outside the box, it also enabled an open channel of discussion, where we were able to generate ideas of how we can better serve our customers. This exercise also set the stage for a honest discussion, where employees were challenged to be creative and feedback ideas of how best we can evolve our current product features.

As we entered the early afternoon, we all split off into small groups, and utilised the time to explore the beautiful city of Edinburgh. While some daring team members set out on an adventure to climb the 251 metre high extinct volcano, famously known as the Arthur Seat, to capture the amazing panoramic view of Edinburgh city; others decided to use the free time to relish in the traditional scottish culture by taking a whisky tasting class.

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As we continued to explore the key landmarks, such as the Edinburgh Castle and St Andrew square in hopes of capturing the best selfie. It was that part of the afternoon where we all headed to the pub, for one thing and one thing only…FOOTBALL!. Packed with passionate England fans, we all nervously watched England vs Sweden at the edges of our seats. As the roof raised with our chants ‘It’s coming home’ it was beautiful to see that the victorious win brought such a real sense of comradery between us all.

Continuing the festivities after a well deserved win from England, we celebrated with an evening three course meal at Rabble Taphouse. As we enjoyed the delicious variety of food and the unique cocktails, still amazed by the surreal reality that England was entering the world cup finals for the first time since 1996, the celebrations continued into the ‘wee’ hours at the locals bars.

Sunday

After a day full of exploring, laughter and fun, it was time to head back home, where we nostalgically recapped highlights of the weekend on the long train journey back to London. Overall, it is safe to say that the company get away gave us all an excellent opportunity to retreat from our regular routines and revisit the companies vision for the future.

Getting to know our customers: BrewByNumbers

Tom Hutchings (co-founder of Brew By Numbers) recently welcomed the Capital on Tap team to their brewery for a tour (and a few drinks!). Here’s what happened…

Brew By Numbers’ story:

The business was founded in February 2012 after Tom Hutchings and Dave Seymour met whilst on a climbing tour of S.E Asia. Since its establishment the business has grown rapidly from starting in a basement Tom rented off a friend’s near Borough Market and has since moved to its current home in Bermondsey’s Rail Bridge Arches. What started as one experimental brew has now evolved into 310 varieties and counting!

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What makes Brew By Numbers stand out?

Using a numbering system is what differentiates the business from their competitors; each beer is identified by a unique four digit number. The first two digits denote the style of the beer and the last two denote the recipe. In addition to this, Dave and Tom’s passion is the force behind BBNo’s mission; to only release beers that are of high standard, balanced and drinkable.

Our visit:

Tom explained to us how he and Dave have grown their dream and gave us an overview of the plant from the brewing process to packaging and storage. He also explained how the facility we offer has been useful in aiding this growth. Many small businesses find themselves short of cash flow in the window between paying suppliers and being paid by clients. Capital on Tap’s revolving credit facility aims to seamlessly fill this gap. We ended the afternoon tasting three of the different brews paired with locally sourced cheese, meats and bread. Cheers Tom!

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Find out more about Brew By Numbers by visiting their website: http://www.brewbynumbers.com/

Fix your business’ credit control today

Help small businesses thrive. That’s our mantra here at Capital on Tap, and it’s driven our offering since day one. We were recently chatting to our friends at Chaser, the cloud credit control software, about 6 options you have when your business needs an urgent cash flow boost. They ended up giving us some fantastic insight into the mistakes many small businesses make with their credit control function, inhibiting their cash flow. As cash flow is the lifeblood of a business, we asked them how small businesses can most effectively combat these mistakes and establish a world-class credit control function.

Here are the 3 things your business needs to do today to fix its credit control function and get invoices paid on time.

1. Knowledge is power. Arm yourself.

If your business sells on payment terms, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming each of your customers operates the same way. Avoid setting yourself up for excuses and late payments by asking these 4 questions every time you supply a new customer:

  • What information do you need to make payment? (Although your invoice should already include the following: payment details, accepted payment methods, payment terms, invoice date, your VAT or sales tax number, and the correct description and cost of the goods/services)
  • Does this purchase require you to approve a purchase order? (And if so, when will it be approved? Plus don’t forget to include the PO number on the invoice)
  • Who is responsible for making payment on this invoice? (And how do I contact them?)
  • When do you make your payment runs?

Armed with this information, you won’t be blindsided by your customer with excuses about not following procedure. They’ll be forced to justify the unjustifiable – why they haven’t paid you on time when you’ve done everything correctly.

