Tag: Asset-Based Finance (page 1 of 13)

What are the benefits of Agricultural Finance?

What are the benefits of agricultural finance?

As a farmer, it can be difficult  to purchase the equipment and machinery you need. The costs can be huge and can eat into capital that is much needed for other necessities. You may not be aware, but there is a solution to this in the form of agricultural finance. Outlined below is the importance of agricultural finance.

Farmers need to purchase new inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation water and more. Agricultural finance can help to make these purchases easier for farmers. If the seed of a high yielding crop is readily available for farmers, then the productivity of the farm is improved.

Smaller farms may not have the need for agricultural finance for items such as seeds or pesticides but larger farms may need help with bulk purchases of these items. Seeds, fertilizers and irrigation water can prove to be a highly expensive continuing need which agricultural finance can help to meet.

You can cover land costs

If you are looking to buy new farmland as a budding farmer or simply increase the amount of land you already have, then agricultural finance can help cover the land costs you may incur. The land you need will depend on the type of farming you are planning on doing.

In order to apply for finance for land, you will need to calculate how much land you need and what kind of land you are looking for. Once you have your loan approved, you will be able to move forward with your endeavour. Buying land with your own money may not be feasible as a start-up farm, which is why finance is a good option.

You are better equipped for a crisis

Farming can be a difficult business. You are never able to predict what will happen to your crops or livestock, and are at the mercy of customers and competitors. Some farming is seasonal, which means you may only earn money during certain times of the year.

An agricultural loan can be used to protect yourself during the various ups and downs of your business. You can also use it for operational costs as well as costs that occur from damages. It is better to be prepared for every eventuality, which is why having agricultural finance is important to all working farms.

What is asset refinancing?

What Is Asset Refinancing?

Asset refinancing is an alternative finance arrangement that offers a simple and straightforward way to raise cash against an asset that your company already owns. Depending on the amount of funds required, you can refinance any single or multiple assets. You don’t even have to own the asset outright; refinancing arrangements can be offered on the equity tied up in company property. Refinancing a number of assets is also referred to as debt consolidation.

Richmond Asset Finance offer a number of different asset financing solutions for your business. Asset Finance is a very useful financing option because of the many benefits to your business. A business in any sector can have many financial assets and there are a number of ways to attain finance for these. In recent times this makes it the third most popular source of finance for UK Businesses.

What Are The Benefits Of Asset Refinancing?

Asset refinancing offers a simple, cost-effective and quick way to secure additional finance for ongoing business activities. You can continue to use the asset offered as security against the loan, whilst using the released funds to invest in new assets, such as a larger fleet of vehicles or new company premises. Most asset refinancing arrangements offer structured payment plans to help business owners budget effectively. Interest rates and charges are agreed upfront so you won’t incur any surprises during the lifetime of the loan. Once the loan amount has been agreed, along with associated rates and charges, you will be required to pay fixed instalments on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis.

ASSET FINANCE IS ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING FORMS OF FINANCE TODAY – Call us for more information.

Bridging Finance during the Covid19 Pandemic

How has the Coronavirus affected bridging finance?

Some bridging lenders have stopped lending

A number of bridging lenders have stopped providing bridging loans during the current Coronavirus pandemic. Many lenders have announced that they are temporarily stopping all new lending or restricting the size and types of loan that they offer.

Some current lending applications have been cancelled

Some lenders have cancelled on-going applications and have even pulled current offers where contracts have not been exchanged.  In some cases lenders are requiring customers to start the application process again from scratch.

Those still lending have reduced loan to values and loan sizes

Those lenders who are still offering bridging finance are being very cautious and have taken actions such as reducing their maximum loan sizes.  Maximum gross loan to values (LTVs) are down from 80% to around 60 to 65%.

The Economic Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Shoppers across the country British shoppers have been greeted by empty shelves where toilet paper or canned food are usually stocked due to panic and bulking buying.

Shops are now opening earlier to allow elderly to do their shopping and doing their best keep up with the booming demand for certain products like cleaning supplies or toilet paper, but experts say all consumers have a role in making sure basic goods are available for everyone who needs them.

Most economists expect the long term hit to businesses and consumer spending because of COVID-19 will have long-term ramifications for the greater economy and potentially lead to a recession.

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak has unveiled a package of financial measures to shore up the economy against the coronavirus impact.

It includes £330bn in loans, £20bn in other aid, a business rates holiday, and grants for retailers and pubs. Help for airlines is also being considered.

