The Best Bridging Finance for SMEs

The Best Bridging Finance for SMEs

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In the times of Covid-19, many businesses have found themselves strapped for cash to meet their bills. This is why bridging finance is a great option for small to medium-sized businesses looking to secure funds fast and get back to work.

Bridging finance, or a bridge loan, is a short-term loan that is typically taken out for a period of 2 weeks up to 12 months. This type of funding allows businesses more flexibility to take advantage of new opportunities when business is slow.

This is ideal for when operational costs such as salaries, running costs, and other organisational costs need to be met to produce a product or a service.

 

Related: What is Bridging finance in South Africa?

 

The Benefits of Bridging Finance

For many businesses, customers failing to pay on time are a common problem. This puts a business under severe financial strain and affects the ability to buy new inventory, or pay employees’ salaries, amongst a number of other things. This funding allows your business to grow effectively without worrying about delayed cash inflows.

Here are some practical benefits of bridging finance:

  1. Funds are made available to you much faster than traditional lenders such as banks
  2. Flexible payment options
  3. Allows your business to make a profit through sales and services
  4. Aids business growth without having to put expansion plans that require significant investment on hold

 

Lulalend and Bridging Finance

We understand that different businesses have different needs, which means their financing requirements will differ too.

Our bridging finance offer is unsecured (no collateral required), more affordable, and easily accessible. We also allow you to settle early without having to worry about penalty fees. With Lulalend’s quick and easy online application, you can access business funding of up to R1,5 million within 24 hours. Our application is completely paperless, requires no collateral, and you’ll have an answer in hours.

 

Related: What is a business credit facility?

 

Other financial organisations may offer alternative forms of funding such as; cash advances, working capital, and more. It is important to choose the right option for your particular business needs. Speaking to a Funding Specialist is the best way to have all your questions and concerns answered before you take out a loan.

Business funding for specific industries is becoming increasingly popular. For example, equipment funding for manufacturing and construction businesses exists across a number of banks, alternative lenders, and other funders. An industry-specific loan means the agreement terms are tailored specifically to your business operations and make the process more seamless.

If you’re looking for funding for your business, read more about Lulalend’s business funding options here.

Women Powering SA: Tshego Ratshidi, Bleu Rose Floral Designs

Women Powering SA: Tshego Ratshidi, Bleu Rose Floral Designs

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Tshego Ratshidi

Owner of Bleu Rose Floral Designs

The Business

Bleu Rose Floral Designs help people express their emotions through flowers and other gifts.
We are a floral services business, our services include everyday flower arranging (these are for I miss you, I’m thinking of you, Condolences, I love you, Can’t wait to have you back in the office, etc.) and delivery, event flowers, we sell indoor plants for your home or office, and more recently, home office too.  We sell fruit baskets and snack boxes as well.
We operate largely in the greater Johannesburg North region but we also cover other areas of Johannesburg when the need arises.  We do also offer services in Cape Town in the Observatory, Pinelands, Sea Point, and surrounding areas.

 

Related: Business Funding: An overview of how SMEs can access funding in SA

 

Tshego’s story

WHEN AND WHY DID YOU SEEK OUT LULALEND’S SMALL BUSINESS LOAN?

We needed to grow our business to be able to reach more people, to fully integrate online and to incorporate a CRM system to allow us to serve our customers better.
We also needed to get a vehicle dedicated to deliveries, as well as transform our workspace to be easier to work from and serve those that would like to collect.
We are also currently working on adding a new line of products and need funding for the project. Customers keep asking for more products, and I believe these will sell, but did not have the appropriate funds to execute.

 

 

HOW HAS COVID-19 AFFECTED YOUR BUSINESS?
We have seen a drop in our orders because we were not able to provide our services online. We have seen a drop in expenditure from our corporate customers, and definitely no reception flowers.
I have had to take on a lot of the work myself as I couldn’t afford to keep the staff on anymore. Our administrator also had to stop coming to work as she traveled with public transport, and as she is expecting, it was a high risk – this means I had to let her go until she gives birth later this year.
Our approach to delivery recording has also had to change as we no longer accept signatures – it would be great to use a digital tool as proof of delivery. For now we just take down the recipient’s name. The cost of running the business has increased as flower prices are so high now.

