More Customer In Bristol

Find More Customers In Bristol This Holiday Season

Find More Customers In Bristol This Holiday Season

 

Maximize your business sales this holiday season by upgrading your marketing. No need to leave behind any traditions or strategies that are already working, like setting up a festive storefront or running promotions, but it’s a great time to mix things up. Keep reading as Pinnacle Business Finance in Bristol and how we outline some ideas for leveling up your business marketing this year. Especially if you run a small business in Bristol.

 

Engage With Customers

 

Far too often, businesses think they can just create an online profile and call it a day. Trust us when we say that having a profile on a site is only the first step. Instead, you should opt to have a few social media accounts where you interact with your followers on a regular basis—including those that leave negative feedback.

 

Far too often, we see businesses in Bristol and across the UK, who decide not to interact with people who leave them negative feedback simply because they think if it goes away, no one will see it. In actuality, most customers will hyper-focus on negative feedback to see how you handled the situation. Some companies think they can avoid this by deleting anything negative; however, followers will notice this as well, developing a rightful distrust of your brand. Instead, look to combat both positive and negative comments so people know you’re a real person who values their feedback.

 

Marketing Your Products with Giveaways

 

Giveaways are one of the most popular social media events on any platform, and it’s easy to see why. Many brands have blown up practically overnight thanks to giveaways they’ve offered, and you can be a part of that as well.

The best way to gain followers from it is to tell people to tag a certain number of family or friends under your photo of the item in question and select a winner from the applicants (trust us when we say it’s best to avoid letting family and friends enter). This allows everyone who was tagged to see your page as well as what you are selling.

A word of warning on this one. Do not give away things that you do not sell. Putting the latest electronics up will get you a lot of temporary followers, but they’ll leave after they don’t win the product.

 

Rebrand with a New Logo

While you’re freshening up your marketing approach, why not include your logo in the mix? Your business logo is a great opportunity to strengthen your brand and become recognizable in the market (if it’s done right). If you like to get creative and want to save money on the logo design, check out one of the many logo makers available online. You won’t miss having a professional designer with a wide range of customizations available, and how cool is it to say you made your own logo?

With that said, if you aren’t the creative type, hire a freelance designer to take care of your logo for you. Freelancers are the perfect way to get extra help while you’re busy preparing for the holiday rush. Looking to branch into new ways of marketing like TikTok? Search online job boards for TikTok agencies and hire one that can take of everything for you.

 

 

Get Last-Minute Shoppers

 

Last-minute shoppers are usually running out of ideas or time (or both), so why not create a gift guide for them? Showcase some of your most popular products in an assortment of gift guides that customers can easily scroll through. The best part? You can make these for the entire family. Look to create gift guides for kids, parents, family, friends, and more and have them readily available to scroll through on your website. These gift guides will allow you to connect with your shoppers as well as make their Christmas lists for them.

Last-minute shoppers are also on the hunt for fast shipping and discounts, so consider offering those as well. Guaranteed shipping before Christmas is a huge selling point. Also, don’t forget to clearly communicate any shipping deadlines or changes in your store hours to avoid any frustration from customers.

 

Sleigh the Holiday Season

 

Preparing for the holiday rush with more and more new customers rolling in is exciting. See the success you want by making use of our suggestions along with any of your go-to methods from years past. Striking the right balance between in-store and online is an art, but remember that anything that doesn’t work as you’d hoped is simply a lesson for next year. Have a happy holiday season!

 

Card Payment Bristol

Finding The Best Card Machines In Bristol

Finding the Best Merchant Card Reader

 

Chip and Pin Card Machines In Bristol

Nearly every business owner and consumer use a merchant payment service to pay for goods or services every single day. We expect to see a card machine on the counter when we go into a shop, bar, restaurant and the list goes on. It has become the quickest, easiest, and most secure way of taking payment. Both for the consumer and business. After all, it adds trust for the consumer when making payment to the business. But how do you know what is the best card machine? Any business owner who has looked at changing or taking merchant payment knows there is a vast array of chip and pin machines. All having their own strengths and weaknesses. Often the business owner can become confused by a complex fee structure offered by merchant payment businesses. The world’s most popular card machine is the Ingenico series. But there are many other card readers. Fortunately, we have the very latest technology in card readers at Bristol Card Machines. Not only this we have a full market offering so all clients have the freedom of choice.