Manage Seasonal Fluctuations

In business, seasonal fluctuations refer to the peaks and troughs in demand that correspond with different times of year. Most SMEs will experience this at some point, but certain industries can be subject to greater variations due to the nature of their trade. This is especially important during this time with the coronavirus pandemic effecting most businesses nationwide.

The upside is that these shifts are usually predictable, which allows companies to plan ahead and put measures in place to ensure they can fulfil customer requirements however as people and businesses are now learning, it’s not always that easy. It is prudent to review what your business can do to manage cyclical demand effectively.

Here are a few things you can do to control changes in the economic market.

Manage cash flow

During peak seasons, try to reserve cash for the quieter months so you have sufficient funds available all year round or in times of need. Aim to plan at least six months ahead by using historic sales data to forecast levels of supply and demand, although, cases like this are hard to predict. This will help you to better recognise trends in consumer behaviour and account for this in your sales projections.

Control inventory

Regularly monitoring levels of stock can reduce wastage and therefore save costs. Coincide orders with peak periods, so your company does not have surplus stock when business is slow.  

Identify workforce needs

Establish how many employees you need in any given shift, month or season to maximise efficiency and organise staff contracts to reflect business levels. Employing temporary staff can provide additional support during busier periods and this strategy can also keep costs down during quieter months. This may apply to supermarkets and the NHS during this period when they need as much support as possible.

Review payment terms

Long payment terms and overdue client invoices can put a strain on your cash flow. Requesting shorter credit periods may prompt customers to pay for goods and services quicker, giving you adequate working capital to continue trading.

Should I buy a used mini excavator?

If you’re thinking about investing in a mini excavator, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to buy new or used.

Mini excavators have quickly become a must-have piece of machinery in the construction industry.

They offer the same level of performance as their larger counterparts, but on a smaller scale and with added benefits.

The biggest advantage of the mini excavator is its compact size, which allows for excellent manoeuvrability, even in tight spaces. Generally, they are also more affordable, fuel efficient, and easier to operate than wheeled, tracked or truck-mounted excavators.

New or used?

When buying a mini excavator, you may be able to save a significant amount off the initial price by buying used. This will also help you to avoid the cost of the vehicle’s initial depreciation, which can be as much as 20 to 40% in the first 12 months.

If you do decide that buying used is the right route for your business, then it’s important to do your research and know exactly what to look for when shopping for a used mini excavator to ensure that you’re getting a good deal.

What to look for in a used mini excavator

Before investing in a used mini excavator you’ll want to ensure that the machine has been well cared for, maintained, and still has plenty of life left in it.

Bear in mind that mini excavators generally have a maximum of about 10,000 hours of usage in them, and that’s only if they’ve been well maintained and not run into the ground.

Most experts will advise you to only buy a used mini excavator with fewer than 2,000 hours on the clock to ensure that you get your money’s worth from it.

A thorough inspection should be carried out on the mini excavator to check for signs of leaks, rust, excessive wear, dents, and repair welds, all of which could signal that there are problems with the vehicle.

If you require help or advice with financing a mini excavator for your business, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

How to protect your tractor from theft

Your tractor is one of your farm’s most valuable and useful pieces of machinery, so it’s important to protect it from thieves.

Last year, rural crime in Britain hit a seven-year high, with theft of farm vehicles and livestock costing the UK £50m according to the insurance company NFU Mutual.

The report found that the sharp rise in rural crime was mainly caused by a huge increase in theft of tractors, quad bikes and farm vehicles, which rose by 26% between 2018 and 2019.

Tractors and other farm vehicles are often targeted by thieves because they have been left unsecured in an isolated and remote location, making them easy targets.

A stolen tractor is not only very expensive to replace, it will also cost your farm business in downtime as well as causing you a headache.

Don’t leave your tractor or other valuable farm vehicles unsecured, use the following tips to protect them from criminals.

Always store your tractor indoors

Where possible, always store your tractor in a locked building. Not only will this make it harder for thieves to access it, it will also help to maintain its condition and extend its lifespan.

Secure your boundaries

Don’t leave your perimeter open to thieves, install a high fence to make access more difficult. If your property is too large to install a boundary around the whole thing, then ensure that the area or building that your tractor is stored in is secured by a fence.

Use a wheel clamp

Always fit a wheel lock on your tractor when it is not in use to prevent thieves from driving it away.