2. Polite persistence pays. Chase consistently.

“Polite persistence pays” is a motto of Chaser’s, and it’s an incredibly effective philosophy to follow when conducting credit control. Chaser have seen that almost 80% of invoices can be collected on time through email chasing alone. Here’s what you need to be doing to maximise your effectiveness of email chasing.

Every email chaser you send needs the following information to be effective:

  • Your business name
  • Invoice reference number
  • Amount owed on the invoice
  • Payment due date
  • Number of overdue days (if invoice is overdue)
  • And always attach a copy invoice

In providing this info, you eliminate any chance of the customer using the excuse that you haven’t provided enough info for them to make payment.

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It’s important, however, that your email chasers always remain polite and are sent often enough to keep you front of mind in your customer, but without harassing them. To achieve this, a good rule of thumb is never chase more than once a week or less than once a fortnight. Armed with the knowledge you acquired earlier, send your chasers to the person responsible for making payment on the invoice, and consider timing these chasers with when the customer makes their payment runs for maximum chance of getting paid quickly.

While email is a very effective medium for chasing up unpaid invoices, don’t forget the phone. Especially if your customer is slow to respond or sends vague and unclear replies. A rule of thumb from the Chaser team is to make a call after every third email chaser.

And finally, once payment is received on the invoice, whether it was on time or not, always thank your customer for paying. You’ll positively enhance the relationship with your customer and help encourage timely payment in future. Just a quick one-sentence email is enough, but make sure you do it within the 24 hours after receiving payment for maximum effect.

3. Maintain your invoice communications history neatly.

While the above advice can work wonders on the efficacy of your credit control function, it can be undermined by the lack of a single source of truth. Without consolidated and well-maintained invoice communications histories, a world-class credit control function crumbles. Scrambling through sent emails, multiple inboxes, or notes scrawled on the back of an envelope are all unnecessary risks and time-wasters from the credit control of the past. If your business still manages its credit control function this way, it could easily be racking up hours wasted every week. Not to mention operating with the unnecessary risk of missing key info when it isn’t consolidated into one location.

Whenever you’re conducting credit control with an incomplete picture of the situation, you’re inviting your customers to delay payment. You also risk damaging your business’ reputation by providing conflicting info, having to backtrack on something you mistakenly said earlier, or simply creating the image of a “pushover” company.

Keep a centralised log of all chasers sent, replies received, phone calls taken, and notes made. Make sure it is easily navigated and searchable by customer, invoice, and date. This will not only save your business a world of time, it will empower you to deliver world-class credit control and get your invoices paid on time.

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Chaser is cloud credit control software to get your invoices paid on time, in less time. Their average customer saves 7.3 hours a week on credit control, and boosts their cash flow by £4,400 per £100,000 of turnover. Check out how their product can help your business today.

Customer Success Story: Partners Pets Supermarkets

We do love our pets at Capital on Tap – there is always at least one four-legged pal running around  the office and we just completed a charity shuffleboard tournament where all proceeds went to the local shelter – so we could not miss the opportunity to shine the light on a business that lives and breathes pets at any time: Partners Pets Supermarkets!

Partner Pets Supermarket, a family run business for the past 25 years, is situated in St Alban and boasts over 10,000 pets’ products available in-store and their own food brand Enve online. Their mission statement is simple yet commendable: they are run by pet lovers for pet lovers and focus on responsible pet ownership and care. Director Ross Bygrave explains, “Our staff are highly trained in pets’ nutrition and we have a unique Traffic Light system in store to guide our customers to make a better choice for their furry kids”.

All pets’ needs are catered for at Partners Pets Supermarkets, with great selections of accessories and balanced, healthy and yummy foods. Ross continues, “We stock one of the biggest ranges of RAW food in the UK and strive to improve pets’ health through stocking natural healthy diets, together with top tips from our staff”.

Ross was looking for a reliable source of business banking and quickly became disillusioned with the help offered by traditional high street banks. He remembers, “We were sick of how unhelpful banks were, and of jumping through so many hoops to obtain something as simple as an overdraft extension or a credit card – too many forms and longwinded bureaucracy”.

Ross applied for a Capital on Tap through our one-page eligibility checker and received a credit decision shortly after, with no need for any proof of address or bank details. When asked about what the hassle-free application process meant for him and his business, he explains: “Us hard working business owners have been suffering at the hands of the banks for years now, but thankfully there are still places like Capital on Tap that think outside of the box and keep things simple”.

