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How to Get that Business or Home Finance How to Get that Business or Home Finance
How to Get that Business or Home Finance

When you first started your business, you probably did a lot of research. Read up on book, magazines, watched clips on YouTube, talked to friends and other business folks. You probably then went ahead and invested time and money, blood, sweat and tears into getting it off the ground.


But did you ever sought the help and advice of a business advisor or consultant? If you are like most of the 9 out of 10 start-ups asked, the answer was a resounding No! First big mistake.


A small business advisor can help a start up, established or struggling company in many ways. They can recognise and pinpoint problem areas, discover inefficiencies, potential sources of funding, strategies for for growth as well as and provide expert industry based solutions.


Ebonyonline.net talked Remi Okeshola from RBSS Consulting an organisation that provides such advice to find out about their services, the different types of loans and funding available and what it takes to run a successful start-up.


EOL: Can you tell us briefly about RBSS, when and why was it set up?

RO: RBSS Consulting which actually stands for Real Business Solutions and Services Consulting Ltd, was incorporated and started trading in 2011​.  Iin a response to my quest to put to use my vast experience in helping people and organisations set up and run their own businesses. I founded the business during the recession in the UK and jobs were hard to come by for many skilled people.


It was difficult to raise funds for small businesses as the banks had still not emerged from the dungeons ​of the financial bubble and were very cautious. In fact when I told people what I was doing, some genuinely felt it wasn’t a good time to start.  It was the right time for me.  No venture no success, was always my mantra.


EOL: What are some of the services that RSS provides?

RO: ​We help new businesses start right and existing ones grow, but grow profitably. ​

​The main services we provide are: 1. Helping businesses raise funds, 2. Helping businesses become finance ready, 3. Business planning and modelling, 4. Helping businesses drive performance, 5. Business advice on growth strategies​ nail place near me


EOL: What are the three main considerations for start-ups before launching their enterprise?

RO: ​1. Their business model, 2. Their market and marketing strategy, 3. Financials


EOL: How does RBSS help start-ups take their first steps into business?

RO: We work with start ups on the business model and business planing. We actually do a bit more hand holding than usual firms, because we really believe that its important for start ups in particular to get it right and so we don’t make assumptions.


Failure to plan is planning to fail​. We also run a workshop called look before you leap.  Its an opportunity to understand what you as a person or as a business are getting into. Its also a good opportunity to meet like minded people.  We then offer a 1-2-1 consulting service as a follow up, helping you model the business idea, work through the financials to see if this will be a viable opportunity or not and how to make modifications to the model.


All our consultant have either run their own successful businesses or have worked for successful businesses themselves at director level and so talk from experience


Having worked with many small businesses what are the five challenge that they face when starting and during the course of running their businesses


​I have worked with hundreds of start ups and hundreds of existing businesses​ ​and over the years, the following are areas where they face challenges: 1. poor\unsustainable business model, 2. Cash flow problems\overtrading, 3. ​Not wining new customers, 4. unable to raise growth funding because they are not finance ready or aware of the right financial sources, 5. no business advice or mentoring.


EOL:  What are the issues businesses need to consider before applying for a loan that’s more likely to guarantee a successful application?

RO: ​Lets look at some fundamentals. A lot of good small businesses fail to raise funds sometimes simply because they don’t pass the due diligence stage.  With the right guidance and support this is easily avoidable. Finance houses still have to lend responsibly and Anti Money Laundering (AML) & Know Your Customer (KYC) are requirements on them as part of this process.


Secondly the legal structure of the firm is important, as it may determine the best source of income at the best rate of interest for the company.  Thirdly, their “books” need to be in order.  you don’t necessarily need audited management accounts, but credible 2 years trading accounts are significant for existing firms, regardless of if you are a sole trader or a ltd company. This also helps understand potentially how much you may be able to borrow.


We can tell you by looking at this how much potentially you may be able to afford to borrow.  Fourthly, the credit rating of any of the directors that hold more than 20% of the business needs to be at least fair.  No unpaid CCJ’s or unattended to defaults. Don’t always assume that bad credit means you can’t access funding though.  What is bad to you may not be bad to a creditor and vice versa, hence the reason why its better to go through an introducer and broker like us.


Finally, the fifth point is, what is the direction of travel of the business finances.  Is turnover increasing, is profit increasing or are things going South or North.  If on the other hand its a complete start up, pre revenue, then the first 4 points are still applicable. Key thing is speak to brokers like us first.


EOL: What kind of loans facilities does your organisation offer?

RO: ​We are an introducer and FCA regulated broker amongst other services we deliver.  Loans can be secured or unsecured. Unsecured loans can be up to £350,000 for limited companies and the same for Sole traders. Sometimes the proprietor of a sole trader business may have to be a home owner, but not always. The loan is still unsecured regardless.  We also do Merchant Cash Advances (MCA) for companies trading more than 2 years​ using a card machine.


This facility allows the business owner to lend against income coming in from their cash machines. They can get up to £75,000 unsecured.  All lending has eligibility criteria, which a potential borrower can discuss with us at any time.


EOL: What’s the difference between business funding and loans and what types of funding are available through RBSS?

RO: Business funding relates to any kind of funding for a business, which includes business loans.  Loans are just one aspect of business funding. As a company one of our services is to help people with business loans and equity funding, but also to advice of whats best and other forms of funding out there like asset finance, invoice finance, etc.


Equity funding is more difficult to come by, is more biased towards very innovative, tech based, artificial intelligence projects and can take up to 6 months or more.  It also depends on if its angel or venture capital​, what series of funding it is, etc.  But to keep it less complicated and what majority (80%) of our clients are looking for are business loans, secured or unsecured for up to £1m for a variety of services. Our sweet spot is start-ups or existing small and medium size companies.


EOL: As a business advisor what three nuggets of wisdom can you give to businesses looking to expand?

RO: ​1. Be finance ready, 2. Have a clear development plan​, 3. Speak to a business consultant to explore what your options of growth are.


EOL: Finally two or three books you’d recommend to any serious business person?

RO: ​I’ll give you 4. Under strategy read “Good to Great by Jim collins”. Under finance, read “Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs by Karen Berman and Joe Knight”

Under Project Management read “​Making Things Happen by Scott Berkun” ​Finally, under Creativity and Innovation read “​Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter F. Drucker” They all make for simple, easy and very informative reading.


RBSS core services include helping organisations and individuals raise funds for business, business modelling, business process re-engineering,  driving performance through business bench marking, writing business plans  providing business strategy for business growth and development. They will introduce and help you with long and short term business loans in a quick and easy manner. We run both Government sponsored and Private funded programmes for organisations and individual owned businesses.  http://www.rbssconsulting.co.uk/  See RBSS at the Black Networking and Growth London (BNGL) on 25 Sept at We Work, Aldgate E1 8FA (6-9pm) For free tickets and stands info visit: www.ebonyonline.net/tickets

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