 

 The Card Reader Built for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses

 

Keeping efficiency within a small business is one of the key aspects of success. The A920 card machine is at the cutting edge of technology. It looks and feels like a smartphone with Android and Apple Pay Technology. Being fully customisable through apps. The card reader is tailored through the app store to the individual needs. It allows the consumer to make a payment on their phone, through the contactless card reader, or by using their credit or debit card. It’s a portable card machine with the ability to connect to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, and 4G. So, wherever the business is taking payment it’s possible through the A920 card reader. It even has a camera front and back for QR code scanning. Opening up further marketing opportunities for small businesses. Could a loyalty card be introduced for those loyal customers who keep coming back? The A920 card machine pays for itself and more with it adding to the service your business provides. It sets a professional image for the business and shows you are taking payment security seriously.

 

The A920 Card Machine for Coffee Shops, Bars, Restaurant, and Small Businesses In Bristol

 

A business owner in the hospitality industry is acutely aware of how important it is to have the best merchant payment service. It can be costly to wait for staff to remember long lists of menus, prices, and shop contents. So, what if there was a way of mitigating this. Making the staff more valuable and efficient. The A920 has a pin on glass tailored technology where the menu, shop contents, or any business information can be saved onto the machine. Allowing the business to quickly look at prices or make amendments at the touch of a button. Further apps can be installed to make life easier for small businesses. Furthermore, due to its wireless capabilities having a portable card machine with extensive battery life is even better. It allows the consumer to be anywhere in the South West or wider UK and still be able to make payment. This can be incredibly useful for tradesmen who are on the road and no longer want to take cash. Setting a professional image and allows them not to have to keep banking the cash each week. Saving time and money.

 

The Choice of Card Machines In Bristol

From reading the above you probably have realised why merchant payment machines are so vitally important. They are one of the first and last impressions on all customers and sets a professional image for the business. After all, putting an outdated card reader in front of the consumer doesn’t set the right impression for the business. Hopefully the above has provided scope and knowledge on not only the A920 card machine but the wider card machines on offer.

restaurants

Digital Dining: Using Technology To Drive Your Bristol Restaurant Or Bar

Restaurants and Bars in Bristol

There are hundreds of restaurants and bars in Bristol. This type of business is extremely popular, and you’ll find a huge variety of different cuisines on offer. From greasy kebabs to gourmet feasts, Bristol has something for everyone, but this doesn’t mean that it’s easy to run a business like this.

Owners of bars and restaurants have to work extremely hard to make sure that they can keep on top of their work. Technology can make this job a lot easier, but you have to take the right steps to take advantage of it. Here at Pinnacle Business Finance, we can help you with many of these stages, and we’re going to explore these and more in this article.

Taking Orders

Customers are becoming increasingly serious about the time it takes for them to get their food when they eat out, and restaurants and bars have to bend over backwards to meet their expectations. In a world where online reviews are so crucial to a company’s success, this is something you have to take very seriously.

You can use a variety of different methods to serve your customers digitally. Some companies will choose to send their team around with tablets, while others will use their own smartphone apps to take orders. Of course, this can be a lot of investment for a small business, and we’re happy to help you to find a business loan that will enable you to start using tools like this.

Taking Payments

Taking payments is a huge part of any restaurant or bar business, and it can be all too easy to make mistakes when you’ve got a long queue of customers in front of you. Having to lose money or muck customers around simply isn’t an option, and this means that you need a fast and accurate way to collect your payments.

We’ve worked with many businesses in the restaurant and bar sector in Bristol, helping them to set up their own high-tech card machines. Along with giving you access to a merchant cash advance, this can solve your payment problems, giving customers a huge range of payment options, and making life easier for your team.

Managing Your Team

Managing a busy team can be a big challenge for a lot of small businesses. Not only do you have to make sure that everyone is paid on time, but you also have to keep track of holidays, sickness, and any other issues which could keep your employees from getting to work.

In recent years, online services have been making this sort of task much simpler. Examples like Octopus HR can give you all of the features you need to get started with managing your Bristol-based team, taking much of the work out of this crucial job. Of course, though, it’s always worth shopping around to find the very best options for your business.

 

Technology can do a huge amount for a business in the restaurant and bar sector. Our team of financial experts has had the opportunity to work with countless businesses in Bristol, Bath, and the South West, and investing in technology like this has proven to be successful for many of them. We’re always eager to chat and help you out, and we encourage anyone who is unsure about their business finances to get in touch.

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.

patrick-tomasso-nWvWBV0sv04-unsplash

Why should I use Merchant Cash Advance?

Merchant Cash Advance is perfect for businesses that take card payments and have demands on their cashflow. It allows businesses up to 2x their monthly card payment revenue with flexible repayments on a revolving basis. Unlike a loan it has no fixed repayment method and is ideal for businesses in the retail sector. Merchant Cash Advance can be setup very quickly with the initial payment made within hours. At Pinnacle Business Finance we support a lot of businesses in getting more competitive card terminal fees and access to quick cash. This, in turn, saves a business time and money with very little paperwork required.

