South West Care

Improving Your Care Support Career In the South West

There are few things more crucial to a family than being able to look after one another. The old look after the young, and the young look after the old, but things have started to change in recent times. More couples are sharing the weight of parenthood than ever before. Both sides of a household being more likely to work, especially in the South West. While this enables people to live fulfilling lives, providing a good upbringing for their children, it can also limit the time people have to look after their older relatives.

Care facilities used to be able to bear this burden, but the number of 85-year-olds in need of care expected to increase to about 2.7 million by 2040. Plenty of younger people also requiring this support, the strain on these services is too much for them to cope with. In many cases, this strain is placed directly on the shoulders of the people on the frontline. Care workers are regularly subjected to unfair overtime rules, zero-hour contracts, and little in the way of career progression.

This is something you can overcome with your own career, and Pinnacle Business Finance is here to help you. While this is mostly geared towards those in the South West, it can also apply to other regions. First, though, let’s take a look at the cause of these problems.

The Problem With Care In The South West

Anyone who has had the pay the price of care will tell you, this sort of service doesn’t come cheap. Those who can’t afford to pay for their own care will often get help from their local council. Although if you are unlucky enough to have a home or savings when you go into care, this could be taken to cover the costs. This is thanks to strict budgeting constraints that have been placed on this sector. Councils only being able to afford to pay for care for those in the greatest need.

While some people are paying for the care they receive, this money barely covers the costs of a care home. This means that these places are usually understaffed, with the gaps being filled by agency workers on zero-hour contracts. Training is also an area in which a lot of care homes and other support facilities struggle. Of course, though, with some county and district councils being threatened with bankruptcy, it’s hard to see how this is going to improve. Instead, more and more of the care homes which used to be government-owned are being placed under private possession.

When a place like this is privatised, it will usually still receive money from the government. The shareholders which own the business will want to save some profit out of this. The management of the company will also receive bonuses. Between 2017 and 2018, the Department of Health and Social Care had a budget of £125.15 billion. Just £15.32 billion of this being saved for things not under the NHS banner. This may sound like a lot, but it is a tiny amount considering that it has to cover so many areas.

So, in short, the government can’t afford to provide the care people desperately need, but they also can’t be seen not to be giving it. This means that the weight of the short budgets will always fall onto the shoulders of hard-working carers. Whether you work for an agency or directly under a care facility, you’ve probably felt the cuts in recent times, but we’re here to offer a solution.

Using Domiciliary Care

There is a huge demand for private care at the moment. Depending on the area, some of those in need have to wait for months or even years before they can access the care they need. Around 15% of people aged between 65 – 69 find at least one daily activity difficult. This is a huge demographic on its own, and this is before you consider the other age groups which need daily support.

By working as a self-employed domiciliary care worker in the South West, you can bring the care people to need straight to their door. This can make their life a lot more comfortable, whether they have decades left in them or are at the end of their life, and you can make a very good career in the process. There are several different types of domiciliary care;-

  • Live-in Carers: Live-in carers will stay in the home of their service user. Usually spending one week at work, followed by a week off. This cycle will continue with two or three carers and is only for those who need the most stringent support.
  • Daytime Carers: Daytime carers will stay in the home of their service user during the daytime. Providing them with the company, personal care, and making sure that they are safe and sound. This sort of role will follow hours similar to a normal job.
  • Short Visit Carers: Some people only need help with a few things each day, and many people like to limit the care they receive as much as possible. Performing short visits can enable you to have more service users, making your job more secure.

You don’t have to restrict yourself to one of these areas. You can do all of them at different times if you like. Each of these options offers a good hourly rate. Working for yourself will give you some freedom to request a higher wage than you’d get working for a big company. You won’t have to deal with the overheads of a big business. This enables you to get paid more without having to overcharge the vulnerable people you work with. Alongside this, you will also gain the benefits which come with working for yourself. Rather than a company trying to make a profit from you.

How Can Pinnacle Business Finance In The South West Help?

As a financial broker working with businesses of all types. Pinnacle Business Finance is well-placed in the South West to support you on your journey towards starting your own domiciliary care business. Our expert team can help you to get started with your business. Whilst also helping you with the financial side of things.