 

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS IN YOUR BUSINESS?
Being able to secure some nice contracts through the work that we do. Customers saw our work and started buying more frequently. We are proud to have some big corporate clients in our stable. One of these corporates placed our first big year-end gift order last year (over 800 gifts) which we delivered in approximately 2 weeks with a skeleton team. This has attracted more of their teams to use our services.

 

Related: Women Powering SA: Ann Clarke, options in training

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO KEEP ON GROWING YOUR BUSINESS?
The interactions I have with customers after I serve them. It reminds me of why I chose this business.  Flowers and plants have healing powers for mental wellness – hence ‘We express emotions through flowers’. We also teach people how to add plants into their spaces and how they can positively improve their mental health. I am constantly motivated by the dreams that still need to be reached, the ladies I bring into the team, and their commitment to their own dreams and thus helping me realize my dream.

 

Contact Tshego Ratshidi and the Bleu Rose Floral Designs team at info@bleuroseflowers.co.za

 

All you need to know about a revolving loan

All you need to know about a revolving loan

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you’ve ever wondered about how you can keep your finances above board without being stuck with a fat bill of fees, perhaps you should consider a Lulalend credit facility as a revolving loan.

Lulalend’s secure and paperless online application process takes only minutes. You can access up to R1,5 million in unsecured, unrestricted business funding. And because your business is important to us, your account is managed by a dedicated funding specialist.

 

WHAT IS A CREDIT FACILITY?

Simply put, it is instant access to a line of revolving credit, without needing to reapply. It is a flexible financing solution that allows you to withdraw, repay, and withdraw again.

For a small business, easy access to working capital can mean the difference between a good trading month and a bad one. Lulalend’s business credit facility gives you the peace of mind of knowing you can immediately access business funding when you need it most.

Related: What is business finance and it’s importance?

HOW DOES A LULALEND CREDIT FACILITY WORK?

You access your business line of credit when you need it, rather than reapplying for new business finance each time. No more unnecessary paperwork when you need extra funding; simply log in to your Lulalend profile and access funds at the click of a mouse when you have a revolving loan. Here’s why more business owners are using Lulalend’s credit facility to grow:

  • You only pay for what you use.
  • There are no monthly account fees.
  • Settle whenever you want, pay no early repayment penalties.

And because the facility works like revolving credit, the capital amount becomes available again after every repayment. As your business grows, we also increase the amount of credit available in your revolving loan. 

To qualify, you must have been in business for at least one year and make a minimum annual revenue of R500 000. 

 Related: What is a business credit facility?

WHAT DOES IT COST?

We’ve simplified the lending process with our 6 and 12 Month plans. Every month you pay back 16th or 112th (depending on which plan you choose) of the total advanced amount plus the monthly cost. Monthly costs are 2% – 6% of your advanced amount for the first 2 or 4 months (plan dependent) and 2% for each of the remaining months. Plus, if you can pay early, you’ll save and there are no early payment penalty fees.

HOW TO APPLY FOR A CREDIT FACILITY?

The application is easy and seamless without our online portal in 3 simple steps:

  1. Complete an online application in only minutes
  2. Get approved within hours
  3. Receive funds within 24 hours

Submit your application here.

To ensure a quick and easy application process we only require basic information about your business. You’ll only need to provide us with the following:

  • Basic personal information
  • Basic business information 
  • Most recent 3 months bank statement or transactional information

Related: Business Loan Application: Getting a Business Loan in South Africa

Different lenders have different application processes. Banks typically require more paperwork and take longer than alternative lenders such as Lulalend. Lulalend’s online application process takes only minutes and is paperless. Lenders will consider your business performance and ability to repay the credit when they assess your application.

Women Powering SA: Monique Pasqualle, HR Cartel

Women Powering SA: Monique Pasqualle, HR Cartel

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Monique Pasqualle

Director of HR Cartel

The Business

HR Cartel is a 100% black-owned female business, established to provide specialist HR, management and project-based consulting services to entrepreneurs, start-ups, small to medium enterprises, NGO’s, NPO’s and the educational sector. Their clients fall within the above sectors, as well as within the government, corporate, automotive, retail, and restaurant industries. They encompass the entire HR function starting at sourcing suitable skilled candidates, ensuring healthy performance as well as employee engagement and growth in line with your business goals and without breaking your pocket. We also offer Project Management, Management Consulting, and Business Services Solutions. This ensures a 360-degree strategic overview for all businesses, where we ensure our clients’ needs are met from A to Z.