Seasonal Business

A typical seasonal business may see as much as 70% of their turnover happen in just 3-4 months of the year. This means they must buy stock in advance of the rush. We recently supported a small retailer who is already looking ahead to Christmas. They need to buy a lot of stock in bulk and although they have a fantastic 50% margin, they are currently in a quiet period. Merchant Cash Advance allowed this business to access 1.5% of last month’s turnover, with the ability to get more funding as the business gets busier. They are now able to buy in the stock they need without the cashflow crisis of not paying suppliers. By buying stock in bulk they have also negotiated a volume discount of 5%, meaning the finance will likely have no cost. Cash is king and having access when you need it is priceless!

Often, we see cases where finance brokers have simply quickly sourced a loan for a business and not understood the cash flow cycle. A business we saw recently works as a mobile bar in the events industry. They are very seasonal with nearly all their turnover exclusively happening in the summer months. The loan they had was rigid, it wasn’t on a revolving basis. With nearly all their turnover taken by card payment, a revolving facility through merchant cash advance was ideal. It now allows the business flexible repayments as a small portion of the money is taken from every card payment. This will mean their cashflow is aided and they shouldn’t be left with any repayments after the busy period.

Not all businesses suit Merchant Cash Advance so you should be clear why you need it. The finance is designed for instant cash when you need it with flexible repayments. If you are using Merchant Cash Advance all year then it will work out very costly. At Pinnacle Business Finance we always take the time to understand the business to ensure you are getting the right product. Think of it as a sports car, it’s fast and exciting but you wouldn’t take one for a substantial drive!

Merchant Cash Advance is great for seasonal businesses, it allows them the cash to borrow money when they need it. The flexible repayment means they are repaying just a small amount of card payments every time. It is very effective when it’s used for those short bursts but can be expensive if it is used all the time.

Pinnacle Business Finance

If you found this article useful, please share it and comment below. The team is on hand to answer any questions or indeed support your business.

commercial finance broker blog

Should I Use A Commercial Finance Broker?

Recently somebody asked us this key question; why use a commercial finance broker? It’s a perfectly valid and one I hope this article will answer. Everyone from the Telegraph to a local finance broker has written an article on the importance of the right business funding. Secondly, any small business owner will know that time is money. So sourcing the investment at a preferential rate is key to success. Lastly finding the correct information is tough for a small business, even Forbes wrote in 2014 about how the turmoil this can cause. All these issues are mitigated and made simple by using a decent commercial finance broker.

Here at Pinnacle Business Finance, we are fortunate enough to be based in the heart of Bristol, where we visit as many of our clients as possible. At the very least, we have an initial consultation with all our clients prior to sourcing them business funding. It means that we understand the challenges that small businesses face and therefore tailor the business funding to match. You should be wary of anyone who claims that they don’t need this in-depth understanding to find you business finance. Otherwise, you will have finance that doesn’t work. It would be like buying a Ferrari for speed when you need a 4×4 for the terrain – You will quickly get stuck!

The Pinnacle Business Finance team took a call yesterday from a lady who had spent a whole month trying to secure a loan through another commercial finance broker. After just 5 minutes on the phone, we realised a loan would be difficult to secure. Most importantly cash flow was the real problem and the loan wouldn’t address the underlying issue. We quickly understood that trade finance was what she needed, and the previous commercial finance broker had failed to understand her small business. She nearly lost the order as a result and had lost one month in trying to source business funding. Fortunately, we saved her time by getting her the right finance for her small business in under 1 week. She now doesn’t have to worry every time she gets an order and can grow her small business.

In November 2018, Forbes reported that the Alternative Finance sector had grown by a third in the previous 12 months. At Pinnacle Business Finance we ensure we keep up to date with the newest lenders evaluating which ones are suitable to join our panel. With new lenders emerging we often see small business owners who have selected a niche provider and are paying the price. Sadly, the quick fix business funding they sought, is now costing them a hefty price each month. The second common mistake is commercial finance brokers who place the business with only the handful of lenders they know. Our team at Pinnacle Business Finance focuses on constantly evaluating the market so you don’t have to. We are very much the doctor who finds you the right medicine – getting it wrong can be fatal!

It’s clear that using the wrong commercial finance broker can be costly both financially and time-consuming. Not using a finance broker at all is challenging at best. With a rapidly evolving market and an array of products to choose from, having time to evaluate the offerings and run a small business is almost impossible. Sadly, choosing the wrong provider will again prove costly. Fortunately, an expert team of commercial finance brokers at Pinnacle Business Finance will save you time and money. Secure the financial backing you need to grow!

If you found this article useful, please share it and comment below. The team are on hand to answer any questions or indeed support your business.

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.