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Finance Q&A: Alison Powell

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Alison Powell is a senior loan manager at GC Business Finance, a not-for-profit lender specialising in simple, hassle-free loans to help businesses start, grow and thrive. Alison shares some insights into how to secure funding and what mistakes to avoid.

What gets you excited about helping businesses secure funding?

The growth of the company could be life changing for the business owners and I am proud to be a part of their journey. Seeing a business grow and thrive. I love to see their excitement for their future plans, watch an idea become a reality and be able to support them in their goal.

When looking for funding, where should a business start?

A detailed business plan, written with the lender in mind who might not be expert in their industry, and a detailed cashflow forecast. Ask yourself – ‘do the plans make sense and is the loan going to be affordable?’?

What are your top tips to get a business investment ready?

Utilise the support services available from organisations such as Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. Attend one of the many funding events held regularly to provide information around the options available. Speak to your accountant regarding your cashflow forecast. Speak to the lender, that way you can be prepared with the information and detail they require.

What are the common pitfalls businesses make when seeking funding?

Lack of, or omitting, detail. The more information the lender has upfront the more accurate the conversations will be. Also, try not to be too technical from the start. I may be experienced in business lending, but I don’t know the complete ins and outs of every business sector. The easier it is to understand your business and how it works, the more comprehensive the lending application will be.

What are funders looking for in a leader and management team?

A passionate leader with a knowledgeable and competent management team. Realistic goals and a strong commitment to achieving them. We like to see leaders who have invested in their own company, with enough time and effort and financially.

Why should investors and funders be looking to Lancashire businesses?

Lancashire is a county full of hard-working individuals surrounded by friendly, encouraging and knowledgeable support services. The home of some of the best universities in England, Lancashire is pouring with new talent and innovation. Alongside many established businesses who can, with the right support and funding, truly reach their full potential.

For further information, visit https://businessfinance.growthco.uk  

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