A business loan will give you the chance to get set up. Potentially with a professional website, some business cards, and all of the equipment you will need. Invoice finance will make it easier to cover the recurring costs of things like wages. Growing a business always requires some investment. We understand that this can be difficult to muster when you’ve been working in the care industry. No matter your circumstances, we will always do as much as we can to support you. We encourage anyone thinking of a career change like this to get in contact using the details found on our website.


Point Of Sale: Card Terminals, Cash, & Taking Other Payments

The world has changed a lot over the last couple of decades. Computers have just about taken over. The internet is connected to almost all of the tools people use, and there are more ways to pay for goods than ever before.

As the times change, businesses have to work harder than anyone else to keep up. This means both meeting the growing needs of your customers and taking advantage of the benefits which modern technology can provide.

Your Point of Sale Payment Options

Here at Pinnacle Business Finance, we have a wealth of experience when it comes to point of sale and merchant card machines in Bristol and Bath. Why do we think that this is the best payment method for modern shops? Let’s find out.


Cash is by far the oldest payment method found in the modern world, and this is a payment method that you simply can’t avoid. Unfortunately, though, cash has to be counted, deposited in the bank, and kept secure when it’s left inside your business. This option is often convenient for customers, but very awkward for stores to manage.


It’s extremely rare to see a cheque nowadays, and even rarer that someone will try to pay for their purchase with this outdated method. You don’t have to accept this payment method, and, in reality, should probably be avoiding it. It can be easy to make mistakes with cheques. They don’t often come without a guarantee of payment, and some banks will even charge you to deposit them.

Credit & Debit Cards

Credit and debit cards are the most popular payment method nowadays. It’s rare to find a store that does not have a merchant card terminals available. This sort of payment method is secure, guaranteed, and convenient, while also offering other perks which we’re going to cover below. We think that it’s always worth having a card terminal in your business.

Why Are Card Terminals So Important?

As mentioned above, customers have come to expect stores to have card machines, making these tools incredibly important. Neglecting this payment method can make it impossible for some people to shop with you, while also forcing you to deal with outdated payment methods which will take a lot more work.

Alongside this, a card terminal opens the doors to a merchant cash advance.

This financial service comes in the form of a line of credit, enabling you to improve your business. Cover unexpected bills, and access funds without having to apply time and time again. The money will be paid back as transactions are made on your merchant card machine, making it incredibly easy to stay on top of your credit.

Your eligibility for a merchant cash advance will be directly dependent on your company’s income through its card machines. This means that your line of credit can increase as you get more customers. You will only ever be able to borrow an amount which you will be able to pay back. Making this form of loan far more secure than others on the market.

Here at Pinnacle Business Finance, we’ve had the pleasure of helping countless businesses to both start using card terminals and open a line of credit with a merchant cash advance. We also offer a host of other financial services, so it’s worth getting in contact, even if you’re not sure whether or not we can help you.

Shop Opening South West

How to Open a Shop In The South West

Business In The South West

Business is booming in South West England. With more than 1,218 private sector companies per 10,000 people, it’s plain to see that folks in this part of the country are willing to work hard to make their money.

A significant portion of these businesses belong to the agricultural, manufacturing, and construction industries. More than 5% of them are retail companies. This shows that there is a tremendous amount of potential for shops and stores to succeed in Bristol, Bath, and the surrounding area, and many have already taken their slice of the pie.

And now it’s your turn.

We’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of new stores over the years. This experience has given us a unique insight into the difficulties retail business owners can face. We’ve decided to share this information to make your journey a lot smoother.

With Bristol’s busy Gloucester Road as a case study, we’re going to explore the costs and risks with come with a shop in this area. Along with some information to support you in your loan application.

The Costs

It’s no secret that running a retail store in the South West isn’t a cheap business. The amount of shops that close within their first year is a testament to the struggle owners can face. We’ve broken down the costs a typical shop will have to incur to open on Gloucester Road, though this may cost more or less for you. There are a considerable number of factors that influence this.

The Commercial Space – £18,000/year

You won’t be able to open a retail store without a building. Most small business owners choose to rent the premises for their first store. At the time of writing, we’ve been able to find 1,100 sq ft on Cheltenham Road for £18,000 per year. This isn’t a hugely spacious unit, having been used as a book keeper’s store for many years. You’re likely to end up paying more than the advertised price by the end of your first year.