Related: Small Business Marketing Strategies: Google vs Facebook

Monique’s story

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS?

Our biggest success was starting our Academy (Uluntu Academy) at the beginning of 2020. Uluntu Academy has 2 divisions, one is for new entrepreneurs and upcoming businesses teaching valuable business acumens, such as project skills, finance, marketing, and operational skills and the other academy is aimed at empowering the youth and young adults from underprivileged areas to encourage, empower, create, start and act on their ideas to create functional businesses that will eliminate youth unemployment and create sustainable futures and income for the economy.

HR Cartel has recently been featured in the Brand Alchemy RSA Women Support Women blog series as well as CITI – Cape Innovation Technology Initiative in partnership with the City of Cape Town article series for the Top Tech Tools Women in Business. They were also nominated for the Santam Women of The Future Award, as well as nominated for the Standard Bank Top Women Awards 2020 for Top Women Entrepreneur category.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST HURDLE?

The current pandemic has hit many sectors hard. Our biggest hurdle to date was to move our business functionalities over to virtual platforms for sustainability and to teach our clients and learners how best to thrive within the current situation they are faced with. It’s been a challenging 4 months for all parties involved as 80% of our business entails client contact and onsite assistance. It has also been especially trying over the last few years to run a business as a young black female in South Africa. Many big corporates do not feel you have what it takes to do the basic, despite years of education and corporate skills attained.

Related: COVID-19 SME Support: Business Brightspot Listing

ADVICE FOR WOMEN IN BUSINESS?

My advice to women regardless of colour is to keep going. Know your worth! As women in business, it’s easy to get steamrolled when it comes to the gender pay gap, ideas, or leadership. But confidence comes from within! Knowing your worth starts with positive self-talk and professional development. Give yourself the tools and training you need to be the best in your field, and never ever give up. Be relentless to change and take negativity as useful tools to help you grow. Once you have the cold hard skills and attitude to match, you’ll be able to carry yourself more confidently, pitch your business to others, and do better work for your clients.

Get in touch with them to enrich yourself or your team’s skills and take your business to the next level.

Contact Monique Pasqualle and the HR Cartel team at info@hrcartel.co.za

COVID-19 SME Support: Business Brightspot – Get Access Home Decor

COVID-19 SME Support: Business Brightspot – Get Access Home Decor

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In this edition of the Business Brightspot blog, we’re covering an unconventional South African SME that has been affected by Covid-19 but has continued to push through to keep their doors open and service their clients.

Poppy Kabini, Get Access Home Decor

About your business

At Get Access, we believe that your space should reflect your own personal style. Each corner of your life should be eye-catching and unique. Get Access is a home decor store, dedicated to helping our customers discover their own design personality.

With an extensive selection of home goods and decor along with superior customer service, Get Access helps you find exactly what you need.

How has your business changed during COVID-19?

Sales have dropped drastically but with the consumer market slowly opening up once again, we are seeing a slight increase in some of our more essential products such as baby clothing and furniture. 

What motivates you as a businesswoman?

I’ve always loved being a business person and using my creativity to solve problems. I started my business in tertiary, but because I didn’t have any formal training in business, marketing, and finances; the business failed. That did not stop me, I began conducting gatherings with women in business, where we could all share our experiences and give each other advice on how to improve ourselves as businesswomen. Today I run a home decor manufacturing business which is doing fairly well. Despite all the challenges I have come across, I still persisted; I took it upon myself to research, learn, and train on how to be a good and disciplined businesswoman. The one mistake small business owners make is to not equip themselves with proper tools; having a business idea and running the actual business, are two different things.

Contact details:

Get Access Home Decor

 

Want to list your business? Submit your story here to be featured on our Business Brightspot campaign.

The Business Brightspot blog is part of our Open for Business campaign. This is an initiative to give South African SMEs the tools and information they need to re-open their businesses during COVID-19.

For on the campaign, read this blog post.