Monday 7th Dec 2020
Well the year really is racing away. November has been and gone and now it's nearly Christmas, we’ve got the decorations up and working flat out to have a strong final month of the year. Some of you pointed out that we didn’t do a blog post for October on the new business performance – that was an oversight on my part. So this month is two for the price of one!!
This was the first month since July we didn’t beat the previous year for deal numbers (we achieved 92%), although we maintained the trend of completing larger more fee generating deals – so new funding was up 32% on last year and income 17%. So we are pleased with this. As our financial year starts on 1 April, and we had a very slow Q1 we still haven’t yet caught up so as at end of October we are still below last year to date in terms of numbers – but we are getting closer now. Having said that, our lead generation continued to be strong in October – so we have generated more leads this financial year than last – this is a growing trend and is a big part for the strong performance.
In October we became aware of a fraud that is been targeted at recruitment companies that use Invoice Finance. James Bingham did a great post on this. One of our clients was targeted with this and I know a number of others were too. If you work at an invoice finance funder or you are an introducer please have a read of our separate blog post around this – it may help. Shining a light of frauds practices I think can only help stop these happening.
We really thought November was going to be a record breaker for us, traditionally November is a strong month for us. The pipeline going into the month was excellent in every team. However as the month progressed deals slipped by a day or two then into December. The main issues are the same as previous months, completion of new business survey remotely (prospects delay in sending info over) verification of purchased debts and the bank being very slow in many cases agreeing/providing on a deed of priority.
Even so we again managed to beat last year’s performance for the month against all measures, new clients, higher funding lines and increased minimum fee income for new business for November. This made up for the lower new clients in October and therefore for the quarter (our Q3) ahead of last year on all measures – phew.
The strong November performance was driven by great lead generation results – up 39% on November last year. Our digital onboarding process means that most of the deals converted in the month the lead was generated – typically lead to deal is less than two weeks, many in three to four days. The larger deals do take a little longer to convert, normally at the prospect request but the strong lead generation in November will feed into December performance (fingers crossed).
What is progress?
Its really important to mention, as I do every month, we have reset our expectations for this year – we are still aiming to hit the original targets (and some month we’ve done this or got very close) but if we can beat last year – we see this as progress. We didn’t furlough any staff, as we see ourselves financially strong enough therefore not needing the Government support and this action really has helped build both the team confidence and maintained strong lead generation and conversion.
In other news…
We are delighted to welcome Dan Topham to the team. Dan joins our Corporate Business team spearheading the growth of this successful team in the North. This is Alex Rowe’s (who leads this team) second appointment this year - Ivan Walsh joined us in August. This continues our investment and growth in delivering larger deals as well as our traditional sized deals too. Welcome aboard Dan – hope you enjoy the journey.