Approximately 97% of SMEs are micro enterprises, meaning they have fewer than 10 employees, or are sole proprietors, and/or have an overall revenue of below €2m. Whilst they fall under the SME umbrella, their needs are anything but similar and banks are best advised to provide the service their unique set of circumstances require.
The number one aim of small businesses is to become profitable, and quickly. By nature, a small enterprise will have seasonal ups and downs and a cash cycle dictated by factors beyond their control, so ensuring they have enough cash to hand is critical. Profitable companies might see their cash reserves affected if they are moving too fast, and stagnating companies might find an unexpected liquidity issue unsurmountable.
It’s About More Than Just a Business Bank Account
In the world of banking for an SME or freelance until now, the best you could hope for was to open a business bank account, get an SME loan and cross your fingers. Financial literacy was a long shot and the financial, and overall success of your company was little more than a case of the luck of the draw.
During 2017, we have seen numerous advances in technology and the introduction of new regulatory policies that are reshaping SME Banking. Despite still being an underserved segment of sorts, digitalisation, machine learning and open APIs have opened up previously unimaginable opportunities for banks to get closer to the SME customer.
While no one can see the future, we asked SME Banking experts to share their predictions with us. Here’s a preview of what the best in Fintech have to say about the coming year in SME Finance Management.
The key to serving the SME is to understand their plight. Despite accounting for 99% of all businesses in many countries around the world - in the UK alone, there are 5.4 million SMEs - they have been all but left out of the equation by banks. In this post, the aim is to break down the particular needs of this segment and suggest fitting solutions.