Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Latest research shows that two in five British SMEs (42%) are applying for growth funding outside office hours and when banks and retail leaders are closed. Whilst one in ten (8%) are night owls applying for finance after 9pm during the working week.

This data raises a fundamental new issue – most retail lenders are not open for business when a large proportion of small businesses choose to address their funding requirements. The data, based on a representative sample of more than 1,000 SME loan applications also uncovered the time of day during the working week when a small business chose to devote time, applying for funding to support business growth.

  • Early bird; More than one in ten SMEs (11%) submitted a funding application before 9am ensuring the day ahead was clear to focus on the customer.

  • Office hours; 35% of applications were made between 9am-1pm and a further 24% between 1pm-5pm.

  • Watershed lending; More than one in five (22%) turned attention to funding applications between 5-9pm.

  • Night owls; A further 8% actioned lending requirements between 9pm and midnight.

At a time when traditional lenders have been pressured by the Government and trade bodies to liberalise their lending policies to the country’s small business community – is the finance industry awake to the real needs of a small business?

Aside from how satisfactory loan approval levels are, or are not, corporate lenders often don’t understand that running a small business is not a nine-five office job and that the findings clearly prove that start-up owners are most likely to apply for funding very early or late in the day, because they need to spend the working day looking after customers. This is when lenders need to be open for business.

But help is at hand. The CMA is currently leading a review on opening-up the small business lending market which is good news for small businesses and gives the ability for innovative lenders to be there 24-7.

Based on this data, we predict that by mid-2017 over half of all loan applications will be outside the normal working day. The Funding Xchange platform gives banks the ability to better accommodate their customer’s funding needs, as it brings more funding choices to the market. This in turn gives SME’s what they really need – a fully tailored solution, on their terms and at the right time.

Most importantly… We are here to help

At Funding Xchange, we have over 45 lenders waiting to compete for your business and a team of Business Funding specialists on hand to help you identify the best funding for you – whatever the reason.