Ashley Business Finance, with the strapline “friend of the SME since 1993”, is an invoice factoring and business loan business. They claim to have helped hundreds of SMEs to success since their initial establishment and offer coverage in both England and Wales.
They also claim to have a flexible and pro-active approach and can help in areas that other lenders may overlook, such as if your business is a phoenix company or has a weak credit history.
What is invoice factoring?
Invoice factoring is a smart and savvy way to get cash in for your business while you wait to get paid. Clients that you work with can offer a range of payment terms, sometimes as long as 90 days, and you may not have the cash flow to wait that long.
Invoice factoring means that you will sell these outstanding invoices off to an invoice factoring company, such as Ashley Business Finance, who will then collect the returns with a small fee once the invoice has been paid.
What is Ashley Business Finance’s approach and how is this good for SMEs?
There are many benefits that Ashley Business Finance can bring to SMEs. Firstly, they are business specialists who only work with small businesses, so they are able to understand the needs of SMEs better than most.
They are completely independent and have no ties to banks, which makes them great for getting around much of the red tape and bureaucracy that SMEs can face. This is especially important if you are just starting out and perhaps don’t have a good line of credit, making it difficult to get a bank loan.
Their approach is built around flexibility, speed, and an efficient service. They also offer a generous loan limit of £250,000, an amount which could make a huge difference for a struggling SME.
They also offer up to 90% of the value of the invoices that are owed to your SME, with the remaining amount being made available once the invoice has been paid. This is obviously a large amount which, as with the point above, is hugely beneficial for any SMEs who use Ashley Business Finance’s services.
Finally, and also crucially, they offer anonymity. Many SMEs are wary of selling off their invoices to a third party, especially if their clients will be notified, as it makes the SME look weak and unsustainable. With Ashley Business Finance’s approach, SMEs can stay afloat while maintaining perfect relationships with their clients.
As well as invoice factoring, Ashley Business Finance also offers business loans and business cash advances, meaning they have a range of services available to help SMEs.
Are there any downsides to using Ashley Business Finance?
Ashley Business Finance doesn’t boast the most complimentary number of reviews from around the web. On Yell, they score 1 star, with complaints of no agreement being created for seven months, more money being taken than agreed, and threats of bankruptcy. On Google, they score 3.3 stars, with users regularly citing abusive and bully-like tactics.
It must be noted that both of these review sites have hardly any reviews on Ashley Business Finance between them, so it can’t be guaranteed of how accurate they are, but it is something else to consider.
Ashley Business Finance displays a range of case studies on their website for businesses that they have helped, and in 2015 paid out a record sum of £2 million in one month.