His Capital on Tap account, paired with the Capital on Tap Business Mastercard, have proven an efficient asset to the way he runs his business. The flexibility of how the available credit can be accessed means that he has been able to use his account for most business expenses: “The Mastercard helps with cashflow in difficult weeks as retail is a tough game these days, and it has been a great help when a new supplier requires a full payment for a first order. And then there is the added benefit of being able to transfer funds directly into our bank account for the suppliers that still won’t accept cards in this day and age”.

Partners Pet Supermarkets have a lot to look forward to in the next few months. Their own dog food brand Enve has already become their biggest selling dry food range and has countless benefits for pets and their owners: “Enve is a good grain free food at a great price and comes with loyalty offer online”, Ross explains. The future of the brand is not solely about sales either, as Partners vows to “keep converting and educating people that there are far better options than the big famous brands for your beloved pets”.

To find out more about Partner Pets Supermarket: partnerspets.com
And to discover the benefits of Enve: envedogfood.com

Customer Success Story: JL UK Freelance LTD

Today, Capital on Tap sits with the director of JL UK Freelance LTD, Jason Manley. Jason talks to us about his career within the coach travel industry, what makes his company stand out and why he considers Capital on Tap an asset to his business.

What is the origin story of JL UK Freelance LTD?

I have been associated with the coach travel industry in various roles for 25 years. My first passenger paying job was taking primary school children in south Shropshire to a swimming lesson in Shrewsbury. It was in an old Bedford coach that only had about five dashboard switches and struggled to keep up with push bikes on any kind of hill. I now regularly drive executive tour coaches for my clients, that are in excess of £300,000 in value, almost but not quite drive themselves and also comment on the quality of my driving via dashboard messages during the journey.

Over the years, I have driven all sorts of passengers to numerous destinations. But the work where I find the greatest satisfaction, is taking groups of more elderly passengers who need care and looking after on holiday to UK and Ireland destinations. There is currently a shortage of drivers in the UK who do this type of work and this has given me the opportunity to work with a client base of quality coach operators to deliver a professional service to them and their passengers on a freelance basis.

What makes your business stand out?

That is an easy question to answer – I don’t just drive coaches – I create great holiday memories for people who have saved hard all year for the week they spend with me. Driving the coach is just a part of that – although I pride myself in doing it exceptionally well!

I am developing a reputation which is organically growing and is based on forward planning, research of itineraries, exceptional customer service and the ability to be a driver, tour guide, in-resort representative and hot chocolate maker – all wrapped up in one.

How did you come across Capital on Tap?

A successful business is one which not only delivers a quality product, but which also has the foundation of a well-planned and managed strategy and back office operation. Part of that is managing finances well and ensuring that your business finance products are fit for purpose and separate from personal finances.

I needed a business card option to manage cash flow and also for unexpected eventualities. A search of the market led me to Capital on Tap. All the information online was quick and easy to understand. My application was answered very quickly and the process was efficient, effective, open and quick.

I would recommend Capital on Tap without hesitation as a financial partner to any business. I do feel the support is there if I need to contact the company. There are no fees if the balance is paid in full and if you do want to take advantage of a longer credit period, all the costs are clear, fair and easy to understand.

How does your Capital on Tap account benefit your business?

One recent example was during a recent breakdown. Coach breakdowns do happen from time to time and waiting for assistance or alternative transport can be a challenging time for the driver when you have 50 people to look after.

My Capital on Tap Business Mastercard enabled me to assist the operator I was working for by instantly paying for a warm meeting room and buffet lunch for elderly passengers who were delayed whilst he focused on the mechanical support arriving. Capital on Tap really did save the day and keep 50 elderly passengers safe, warm and comfortable!

What’s next for JL UK Freelance LTD?

The core values I uphold are paying off and I need a twin to join the business as I cannot be in two places at once and I don’t like to disappoint when people are requesting the service. The search is on to find someone who will add value to my business and compliment my efforts. When I find them, they are going to need their own Capital on Tap Mastercard!

 Find out more about Jason and his business:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/jlukfreelance/about/
http://jlukfreelance.business.site

To open a Capital on Tap account for your business, check your eligibility today with our 2-minute application form: Check your eligibility

Capital on Tap introduces co-branded Mastercard program

As announced last month, national food wholesaler JJ Food Service is the latest partner to have joined Capital on Tap’s Enterprise program. The program enables eligible B2B companies to partner with Capital on Tap to offer their own Mastercard to their customers and benefit from Capital on Tap’s revolutionising credit control technology.