Fit an alarm and tracking device

Fitting your tractor with a motion-detector alarm is an effective way of deterring criminals and preventing theft.

Security mark your vehicles

Use a service like DataTag to get a unique security ID to mark your tractor with, making it easy to identify if it is ever stolen.

If you require help or advice with financing a new tractor, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance. We provide a range of flexible agricultural finance services to help you to grow your business. To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

Ideas for supplementing your farm income during the festive season

Cash-in on Christmas by diversifying your farm business during the festive season.

According to NatWest, two thirds of farms have now diversified their business to generate alternative revenue streams throughout the year and boost their income.

Many farms that have successfully diversified report that their additional ventures have become a vital part of their business.

Whilst the winter months are typically much quieter for agricultural businesses, with a little creativity they can offer excellent opportunities for exploring new business ideas.

Here are a few of our favourite ideas for diversifying your farm business during the festive period.

Holiday letting

Many families and friends book holidays and weekends away to meet up and celebrate together over the Christmas holidays. Rather than letting unused land or farm buildings stand empty and unused during the winter months, why not convert them into holiday lettings. This can be particularly lucrative if your farm is in a scenic location.

Grow Christmas trees

Nothing beats the smell of a real pine Christmas tree, and according to the British Christmas Tree Growers Association over 7 million trees are sold in the UK each year. Choose a type of fir tree that will thrive in your farm’s land and soil type and start growing fir trees to sell locally each Christmas.

Run Christmas events

If you’ve got the land and buildings, why not run a series of festive events for the public in the lead up to Christmas? Popular activities and events could include turning a kids’ petting zoo into Santa’s grotto, running kid’s Christmas craft activities or adult wreath making workshops.

Turkeys and geese

Rearing free-range turkeys and geese can provide an additional source of income around Christmas time when demand for high quality meats for Christmas dinner soars.

To find out if you can apply for rural finance to help with your diversification project, get in touch with our team here at Richmond Asset Finance to discuss your plan in more detail.

How to prepare your commercial fleet for winter

Prepare your fleet of commercial vehicles for the colder weather to keep them running efficiently through the winter months.

Treacherous wet, icy and windy weather can pose significant problems for drivers and fleet managers during the winter.

The key to keeping your fleet operating smoothly during this time is good preparation.

Service

Putting your fleet through a thorough inspection or service prior to the cold weather kicking in can help to pick up any problems or damage to the vehicles. Making sure your fleet is in tip-top condition and are all topped up with engine oil and wiper fluid can help to prevent accidents and costly down-time once the bad weather hits.

Inspect tyres

When inspecting your vehicles, be sure to pay careful attention to the condition of the tyres which need to be in excellent condition to manage wet and icy roads. Look out for signs of damage or excessive wear and make sure they are pumped up with enough air.

Winter tyres

Many fleet managers use winter tyres if their fleet are likely to be visiting remote areas frequently. Winter tyres have better grip and can help to reduce the risk of accidents and breakdowns in ice and snow.

Educate drivers

One of the best ways to keep your fleet safe during the winter is to educate your drivers in how to drive in poor weather conditions. Refreshing their knowledge of safe stopping distances and how to adjust their driving for snow and ice can help to minimise breakdowns and accidents.

Emergency packs

Always make sure that your fleet are kitted out with winter survival packs for when they’re out on the road. At minimum, all emergency kits should contain a blanket, de-icer, scraper, torch, high visibility jacket, and extra screen wash.

If you have concerns about the condition or efficiency of any vehicles in your fleet, then it can be a good idea to update them before the winter season. 

If you require financial help or advice with updating your commercial fleet, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance by giving us a call on 0113 288 3277. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset financeservices.

To plough or not to plough?

Humans have been ploughing the earth to grow food since the beginning of time, so why are some farmers now choosing to turn their back on this traditional technique? 

Some farmers are now embracing new ways of working as they believe ploughing to be bad for the environment. 

Ploughing and the environment

It is thought that dragging a plough through the earth several times a year disturbs the soil and the living organisms within it, which then has a negative effect on soil quality.

What’s the alternative to ploughing?

“No till” farming is a method of farming which eliminates ploughing and minimises soil disturbance. Instead, farmers ensure that soil is never left bare. As soon as one crop is removed, “cover crops” are planted to protect the soil and keep pumping nutrients into it.

This method also prevents earthworms and other important organisms from being disturbed, so that their numbers can grow, resulting in more nutrient-rich soil with improved structure and drainage.

