Today, a productivity shortfall is stifling UK growth, especially for exports, in what are highly benevolent market conditions. “Increasing use of leasing can help ambitious companies to get the technology and equipment they need, but vendors and their finance channels need to be smarter at making the availability and price more accessible”. This is the view from financial software experts Copernicus’ MD Allen Jones.
Rising interest rates and the falling value of Sterling are bringing sharper focus to the potential for export growth and the overwhelming sentiment from the UK’s burgeoning SME sector is positive; they plan and hope to grow. However UK productivity is no higher today than it was before the 2008 financial crisis. The result is that too many businesses are falling short of realising the opportunity presented to them today.
Copernicus’ analysis indicates that confidence, the pace of change, access to appropriate finance and a lack of financial knowledge are the four key barriers to the necessary investment by businesses, especially SMRs, to accelerate growth and address the productivity shortfall which is robbing businesses of sales. Allen points to the value of leasing as a key tool which needs better marketing and communication:
“Vendors, lenders and brokers can succeed by helping potential customers to recognise the benefits of leasing. The lesson to be learned from the new car market over the last decade is that clear monthly affordability information in marketing drives sales. Now, add in the cashflow and flexibility benefits, where leasing can support areas such as technology upgrades, and leasing can be seen as very compelling and affordable.”
The challenge Allen sees is in overcoming the in-built conservatism in the UK that often features in UK business. Leasing can ensure that fast-growth companies can have up-to-date technology with its associated speed and efficiency benefits and free up cash to spend on activities that drive growth. The whole journey starts with affordability using leasing calculators to bring the ease of access to life, as Allen concludes;
“In our personal lives, increasingly, we operate in a Netflix subscription model; use not ownership matters. The same can be true for business success and leasing on a monthly basis can work for all parties. Presenting monthly leasing payments in marketing is central to winning the hearts and minds of a business audience looking for growth right now.”