When searching for finance, the experience and advice of a commercial finance broker can be invaluable.
A good broker will have access to multiple lending options and be ready for the unexpected, providing different solutions and back-up plans if your application is declined.
Most importantly however, they will take your time out of the equation allowing you to focus on running your business.
Finding the right finance broker can be difficult though and ensuring they’re the right fit for you can be the difference between getting the finance you need or not.
So we’ve put together 6 of the most important questions to ask your broker to ensure you’re getting the best support for your business.
1 – How Wide is Your Panel of Lenders?
To give yourself the best possible of chance of finding the right facility for your finance needs, It’s important you receive a bird’s eye view of the market and don’t restrict your options.
You need to ensure that your broker has access to a wide panel of lenders and can offer you solutions you might not initially have considered.
It’s also wise to check that they’re not tied in with a particular lender and are scouring the market for the right facility for you.
2 – How do You Decide on Your Fee?
This can vary broker to broker. Some brokers are paid a commission by the lender and others will charge the client a fee.
Other brokers will also charge an extra fee dependent on the level of work and time spent on your application.
Does your broker benefit from an introducer fee and how do they decide on the commission and rate they will charge you?
The important thing to remember here is to establish this early on in the relationship so that the above is clear from the outset.
3 – How Long Have You Been in Business?
If a broker’s been in business for a long-time it’s usually a good indication of how successful they are in matching businesses with the right funder.
They will also have built up strong relationships with their panel of lenders and could potentially negotiate a better rate for you.
Do your research and check online reviews and testimonials, this should give an even better idea of whether what they claim is actually true.
4 – Are You FCA Accreditied?
The Financial Conduct Authority is an independently run financial regulatory body, focusing on the conduct of financial services firms to promote competition and protect consumers rights.
Their objective is to:
- Protect consumers
- Protect financial markets
- Promote competition
Working with a broker who is FCA regulated gives you the piece of mind to know you are working with a business that is operating to the highest possible industry standards and procedures.
5 – Do You Have Experience in My Industry?
A broker that really understands your industry will be best placed to find you the best possible facility.
Businesses in different sectors have different funding requirements so it’s important to ensure from the beginning that your broker has a good understanding of your business and the market you’re operating in.
6 – How is my Private Data Handled?
In this age of ‘big data’ it’s important you work with businesses that ensure your personal information is protected.