Benefits of no-till farming

No-till farming can benefit both the environment and the farmer, here are just some of the benefits:

  • Reduces soil erosion.
  • Improves soil quality.
  • Builds soil organic matter.
  • Saves time on ploughing.
  • Reduces cost of labour and fuel.
  • Improves water absorption.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Natural weed control.
  • Healthier crops due to nutrient-rich soil.

What machinery is required?

Farmers undertaking no-till farming use a piece of machinery called a cross slot drill which drills seeds directly into the unploughed ground. Although the initial cost of the equipment is similar to that of tillage machinery, the operating costs are far less.

For help financing the purchase of agricultural equipment, speak to our team at Richmond Asset Finance on 0113 288 3277. We provide a variety of asset finance and agricultural finance services to help your farm business to grow and develop. 

4 benefits of switching to electric commercial vehicles

Switching from petrol or diesel commercial vehicles to electric vehicles is not only a practical change, but a cost-effective one too.

As concerns about climate change and the environment mount, businesses are under increasing pressure to make more environmentally conscious decisions.

Electric vehicle technology is rapidly evolving, and electric vehicles are now becoming a more practical, attractive and accessible option for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Many businesses are put off making the change because the initial outlay for electric vehicles may seem high when compared to comparable petrol or diesel models. However, the low running cost of electric vehicles offsets the initial expense and makes it a cost-effective decision in the long-term.

It is also an extremely worthwhile investment when you consider the difference in will make to your business’ carbon footprint.

Here are the 4 top reasons your business should consider switching to electric commercial vehicles.

Low running costs– Generally, the cost of running an electric vehicle is cheaper than the cost of running a petrol or diesel vehicle because electricity is cheaper per mile than fuel.

Reduced maintenance costs – Electric vehicles are functionally simpler and have fewer moving parts than their non-electric counterparts, making them considerably cheaper to maintain.

Environmentally friendly – Investing in electric vehicles will help your business to meet its environmental and social responsibility. As well as producing no CO2 or harmful greenhouse gasses, electric vehicles reduce air and noise pollution. Making the switch will help your businesses to reduce its carbon footprint and become more sustainable.

Employee satisfaction – Electric vehicles, particularly when used primarily for short trips around the city, are convenient and comfortable to drive. As well as using state-of-the-art technology, electric vehicles are smooth-running, emit zero fumes, and are virtually silent, providing the driver with a relaxing and pleasurable ride.

Need some help financing one or more commercial electric vehicles? Here at Richmond Asset Finance we provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. 

For more information about our services, or to discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

What are the benefits of using hire purchase?

Need to purchase an asset, but don’t have the money to buy it upfront? Take out a hire purchase agreement to receive the asset now and pay for it in affordable instalments. 

Hire purchase is a popular type of asset finance popularly used by businesses to buy vehicles, machinery and equipment.

Whilst you are still paying for the asset, the creditor is the legal owner, but once you’ve finished your payment plan it’s all yours.

Here are just a few of the benefits of buying an asset using a hire purchase agreement:

No need to pay a large sum of money upfront– Whilst you may be required to put down a small deposit, the cost will be nothing like paying for the asset upfront. This is particularly useful if it’s a large and unexpected cost, like a vehicle or key piece of machinery breaks down.

Flexible and affordable payments– Hire purchase allows you to spread the cost of the asset over a set period, so you’re paying off a small, affordable sum each month.

Protect your cashflow – Spreading the cost helps you to look after your business’ cashflow. Healthy cashflow is essential for developing and growing your business.

Own the item at the end of the payment plan – At the end of the payment plan, the asset is yours to keep!

Immediate use of the item – You can start using the asset immediately, meaning no expensive downtime whilst you save up the funds.

High quality asset– Many businesses find that they are able to afford vehicles and equipment of a much higher quality and specification through hire purchase than they would have if they were paying upfront. 

Fixed interest rates– Hire purchase interest rates are fixed, meaning no uncertainty on costs, helping you to keep your cashflow stable.

 No VAT on monthly repayments– VAT is paid upfront by you along with any deposit required. You will then re-claim the VAT in your regular payments.

For more information about our hire purchase agreements, or to discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team here at Richmond Asset Finance a call on 0113 288 3277.

Hard assets and soft assets explained

Assets can be roughly divided into two categories, hard assets and soft assets, do you know the difference between each?

Asset finance helps businesses of all shapes and sizes to acquire the assets they require to grow and be prosperous. 

