The hospitality sector is under intense pressure. As an advisor, your role in keeping these businesses viable is crucial.
If your clients are in the hospitality sector, they are already survivors: the last couple of years have seen these companies battered by enforced closure, spiking energy costs, supply chain problems and now the cost of living crisis which has left customers being a lot more careful about how they spend their money.
These circumstances have seen many businesses in the sector simply shut up shop: according to Morning Advertiser, it has been predicted the pub and bar market will see the net closure of six pubs each week – an outlet decline rate of 0.7 per cent. Read the full article here.
Unsurprisingly there has been a sharp increase in the number of businesses applying for credit.
As an advisor, how can you help?
First, it is important to make sure that your client is protected against liability should the worst happen: as a sole trader, the client will be on the hook for any money they borrow but the business cannot repay. If your client is not a limited company, they should look at getting this set up.
Read more about why sole traders could benefit from becoming limited companies here.
VAT and Corporation Tax Finance
One of the major issues for businesses of all kinds is the quarterly VAT bill and annual Corporation Tax bill. Further, after times of high trading such as Christmas, the January VAT bill can create a considerable bottleneck in a company’s cashflow.
One solution is to spread the costs of these tax bills with finance. Such loans can turn a quarterly or annual bill into more manageable monthly payments. Effectively this frees up money for the business to use to generate further income by purchasing stock, improving premises or expanding what is on offer to customers.
Learn more about VAT and Corporation Tax Finance here.
Companies that need to borrow may hesitate from doing so because of fears about repaying loans. This is understandable, but avoiding finance might not be the best strategy for business growth.
Asset Finance can fill the gap: by creating a direct line between the borrower and the items they wish to use financing for, the arrangement is far more efficient and cost-effective.
For clients who feel that their premises need a refit, better kitchen equipment or refurbishment, asset finance is a potential answer to their needs.
Learn more about how Asset Finance works here.
There may be further opportunities to bet grants for hiring staff or installing solar energy. While these may require short term spending (many grants have to be matched with funding from other sources – see how this can be financed here. The benefit of solar panels at a time of high volatility in energy prices can hedge against future rises.
Check what grants are available to your clients by uploading them onto your Advisor Portal here.
Renting is a way of life for many business wonders but buying a property – even with interest rates going up – may be a better option. As a long term investment, owning the premises adds value to the business and could be a highly attractive investment for your client.
Stuart Pawelczyk, Head of Commercial Mortgages at Swoop says:
“Many clients believe that buying their property is out of reach, but it may pay to review those assumptions. Even if a business has to raise money to make the deposit, a property purchase could both save money in the long term as well as being a valuable investment.”
Read more about how the numbers stack up here.
The hospitality sector is an integral part of the UK economy. It is also an important cultural touchpoint: life would be very different if we couldn’t go for a drink in a pub, a meal in a restaurant or stay in a hotel.
Hospitality businesses are often built in the image of their founder: business can become personal. Keeping these businesses alive and well in tough times is something that should be at the top of everyone’s priorities. Watch the Swoop, Unplugged podcast for an inspiring hospitality founder’s story.
To see which options your client’s business has for loans, equity and grants upload them on your Swoop Portal here.