Catalyst Business Finance Review of 2017
Martine Catton's comments and thoughts on 2017
As we start the New Year I thought I’d take the opportunity to cast an eye back over the last 12 months and reflect on what has been a very interesting year for Catalyst and me personally.
We started the year as most of us did wondering how 2017 would take shape, the on-going uncertainty of Brexit (which is remarkably still happening) and how this would impact the UK’s economy and SMEs needing access to finance. Thankfully we haven’t quite seen the trading hiatus many were expecting, but rather a typical ‘lets just carry on’ spirit from the country’s business men and women.
Our own journey this year resonates with that of the rest of the UK’s business community. We’ve taken the ‘lets just carry on’ attitude but also used this year (particularly with it being our 5th anniversary) to take time out to reflect and truly look at what it is we want this company to be and to achieve in the next 5 years.
Every good accountant and advisor will tell a business to regularly review their strategy, their performance, their product offering as well as the processes and procedures. You have to look back to go forward and in the summer of 2017 we actively made the time to review the entire business.
So what was the outcome of the review? We‘ve invested in field client resource and we have developed a set of new products we will release to the market during 2018. We’ve also invested in our back office and honed and developed processes therein. We also continue to be recognised by the industry, winning further awards and growing our client base by almost 25%.
We’ve had a number of changes at board level last year too. We were delighted to welcome our new CEO Stuart Fraser, and I too was appointed to the board and now have the role of Chief Operating Officer. The business continues to develop and move itself forward and we have a fantastic team and I consider myself very fortunate to work with them all.
All of the changes have allowed the business to enhance its focus on what it is we can provide to you our intermediary community and the SMEs you represent.
2018 is a year that I am personally looking forward to. We have a portfolio of clients who work brilliantly with us, alongside a team who are focussed on delivering a quality service. Our ethos is simple – we’re able to provide specialist short term funding and we will happily collaborate with other lenders to ensure the client receives the finance they need when they need it. We don’t provide a long term finance solution, that’s not what we do. What we do is deliver the cash needed to bridge the cash flow gap your client has, whilst you are trying to secure their longer term funding. We can fill that void and when your longer term solution is ready, we will assist in transitioning them into their new facilities. We will and do ask for security in the form of debentures and personal guarantees. Our funding ‘sweet spot’ is between £50k and £1million – with the majority of our clients currently borrowing between £150k and £750k. We can provide funding from 4 weeks to 12 months, through Confirmed Order Finance, short term cash flow loans, repayment loans and Selective Invoice Finance and our flexible approach means we can accommodate your clients’ requirements and deliver funding, when they need it.
Thank you to everyone who has supported the business during the last year and I look forward to working with you all in 2018.