Getting a traditional business loan can be a long and frustrating process. For many people, the gain just doesn’t outweigh the pain. So it’s no surprise that British small businesses are underfunded by a whopping £35bn. Because they apply for funding less often than they could. And some don’t apply at all. That means many firms are missing out on funds to smooth cash flow, renew vital business equipment and support expansion plans.
A personal recommendation from a trusted business partner can give a firm the confidence that they will be able to secure the finance they need quickly and without pain. Matt Phillips, LDF sales team manager, talks about how we make personal referrals as easy as possible.
What is LDF introduce?
Launched in April 2016, LDF introduce is a client referral programme that enables our partners to refer their clients to us for business finance quickly and efficiently, through traditional and online channels. It helps businesses enrich their relationships with each other, at the same time as giving companies another avenue for securing the finance they need to grow.
We’ve had relationships with different types of introducers for over 30 years, but until last year we didn’t have a specific programme that allowed them to refer businesses to us online. It makes it a lot easier for businesses to do what they’ve always done: introduce each other to companies they know offer a good service.
How does LDF introduce work?
Introducing someone to us is simpler than ever. You have the option to complete the application on behalf of your client, or send them a link that they can click through and get easy access to LDF. This has several benefits: if you have a newsletter you send to your clients, you can insert the link and make them aware of our services; or you can use the programme on the go in client meetings, via mobile or tablet.
We’ve also developed technology that ensures that our introducers have full visibility of any referred activity, with the ability to see all their client applications and their progress.
What type of businesses use LDF introduce?
It can be any type of third party, but predominantly they are accountants, business advisers or financial advisers.
In terms of the clients they are introducing, they are all looking for business finance, whether that’s a business development loan so they can invest to grow their business, finance to enable them to smooth a tax payment or asset finance for equipment purchases. It’s available to any sized firm. Our general requirements are a minimum £50,000 turnover, the firm being UK-based, and a healthy credit history.
What are the benefits of LDF introduce?
For the introducer there are a range of benefits. It enables them to offer their customers an additional service, with a direct route into the largest independent provider of finance to UK small and medium-sized businesses. This in turn both strengthens and builds longer-term relationships with their clients.
For the client, while they’ll get exactly the same award-winning service as if they had come to us independently, the advantage is that they have direct access to the funding we have readily available to help with their finance needs. Our aim is to widen access as far as possible to our products and services.
How many introducers are you currently working with?
We currently have 229 approved introducers, and they range from one-man accountancy practices and individual financial advisers right up to the larger firms in the country. So far over £55m of business has been written through introduced business. Our aim is to support as many small and medium-sized businesses across the UK as we can.