The Local Business Rates – £15750/year

Business rates are complicated, with a lot of companies struggling to understand why they have to pay so much. These rates act in a similar way to a tax and only apply to those using non-residential properties. They are usually based on the value of the building or space you occupy. Some costing far more than this unit, and others being a lot easier to stomach. The old business in this building was paying £15750 each year.

Business Formation – £100

You can choose to do all of the paperwork to get your business VAT-registered and set up as a limited company, but for £100 it makes sense to have someone else handle this for you.

Stock, Employees, & Store Fittings

This next area is harder to work out than the others, but you will still need to get your hands on stock, employees, and furniture for your business. This means that you have to factor all of this in. This will all be much cheaper if you plan to work on your own or make the goods for yourself. The size of your store and the type of products you sell will also influence these costs. Businesses that sell high-priced goods having to spend more at the outset.

Additional Costs

There are plenty of other costs that come with opening a store. You will need to market the place, get a website and graphics ironed out. Then cover all of the other little pieces which form to make your store. This won’t be cheap, and many new business owners are shocked to find just how much this can all work out to.

The Overall Costs Per Year: at least £33850+

As you can see, taking on a store like this on Gloucester Road will set you back at least £33850. Once you’ve covered things like stock and the additional costs, you’ll probably be looking at something closer to £40,000 for your first year. This is far more than most people make from their regular job. This is why so many new businesses look for commercial loans to help them out.

The Risks & Challenges

Starting a business in the South West will always come with some risks. Even those who have experience with projects like this will be entering uncharted territory when they begin their retail journey. You must consider the risks and challenges you might face, and we’ve explored some of them below to give you an idea of what may lie ahead.

Not Enough Customers: When you forecast your potential earnings, most business owners will be relying on a set number of customers coming through their doors. Even in busy areas, like Gloucester Road, it’s impossible to guarantee that your retail venture will be popular.

Unexpected Transactions: Along with considering the number of customers you will have, your forecasting will also be based on the amount of money they spend. If you have a lot of customers spending small amounts, you could find yourself worse off than having fewer customers spending more.

Running Out Of Funding: Even with all of the work you’ve done to start your store, you can’t always ensure that you will be able to fund your way through the first year. Offering invoice finance, merchant cash advances, and commercial loans, Pinnacle Business Finance is here to help. If you run into this challenge get in touch.

Bills & Legal Issues: Bills and legal issues can often come as a costly surprise to retail business owners. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in this sort of business. You need to be prepared to face them as time ticks on.

Feuds & Arguments: You will have big ideas for your store when you’re first planning it out. Your local council might have different plans. Making changes to your building can be contested by local residents. Councils often reject applications with little basis. This could have a serious impact on your business, making it well worth considering.

The type of products you sell, the location you choose, and the way that your business operates will all influence the types of challenges and risks you might face. It’s always worth taking the time to consider this. The most prominent issues you might face being much easier to solve if you have prepared yourself for them.

Finding A Commercial Loan

Let’s face it; most people can’t afford to fork out more than £40,000 to start their retail business. Instead, it’s incredibly common for small store owners to look for funding to get them on the right path, and this is where Pinnacle Business Finance comes in.

Our expert team based in the South West has a wealth of experience. When it comes to brokering and securing loans for SMEs. We use this know-how to meet your financial needs. We offer free telephone consultations to get an idea of your requirements, working extremely hard to find business loans that work for your company.

Give us a call on 0117 2510048 or use our convenient contact form to get in touch; our friendly team is happy to help, no matter the size of your business or it’s financial needs.


Does the Bank Referral Scheme Work?

Does the Bank Referral Scheme Work?

Back in 2015 the government started putting the wheels in motion regarding a bank decline designation scheme. The scheme referred to as the Bank Decline Scheme aims to find SMEs finance who have been declined by the mainstream banks. Much has been written about its failings but at Pinnacle Business Finance we actually adopt a different view. In fact the biggest failing seems to be in the ability to reach SMEs, something we often find. The average SME needs to be more ambitious when accessing commercial finance.

Much has been made of the fact that 670 businesses obtained commercial finance out of a possible c.14,000 enquires In actual fact the scheme only manages to reach 10% of these, which the government report accepts is industry average. What is staggering is that of the 10% that are reached, they stand nearly a 50% chance in actually getting funding. The bank decline scheme therefore seems to be working. Both these stats don’t surprise our team here in Bristol. It points to a wider issue where SMEs are largely unwilling to engage with the lenders.