The types of assets that your business requires to move forward will depend on a variety of factors including your industry, your business plan, and how established the business is.

Generally, assets are said to either be hard assets or soft assets.

Hard assets

Asset finance is most commonly used to acquire hard assets. Hard assets are usually physical, high value items that are essential to a business’ operation. This could include the following:

  • Commercial vehicles
  • Manufacturing equipment
  • Printing presses
  • Machinery
  • Construction vehicles
  • Plant equipment
  • Engineering equipment
  • Agricultural machinery

Financing hard assets provides finance companies with good security as the assets tend to retain value for many years, even at the end of their lease.

Soft assets

Soft assets may be more difficult to obtain with asset finance as they pose a bigger risk to the finance company. Soft assets are lower value items and have little or no value by the end of their lease. Examples of soft assets include:

  • Computer hardware and software
  • Office furniture
  • Security systems
  • Air conditioning systems
  • Electronic Point of Sale systems

If you require soft assets, then you may still be able to acquire them using asset finance by providing some additional security. This could include a deposit towards the asset, a director’s guarantee, or securing the asset with another existing asset to offset the risk. However not all asset finance companies will provide funding for soft assets. 

Find out more about our asset finance solutionshere at Richmond Asset Finance by giving our team a call on 0113 288 3277 to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Asset finance market continues to show signs of growth

After a record-breaking year for asset finance in 2018, the flourishing industry continues to show signs of growth for 2019.

In 2018 the asset finance market grew by 3%, hitting a new record level, with new business totalling over £33 billion.

As we entered 2019 the financial insecurity of Brexit was looming and it seemed uncertain whether this growth was sustainable, but statistics so far this year have shown continued growth.

Figures recently released by the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) show that asset finance new business, for deals of up to £20m, grew by 6% in May compared to the same month last year. New finance for plant and machinery grew by 8%, as did commercial vehicle finance.

This follows the news that new business is up by 8% for the industry in the first five months of 2019.

It appears that more businesses than ever are turning to the asset finance industry this year for help growing their business.

In fact, according to the FLA, in the first quarter of 2019 the percentage of UK equipment investment being funded by asset finance stood at 38%, the highest it’s been for more than a decade.

It’s easy to see the appeal of asset finance to businesses. Acquiring assets and repayment is affordable, fast and uncomplicated when compared to applying for a traditional bank loan or overdraft.

Asset finance is currently the third most popular form of business finance after bank overdrafts and loans, helping thousands of businesses to obtain the assets that they require to develop and grow.

Here at Richmond Asset Finance, we provide a variety of flexible finance solutions including asset financeand refinance. For more information about any of our services, or to discuss your requirements in detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

Advantages of asset finance…

…when compared to traditional bank lending

Businesses that cannot afford to pay large costs up-front can use asset finance as an affordable and flexible means to acquire the assets they require to drive growth.

So, why choose asset finance over a traditional bank loan? 

Asset finance has several key advantages over a bank loan, let’s take a look at them in more detail.

Asset finance does not require a perfect credit history– Banks usually have strict lending requirements and will not always accept new businesses that lack credit history or have a poor credit rating. Unlike banks, asset finance lenders do not require a perfect credit history, each applicant will be considered on their own merits.

Applying for asset finance is generally quicker– Applying for a bank loan can be a lengthy and time-consuming process involving examining your financial history, performing credit checks and even creating a business proposal. Applying for asset finance is generally much quicker and more straightforward.

Cashflow benefits– Unlike bank loans, asset finance payments are usually fixed, so there’s no need to worry about rising interest rates. Payments can be spread out throughout the asset’s useable life, making paying for the asset affordable and reliable, and freeing up your working capital to improve cashflow.

Little or no security required– Asset finance is generally less risky than a bank loan or overdraft, so less security is required in order to attain it, making this type of finance particularly useful for start-up businesses. Usually the assets you are acquiring as part of the deal are security enough. If you cannot make payments at any point, then the finance company will simply take back the asset.

Asset finance companies often specialise– Asset finance companies often specialise in working with businesses within particular industries. This gives them a deeper understanding of how the businesses they work with operate and the challenges they face, allowing them to offer the most suitable solutions.

Here at Richmond Asset Finance we help businesses to gain the assets they need to succeed and flourish. Just some of the type of assets we will consider financing include commercial vehicles, engineering equipment, plastic and woodworking injection equipment, packaging and labelling machines and agricultural machinery and vehicles.

To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

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