We sit down with Capital on Tap’s CEO David Luck, Head of Partnerships Zoe Newman and Channel Sales Director Brennig Parry to find out more about the program and its benefits.

What was behind the creation of the Enterprise program?

David Luck: What drives everyone at Capital on Tap is the idea that we have the tools and brainpower to disrupt the world of business banking in the UK. We created Capital on Tap 5 years ago to offer British SMEs flexible short-term overdrafts, but our service evolved very quickly to fit the needs and requirements of our customers.

Zoe Newman: We decided to run a second service under the Capital on Tap umbrella which offered larger companies access to the Capital on Tap technology and manpower and meant they could offer trade credit to their own customers. Capital on Tap would underwrite, provide trade credit and handle collections on behalf of the client for all internal orders – it was a popular service over the last few years with clients from several industries including drinks wholesalers, constructions companies and IT services for example.  In 2017, we decided that it was time Trade Credit be reinvented and we launched the Enterprise program.

How does the program revolutionise Trade Credit?

Brennig Parry: We surveyed our existing group of clients and their customers to really understand how the Trade Credit program offered by Capital on Tap was helping at all levels of the supply chain. It became clear to us that customers wanted the opportunity to utilise their credit limit beyond their weekly or monthly orders with our clients.

DL: Because our technology assesses every account in real time, we are able to increase customers’ credit limits based on their profile evolution, and although customers who use trade credit spend on average 20% more, we knew we could do even more at both levels. That’s when we decided to incorporate elements of our most popular product so far, the Capital on Tap Business Mastercard, and elements of Trade Credit resulting in the Enterprise program.

ZN: A partner offers their customers the opportunity to sign up for a credit account, Capital on Tap assesses the application and issues a credit limit and a card. They can then utilise their credit with the partner but also at millions of retailers worldwide where the Mastercard logo is displayed, online or over the phone and at ATMs. Capital on Tap offers credit limits up to £25,000 and all card purchases are interest-free for up to 37 days when the account is paid in full each month.

BP: In return, we offer the partner valuable spending data to better understand their customer needs in addition to a competitive share of interchange revenue on all their customers’ card transactions, whilst reducing all costs related to credit control and collection services.

Who is the program designed for?

ZN: The program is mainly designed for medium enterprises with over 500 customers looking into or already providing Trade Credit to their customers and wishing to reduce their costs, and most importantly get rid of any bad debt. If the customer is out of credit or behind on their repayments, any new transactions would be declined and the partner is not at risk.

Are there different options for the program?

BP: We wanted to create a product that could be launched as quickly as possible if required, whilst also being able to offer a tailored solution to each partner. We offer a couple of options based on a partner’s needs and customer base: the first one is a co-branded Mastercard, which bears a unique card design created by the partner’s team (or Capital on Tap if required). This program takes on average about 12 weeks to launch, but marketing efforts and pre-registration can be launched as soon as the card manufacturing has begun. Partners who wish to launch sooner can elect to offer a Capital on Tap Business Mastercard to their customers. The card has the same benefits as a branded Mastercard and the facility can be up and running within as little as 3 weeks.

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What are the advantages of creating a co-branded Mastercard?

ZN: A co-branded MasterCard will greatly increase the visibility of a brand as your company name and logo will be viewed multiple times a day by all cardholders and people around them. They’re like millions of tiny adverts in your customers’ wallets! This, in turn, increases customer loyalty as they are more likely to think of your brand before any other competitors. Finally, new customers can be incentivised with the prospect of an exclusive credit account when they sign up at no extra cost to your business, making the partnership a risk and cost-free source of revenue and a marketing channel all in one.

How easy is it to integrate the Enterprise program with a Partner’s current system?

DL: This is another great benefit to our Enterprise program: there is no integration needed with your current systems as long as you already accept card payments. The Mastercard acts like any other payment card on the market and can be used in-store, online and over the phone. Capital on Tap offers a powerful reporting platform accessible to you and your employees 24/7 for real-time analytics and offers training and valuable support to your credit and customer service teams if required.

 

If you would like to partner with Capital on Tap or to find out more about the Enterprise Program, please call 0208 962 7450 today, or fill in our quick registration form here: https://www.capitalontap.com/en/enterprise

 

 

Customer success story: Wedding Rings Direct

When it comes to wedding rings, Anthony and the entire team at Wedding Rings Direct have developed an impressive expertise to ensure no customer is left unsatisfied. Today, we take a look at their story to success, and how their Capital on Tap account has helped ensuring the company remains a leader in its field.