The bank decline scheme is focused on using platforms from the three providers Alternative Business Funding, Funding Options and Funding Xchange. All these platforms focus on pushing SMEs to lenders as quickly as possible. The focus on quick algorithms means many don’t respond as they are left with an irrelevant pool of lenders. At Pinnacle Business Finance we guide each SME through the process and fully understand each business. We then select the lender or lenders, this way it is an effective process.

We have a lot of respect for Funding Options, but we feel very much a local finance broker is key. At Pinnacle Business Finance we often visit SMEs especially our clients located in Bristol. In stark contract to the likes of Funding Options who take clients down a platform driven route. This lack of human interaction can be challenging for SMEs who often do business face to face. The vast majority of our lenders reflect our face to face approach.

On balance, we at Pinnacle Business Finance, find the articles written about the success of the platforms unfair. They provide a solution where one did not exist and provide a basic solution for SMEs who would otherwise not be able to access finance. The underlying reason they end up going though the likes of Funding Options is because they have chosen not to source a commercial finance broker. If an SME was more ambitious they would look for an ambitious commercial finance broker to support their finance needs. This is where Pinnacle Business Finance comes in. We actively seek and work with ambitious SMEs who want the best the market has to offer.

In conclusion the scheme works for those who engage with it. It is a fair reflection of perception and reality. Most SMEs do not perceive the commercial finance market as positive, even though there are many options available. The likes of Funding Options offer a contrasting approach to us in Bristol. There is room for both, it should be seen as progressive and not competitive.

Finzels reach

Finzels Reach signals growth for the whole city

We wrote earlier in the year about ongoing construction work in the heart of Bristol. At Pinnacle we often watch carefully to see provision for business and the positive impact such developments can have. Insider Media broke the news recently regarding the impending move by English Heritage to Finzels Reach. It represents how heritage and business can come together for the enhancement of the area. This acknowledgement of historical interests represents a wider conscience in the city.

English Heritage is an important body preserving around 400 historic locations throughout England. Bristol is steeped in history so having such an important body will no doubt preserve this for generations to come. It also gives great status to Finzel’s Reach which already includes residents such as Barclays Bank. This ability for Bristol to take the derelict Courage Brewery and turn it in to flats and offices can be seen as somewhat unique. Bristol must ensure it keeps co-working space for new starts and this is an area we are developing ourselves.

Earlier we wrote about the growing tech reputation the city is gaining. This combined with new high rise buildings and vibrant mixed developments will only further the growth of Bristol. For residents such as ourselves, it is never a shock to read the positive national reporting in the BBC and wider media. Ultimately more good news is no doubt due after Channel 4 earlier announced it was taking up occupancy.

Bristol is well placed geographically and economically to cement its growing reputation as a fast growing tech hub. The nature of tech is often far more accessible and wide reaching, something cited by LSE and other bodies. This will no doubt ensure Bristol will create far wider reaching prosperity than London.

bristol broker

Is Bristol the new tech hub?

We are a business proud to be based in Bristol and part of the business community. On January 22nd we tweeted the story from Business Matters. This was about businesses in the South West having some of the highest average credit scores. Compared to the rest of the UK. On top of this, Bristol is getting a growing reputation for being a top technological place to start up. For us, the positive news is largely down to the tech nature of the city.

Just over a year ago Lizz Truss described Bristol as the UK’s answer to silicon valley, as reported in Bristol Live. We got further recognition. This was when a Business Leader reported in September last year that Bristol was ranked 12th for its tech cluster out of all the European Cities. Unlike other cities outside of London, the Bristol Private Equity Club is often very supportive of tech-based businesses. Only recently, the club funded a gaming company based in the heart of the city. Its focus on tech has been clear with its sponsorship of Set-Squared Tech Expo last year.

Bristol has also focused a lot on improving affordable co-working spaces. Again the city received national recognition for being a top location to start a business, mainly for this reason. Bristol-Business wrote a well-circulated article on this accolade in October last year.
Reported only this week was the news that Bristol will become one of the fastest-growing cities in the UK, due largely, to the growth of tech. Oxford Economics feels the city should create jobs at a faster rate than Milan. Sadly the report highlighted that the growth in Financial Services nationally will not support the growth in the same way tech will.

