September 2nd, 2019.

The majority of smaller businesses do not seek advice when applying for external finance to grow their business, despite the fact that having access to the right information can make the difference between success and failure, Piers Linney, the former Dragons’ Den investor, says today.

Latest Government figures show that smaller businesses which access external advice or information on matters affecting their business are between 15% and 25% more likely to become high growth firms.

Yet recent research from British Business Bank found that 81% did not seek advice when applying for external finance last year, and that only 14% researched finance options online.

The research also found that smaller businesses’ awareness of alternatives to traditional finance has been growing but remains low, with a third (33%) of small businesses still seeking funding from their main bank when they need finance.

Businesses with growth ambitions need to look beyond the high street when seeking funding, says Piers Linney, who is a Non-Executive Director at British Business Bank.

Piers was speaking at the start of Small Business Advice Week, during which British Business Bank is encouraging the UK’s 5.7 million smaller businesses to seek advice and independent information on finding the finance best suited to their needs.

Piers Linney, Non-Executive Director at British Business Bank, said: “Getting support and investment for your business does not have to be as daunting as going into the Dragons’ Den. There are many ways to get access to finance and business support – the challenge is knowing where to look and making the time to find out about them. Getting reliable, independent information on your finance options can make the difference between success and failure.”

British Business Bank is committed to enabling smaller businesses understand and explore the finance options available to them. It has developed the Finance Hub, an interactive website dedicated to providing independent and impartial information on the finance options available for growing businesses.

Business mentoring competition

During Small Business Advice Week, Piers Linney will be offering expert advice to businesses during radio interviews. He will also be giving UK-based companies the opportunity to win a half-day business mentoring session. For more details on how to enter the competition, click here.

Case study
Taking advice paid off for the founders of Rejuicenate, the winners of last year’s competition, who recently opened their first permanent juice bar in a local health food shop. Based in Liverpool, the business manufactures cold-pressed juices which are stocked in select restaurants, cafes and gyms throughout the city.

Leith Taha, Co-Founder & CEO of Rejuicenate, said: “Piers and his team came to Liverpool and spent the entire day with us talking about our business as well as spending time in the Rejuicenate kitchen. He changed the way we think about our brand locally and worked with us on our strategy to help drive our business in our own community.

“I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for that day with Piers, Rejuicenate would not be half the business it is today. Today we have our own store in the city centre and distribute to a number of local businesses as well as people. To know we have such an experienced and respected entrepreneur in our corner has proved invaluable.”
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