The coming holiday season is a time of great opportunity for SMEs. A bumper Black Friday, consumers' festive season socialising, as well as Christmas and New Year sales can bolster the bottom line significantly for many businesses.
“Peak season sales account for a disproportionately high share of profits for many businesses, and a bumper holiday season is essential for many SMEs continuing to recover from several tumultuous years”, says Tom Stuart, chief marketing officer at SME services provider Lulalend.
Lulalend is South Africa's first online business lender offering business finance that is fast, easy and keeps pace with businesses in South Africa. They are registered with the National Credit Regulator and also a member of the South African SME Finance Association.
SMEs make up over 98% of all businesses in South Africa, employing between 50% to 60% of the workforce and contributing approximately 35% of our GDP.
SMEs are the lifeblood of the economy and maintaining a vibrant SME landscape is a significant factor in the drive for inclusive economic growth.
Stuart says that, as key job creators and economic igniters, SMEs deserve all the support they can get, whether it be in the form of fast, reliable access to business capital, support from local communities, or business-friendly government policy.
“However, SMEs currently contend with a variety of challenges and obstacles: load shedding, rising fuel and material costs, supply chain delays and interest rate hikes, to name a few,” Stuart says.
“Many of these business risks can be mitigated or avoided with fast and reliable access to business funding. Having access to capital can be the difference between simply getting by or building a thriving business that is able to grab opportunities when they arise,” Stuart explains.
In addition to the investments in stock, advertising and hiring that SMEs regularly need to fund at this time of year, many businesses are currently trying to overcome additional demands on their cash flow to ensure a successful end to 2022. Suppliers are not only raising their prices due to global inflation, but are also increasingly demanding upfront payment for goods, while disrupted supply chains are forcing many SMEs to buy in bulk to ensure stock availability.
For other SMEs, the next few months are a time when business slows, especially in those sectors that experience the traditional holiday season shut down. This can lead to challenges finding sufficient cash to cover salaries, rent and other fixed costs. “Whether the last quarter of the year is peak, or quiet season, access to capital is critical”, says Stuart.
“To support as many SMEs as possible during the coming months, businesses applying for funding with Lulalend before the end of November can enjoy a repayment break until 11th January 2023. The application process is fully online and paperless, we require no collateral and offer flexible repayment terms with no hidden fees,” adds Stuart.
Lulalend’s application process only takes a few minutes and uses scoring technology designed specifically with SMEs in mind to more accurately assess the financial health of a business. This allows the company to provide funding in cases where other funders would not, and to do so far more quickly. SMEs can apply for pre-approved business funding of up to R5 million.
Working with the right partner can help business owners secure the most appropriate form of funding for both the short and long term. Determining what you need capital for, and for how long, is the first step in the application process. Requirements vary for different types of funding, so if you’re clear on what type of business funding you’re applying for, you’re better positioned to get approval from the lender.
Lulalend’s technology driven approach to providing funding is disrupting SA's finance landscape, making the working capital that SMEs so desperately need, more accessible than ever before.
Stuart adds, “We believe small businesses are the key to local economic success and deserve an easy and inspiring experience when securing capital. It’s why we’ve made the application process as fast as possible, so that funding can be received within hours, as opposed to weeks or months through traditional lenders,” Stuart points out.
This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by Lulalend.