This vibrant, fast-paced nature to Bristol businesses is why we are focused on supporting local businesses right from inception. We see ourselves as a valued partner, so if you are looking for advice, just get in touch.

high street

The High Street – A Great British Renaissance

High Streets

Since 2008 around 11,000 major high street outlets have gone out of business. In fact, the Centre for Retail Research has recorded over 46,000 employees were effected in 2018 with the closure of 43 major retailers. The statics don’t make for good reading and show year on year, a definitive trend towards more closures. Despite this national trend, the Bristol Post has reported on numerous occasions about the success of Gloucester Road in Bristol. The national picture shows tougher trading conditions for national retailers, yet local ones appear to be thriving. This article will examine the return of values around community and local pride rather than technological innovation that will save the high street.

Bristol’s Gloucester Road

Gloucester Road is rumored to have the largest continuous stretch of independent shops on any high street. Although not verified, any visitor will no doubt be hard-pressed to challenge this claim. The community is vibrant with the @gloucesterRoad twitter page having 2.2k followers. Traders on the high street often enter national awards, and in September last year, they won £15,000, which allowed them to invest in further improving the environment.

This camaraderie among independent traders is nothing new. The Harrogate Advertiser wrote extensively in October last year about how local traders joined forces to promote the high street. The failing high street retailers are in stark contrast to this. Both House of Fraser and Debenhams are examples of hostile takeover bids by Mike Ashley. Both these names have announced closures and made up a good share of the staff affected by these closures. Local businesses that are part of a community will create a vibrancy that large malls simply can’t.

The Guardian wrote a great article on how a community and a sense of belonging is more human nature than anything else. In fact, this community spirit and sense of belonging is arguably what makes us human. Big brands don’t carry the same appeal and the failure of BHS was widely reported as an example of how detached they had become from their consumers.

Large corporates

Large organizations that have done well on the high street have often communicated very clear messages about belonging. In December 2017, a year before the record-breaking results, the CEO of Joules discussed how the brand was key. It was more specific than a brand, he cited, lifestyle, and how the clothes fitted the lifestyle. The fact o engaged its audience in a specific way that it understands its customers. Evidently big brands that don’t are personable can survive and grow. Nonetheless, it would be wrong ignoring the advantage a local retailer has. A local retailer should be, and is often, intrinsically linked to where they belong.

It would be wrong to remiss the power of the internet and the growth of online retailers. This year saw a different trend with even the powerhouses. ASOS seeing declines and issuing a profit warning in January. Although the internet will be a challenge to large national retailers, arguably real independent local traders will be able to survive. By returning to the core values of being local, the ones that produce local goods will survive. The key reason is the ability to source the goods elsewhere. Eclectic on Hanham High Street is a fantastic example of a shop filled with goods that can’t be sourced elsewhere, they are unique. It is this traditional value of shops selling local produce that will no doubt ensure people visit the high street.

It clear that the sense of community, promotion of the local area, and selling local goods will make the high street a destination. This destination exhibits traditional values that connect with consumers as individuals. It is not so much innovation but a renaissance that has shown what high streets will succeed and those that won’t. It will be vibrant coffee shops with bustling markets that survive, not concrete shopping malls with little or no identity.

scrabble finance

£2 million of start up funding secured for the local quantum security development team in Bristol!

At Pinnacle Business Finance we came across this topical story on a local Bristol based technology research firm. They secured a groundbreaking £2 million worth of funding. Furthermore, it was a tech business that required start up funding

The start-up business KETS has formed 2 years ago at the University of Bristol quantum engineering technology labs. The mission of the business was improving and developing cybersecurity encryption. This was to allow financial, defence, and telecommunication companies to be prepared for future cyber threats. Funding for such a scale can be daunting for any business. Let alone a high-risk start-up with little to no proven track record. The government has allowed for £235 million worth of investment into the development of quantum technologies. This demonstrates the high importance of making sure the UK stays at the forefront of cyber technology security.

KETS secured £1 million from Innovate UK, Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Additional funding from Quantonation was put in place for them. This allowed KETS to push forward their ideas and make them financially viable to release into the market place. IBM, Microsoft, and Google are all developing new supercomputers that hale to be the future. This allows for huge scope to expand with the financial backing they required.

This is just one example of how instrumental funding can be for any business. Without this funding, KETS would be just a mere, well thought out idea, with no financial backing to test the encryption product.