After many years selling jewellery in the Brighton Lanes, Anthony decided to open his own wedding ring business with a clear and concise business plan in mind: he wanted to offer customers the widest possible selection of wedding and engagement rings at the lowest possible price. All rings are produced within their own workshop and sold exclusively on the Wedding Rings Direct website or from within the company’s Brighton based show-room. Anthony explains, “We stock over 5,000 wedding rings in 56 different finger sizes, 13 different widths, and in 18 different metals.” It is safe to assume anyone would be able to find the ring of their dreams from this vast selection, especially with several customisation choices such as “designs, colours, patterns, including diamond-set or just plain polished.”

Just like the rings they sell, everything about Wedding Rings Direct has a feeling of uniqueness to it. The business stands out due to their pricing, huge selection and 5-star rated approach to customer service. The level of service offered by Anthony and his team is truly astonishing: they understand the importance of getting each and every ring just right and offer their expertise at every step of the way to make sure every customer is satisfied. The Wedding Rings Direct Buying Guide offers descriptions of styles, and metals, but also provides helpful explanations of sizes, ring profiles, diamonds and engravings.

The customer support far from ends there, with the provision of a sample service designed to help customers make the right choice. Shoppers can simply order a few samples and try them on at home for a week – simple and efficient, this service means that the ring can be tried on at different times of the day to cater for finger size changes based on climates and day times!

Back in 2013, Anthony’s high street bank had lost some of its efficiency in supporting his business finance requirements. He explains, “Our bank was going through the last financial crisis and was not helpful in providing any loans or overdrafts”. Enters Capital on Tap, which back then specialised in short-term business overdrafts. Customers could simply login online, select the desired amount to borrow for a certain amount of weeks and their repayments were spread out each week for the chosen duration.

The Capital on Tap offer has evolved over the years, and Wedding Rings Direct adopted each change with open arms, from monthly repayments to obtaining the Capital on Tap Mastercard: “Capital on Tap is 100% reliable and has constantly improved its fintech offering, as a result of which we always know what finance we can have at any time just by logging into our account.”

When evaluating the funding options for Wedding Rings Direct, Anthony needed a solution that would be economically viable, but also fast – funds needed to be available when required, and with such a dedication to efficiency and customer service, speed can make all the difference. Again, Capital on Tap managed to meet the business’ expectations: “The whole transaction takes about 30 seconds between the drawdown request and the text to advise the money is on its way – there is rarely any need to speak to anybody about our account, so our time is not wasted in a call waiting queue!”

The next big project for Wedding Rings Direct is to expand their overseas market through 5 bespoke overseas websites. UK customers can also look forward to a brand new range of personalised gifts, which will then be launched internationally a little later on!

If you cannot wait to find out more about Wedding Rings Direct, or would like to get in touch with them, here are some useful links to their websites and social media pages:

 

https://www.facebook.com/WeddingRingsDirect

https://www.weddingrings-direct.com/blog

https://twitter.com/_Wedding_Rings_

https://www.weddingrings-direct.com/

https://www.kodega.com/

https://www.kodega.de/

If like Anthony you are looking to join the community of business owners using their Capital on Tap account to grow their business, check your eligibility today! There are no monthly or yearly fees, and applying has no effect on your credit score.

Apply Now

Customer Success Story: Past Impressions Crystal and Fossil Shop

Many of us daydream of making a living out of a beloved past-time, longing for the day we can truly extract riches out of what fills our life with passion and happiness. Lee took his favourite hobby – his fossils and minerals collection – and turned it into a profitable business back in 1999: Past Impressions Crystal and Fossil Shop.

Lee came up with his very own business model after amassing various minerals and fossils for his impressive private collection whilst working in a job that did not bring him as much joy as his hobby. He explains, “I worked in a factory around that time, but I wasn’t really that happy, and I saw the opportunity to take something that I enjoyed and make a living out of it!”

His first crystal and fossil shop opened in Great Yarmouth and traded successfully for a decade, so much so that by 2009 Lee made the decision to move his business online to give customers all over the globe access to his stock!

Customers can now source their fossils and crystals in Lee’s high street shop in his hometown of Beccles in Suffolk, on his 2 websites, but also on eBay and Amazon! “The widespread presence of the business is what makes it fairly unique, as I haven’t limited myself to just one platform and try to do great things on all of them.”

