Launch a new part of your business with a Bounce Back Loan
The Bounce Back Loan Scheme is the new kid on the block in the world of business. It’s helping businesses to not only bounce back but to push forward toward growth and goals.
Launched in the UK on May 4, 2020, the scheme focuses on funding businesses quickly throughout the ongoing pandemic.
The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear that SMEs play vital roles in our daily lives and our economy relies on them to be financially healthy.
In this article, we want to help you to explore new technologies that will help you to plan for the future and introduce new key areas to your business.
What is a Bounce Back Loan?
Here’s what you need to know about The Bounce Back Loan Scheme:
- Borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 (capped at 25% of your annual turnover for 2019 or an estimated annual turnover for new businesses).
- No interest will be applied and no repayments will be made in the first 12 months.
- After the initial 12 months, all banks will charge a fixed annual rate of 2.5%.
- You can repay the loan early without a penalty.
- The loans are set up to last for six years; a year interest-free and five years at a fixed annual rate of 2.5%.
- The loans are unsecured.
- Your business must have been established before March 1, 2020, and must be trading as a going concern.
- Credit ratings won’t impact your eligibility.
- The Bounce Back Loan does not affect your eligibility for other government-funded personal support. You can still get the self-employment income support grants, and you may still be eligible for universal credit.
- The banks currently accredited to handle Bounce Bank Loans can be found here.
Why should I consider a Bounce Back Loan?
Officially, Bounce Back Loans can be used for business investment, running costs, and employee wages. The scheme is clear that the money needs to provide economic benefit to your business. It must be used for business purposes, not personal.
A Bounce Back Loan could be helpful for:
- Investing in your business
- Investing in new technologies
- Contributing to existing business debts
- Boosting wages of low-income employees
Whether you put the money towards developing great user experiences, training courses, or technology to support growth, it’s well worth considering.
We’ve put together three ways you can use all or some of your Bounce Back Loan to promote growth and new thinking in your business.
Number one: Process automation
It might sound a bit daunting, but you see process automation every day. It’s the “Thank you for your order” email you receive after shopping online and the “here’s your birthday voucher” email you receive from your favourite shop.
In business, automation has become a key player in success. It isn’t only for the big corporations, small and medium businesses can incorporate automation too. From capturing leads to filling the funnel to sending follow-up communications.
When repetitive processes are automated, business owners and their teams can devote time to big-picture goals, such as business growth.
"ClearSky’s utilities industry knowledge has allowed them to quickly understand and deliver complex functionality, whilst working collaboratively alongside our existing team. Their flexible approach and technical understanding has helped us deliver and support complex and fast paced change over the last 9 months." - John Wignall, Programme Manager at Utiligroup
Here are our top three ways why you should utilise automation in your business:
- Lead-generation: Automated processes allow you to gain and retain leads more quickly and efficiently. This could be things like introducing Customer Relationship Software, immediate responses to email contact requests, and social media networking.
- Sales: Think of automation software as your project management tool for sales. It can organise and clearly define your process, from new opportunities through to qualified leads. Remember, a sale isn’t the end of your relationship with a customer. Making good impressions with things like welcome emails allows you to show them that you value their business and care about supporting them.
- Repeat business: For most businesses, a sale isn’t a one-time thing. You want customers to buy again and build trust with your brand. This is especially true if you sell a recurring service or product that needs to be replenished on a regular basis. Be proactive by automating prompts for future sales.
- Customer engagement: Automation allows you to treat clients as you would if you had more time. Automate customer birthday emails, schedule your social media posts, and make it easy for customers to ask for help.
Contact the team at ClearSky Logic to chat about implementing automated processes.
Number two: Virtual Chief Technology Officer
Businesses often struggle to find technology solutions that fit their needs. Without technical leadership, you might find yourself up against technology pitfalls.
A virtual CTO (Chief Technology Officer) can help to advise and provide guidance on beneficial technology solutions.
This is a cost-effective way of managing your resources, safeguarding data, and optimising business processes.
"ClearSky's IT Director service provides us with essential hands-on technology leadership. Taking control of the management of our own internal resources while also allowing us the flexibility to scale up when and where necessary has resulted in rapid and continuous product and feature delivery on our platform. Simply put, we're able to move far quicker with ClearSky on board." - Chris Smith, Head of Marketing at Lettingweb
If any of these four statements sound true to your business, you should consider hiring a virtual CTO:
- Your business is struggling with the changing demands of technology
- Technology issues are becoming a distraction
- Your business can’t justify the expense to hire an in-house IT Manager
- You want to be proactive with technology, as opposed to reactive
- Keep up-to-date with technology trends and regulations
- Participate in board-level management decisions
- Communicate solid technology strategies
- Oversee research and development
Number three: Technology workshop
A technology workshop can help you to discover business opportunities, gaps, and risks.
They can act as a springboard for understanding the importance of technology in business and business innovation.
The benefits of running a technology workshop include:
- New ways of thinking: Every team in every business shares varying views and ideas can arise that are different from yours. Having a workshop allows for ideas to flow naturally. The end result is being exposed to new ideas that offer new insights and ways to grow your business.
- Feedback: Feedback can be hard to take, but it’s a major step towards business growth. Genuine, constructive feedback can help to improve flaws in your systems and processes. You might not have thought of a certain piece of technology, but it might be what you need to push your business forward. Having a fresh pair of eyes can help to construct a clear strategy.
- New technologies: Working with a technology partner, such as ClearSky Logic, allows you to increase capacity to adopt new technologies and methods.
A Bounce Back Loan can be the ideal stepping stone to push your business forward.
Technology is a key factor in business growth and ongoing success. Build a clear foundation for your business technologies through a partnership with ClearSky Logic.