Online orders benefit from a free delivery option for all UK buyers, and goods are delivered within 3 business days all over the country and within up to 21 days for international customers.

To ensure a continually strong presence across all of his selling platforms, Lee decided to research business credit providers on Google: “My suppliers give me great credit terms, however the nature of my business requires me to carry a lot of stock as the product is so unique.” It was while searching for a potential new business finance partner that he discovered Capital on Tap, and more particularly the feedback received by previous Capital on Tap customers on Trustpilot: “I sometimes think that  people who go through the trouble of leaving online reviews on sites such as Trustpilot are often angry or disappointed and eager to lash out if they have received poor service, but Capital on Tap have a lot of positive reviews, and people seem to enjoy using the product so I thought they must be doing something right.”

Lee decided to check his eligibility online and received a credit decision within a couple of minutes. “It was so easy to apply and get the account set up”, he recalls. Once the account was up and running, Capital on Tap kept meeting his expectations: “It’s simple to use, there when you need it and the dashboard is easy to navigate – Capital on Tap enabled the business to carry more stock.”

What does the future hold for Past Impressions Crystal and Fossil Shop? Lee plans an expansion of his Amazon selling platform without sacrificing any of the hard work he has already put in place in all other marketplaces so that even more customers can have access to great and authentic products. If you would like to find out more about the astonishing line of fossils and minerals on offer, visit www.pastimpressionsfossils.co.uk and www.pastimpressionscrystals.co.uk.

If like Lee you are looking to join the growing community of business owners using their Capital on Tap account to grow their business, check your eligibility today! There are no monthly or yearly fees, and applying has no effect on your credit score.

Apply Now

 

Tips to help you get paid on time

Cashflow management is a top priority for most business owners, and certain trades make the whole affair a lot easier for some, the lucky few who need not worry about delayed payments for their services or products are paid for immediately. But if your business operates on a deferred payments scheme (as most do), finance managing becomes slightly more complicated while you patiently wait for your customers to pay their overdue invoices. Here are a few tips to ensure you get paid on time as much as possible.

Select your credit terms carefully

When it comes to credit terms, there is, unfortunately, no one size fits all design that will work for all of your customers. If you deem it easier to offer the same credit terms duration to your entire customer base, it is primordial to ensure that these terms are clearly explained from the very start so that payers can start to organise their payment runs. If you can afford to modify the duration of terms based on the profile of each customer, then be sure to discuss them carefully with the buyer so that you can come up to an agreement that works both ways – longer terms may work for them but place your business in a tight financial situation while you wait for the payment to be due. Ensure the terms are realistic both for you and the customer and that they will be able to pay you on time based on your efforts to provide them with the required terms.

Be timely yourself

The most cited reason for a delayed payment is organisation: The invoice was not received, it was lost, it came in too late to be cleared for payment, etc. These things do happen, more often than not, but there are ways to get around the issue of bad organisation. Invoice your customers on day 1 so that you know when to expect the payment and can plan adequately. Emailing invoices will ensure that they do not get lost or delayed in the mail, and there are various tools at your disposition to ensure they have been received and read. They will also prove easier to reissue than paper copies and can prevent further delays.

Issue Reminders

Remind your customers of an upcoming due date with a friendly email, making sure it is courteous and does not give them the impression of being chased for a payment that is not yet technically due. A reminder the day before the due date will ensure that your invoice is at the forefront of their mind and could make the difference between a payment on time and an account in arrears. Same thing goes with an overdue payment, react quickly and remind the customer that their payment was not received on time – the longer you wait to let them know the later their payment (and most likely all future payments) will be as they will not feel the sense of urgency that you might be experiencing. You may soon realise that some companies simply will not pay until they are being chased for the payment, so get in there as early as possible to ensure your business is not impacted by late payers too often.

Access extra cashflow

Relying on customers’ payments to ensure things run smoothly for your business can be stressful, and if there is one thing you probably need less of it is stress. At Capital on Tap we made it our mission to help businesses like yours have access to extra cashflow when they most need it so that late customer payments do not jeopardise their entire business. With a Capital on Tap account, you can transfer funds directly into your business account to fill in the gaps while you chase your customers for late payments. Even better, with the Capital on Tap Business Card,  there is no interest on card purchases for up to 37 days when you pay your balance off in full each month. This means that you can use your card to purchase your stock or equipment and pay it off once your customers have paid you back at no extra cost!

Checking your eligibility does not affect your credit score. Apply now and grow your business today! Check your eligibility today