Increase Membership Of Your Golf Club With 6 Social Media Strategies

To attract more members and keep them coming back, you’ll need to enlist the help of social media platforms. To be digitally smart means using your website as a landing page for potential new golfers interested in joining up with your club through various online marketing strategies such as Facebook advertising or organic promotion on Twitter, and don't forget to show off your club by posting on Instagram.

Good news! You don't have to hire an expensive social media guru because our expert has 6 great tips for increasing membership at any course...

1, Social Media

Social media marketing requires an understanding of your target audience. There is no one-size-fits all solution to the art of social media, and every golf club is different which means that each plan will be unique as well. But there are general guidelines you can follow like:

1) Create a Facebook page for your club." 

2) Post images on Instagram regularly with captions about what’s going on at the course or perhaps some insider tips from people in your industry." 

3) Use LinkedIn groups to promote upcoming tournaments or share professional insights among members who might benefit most from them." 

Informational Social Media Marketing Strategies That Will Help Increase Golf Club Membership.

2, Giveaways

You can increase your membership sign-ups by creating a prize giveaway for an item from the Pro Shop. To do this, you'll need to boost posts on Facebook and have people visit your page in order to enter their email addresses into the giveaway form. Once they give away that information, it’s only a few emails until more of them join!

3, Event Participation

Promoting your events on social media will help bring awareness to new people about the exciting activities that you have at your golf club. Recording events and posting on social media and your website, should lead to a boost in membership enrolments as well!

4, Build Awareness Through Email

One good way to increase awareness of your social media pages is through email. Each time you send out an email, include social buttons so readers can click and follow on Facebook or Twitter accounts. It multiplies any membership drives initiated in the newsletters as well. Using an email marketing service like Mailchimp is a great starting point, and is free for the first 2000 contacts.

5, Entice New Members With Great Photography

If you can capture your inner photographer and create content that makes the golf club look exciting, it may be able to attract real visitors on social media.

Try thinking of a post as an advertisement for your golf course every now and then. While not all posts should promote yourself, pictures of groups enjoying themselves at the clubhouse or playing will show how much fun people have there.

6, Engage With Golfers’ Needs & Desires

Social media is a great place for golfers to make friends and share information about the sport. If you focus on providing useful, engaging content that will drive engagement with your club's social media pages, memberships will rise as more people learn how awesome it would be to join our club!

Finally, Is Your Website In Great Shape

Social media can be the perfect way to increase membership for your golf club. But if you want this social media strategy to work, it’s essential that your website is fast-loading and easy to navigate on mobile devices. Now you know what steps are next! It's time to get to work on spreading the word, and increasing your membership.

Make LinkedIn Work For You, Avoiding These Mistakes

For connecting with other professionals and businesses LinkedIn has become the number one professional tool in recent years. Competing with Facebook and Twitter for eyeballs, LinkedIn is the go to network to make business connections. In fact it's becoming so powerful, some companies are finding that they are doing more business through LinkedIn than on their own corporate websites.

Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are great for making connections. However, LinkedIn is best for building a company or individual's brand and marketing message.

  • LinkedIn has 31 million UK members

  • The U.S. has the most members, followed by India and China, Brazil and UK

  • Over 100 million job applications are sent each month

  • LinkedIn has 57 million businesses and 120,000 schools accounts

 

www.statista.com

The Importance Of Your Profile

Your LinkedIn profile is the first impression anyone will have of you, so use it to make the right impression. When you join any social network like LinkedIn, make sure that your profile is complete. You should fill out as much of the information as possible because this information is going to help people find you online.

Be sure to use relevant keywords in your profile, as these will help people understand what you or your business do, and what you have to offer.

Like any social network you need to participate and add value. Making connections is easy but to make these connections valuable long term you need to interact by commenting on posts and adding your own content. This takes time so it’s good to start early.

Before you pitch on LinkedIn, do your homework. Connecting and offering your services or product to the wrong person will only annoy people, and you probably won't get another chance to connect with them again.

When reaching out to people with an invitation to connect it's important to follow up with a few sentences, and share how you learned about the person, their work, and why you would like to follow them. A quick "Hi, I'd like to connect" is just too short to pique anyone's interest.

The biggest error professionals can make on the platform is the manner in which they are reaching out to a complete stranger. Simply saying, My name is _____ and we just launched our new product/ service, is not going to get you far.

Avoid the generic pitch, LinkedIn is not your opportunity to simply promote your product and hope for the best. Rather, it's about bringing value through actual interaction in a way that connects you directly with those who may be looking for exactly what you have to offer. It takes time and effort to cultivate these connections.

 

LinkedIn is the biggest platform on the planet for professionals and businesses, and using this tool will help you and your business get a foot in the door, and help build long lasting and valuable relationships.

 

Professional Indemnity Insurance Explained

Many professionals take the risk of working without professional indemnity insurance, but it can be harmful to themselves in case of a claim.

Businesses need to offer a great experience in order to earn repeat customers, generate more referrals and build up an excellent reputation within the industry.

But some things don't always go to plan: sometimes what you set out to do doesn't work for your client and this can harm your reputation and be costly to you and your business

In these cases professional indemnity insurance can cover costs like defending claims from unhappy clients who think they were not given good advice.

Does your business need professional indemnity?

Although not a legal requirement professional indemnity insurance is a requirement by some regulators, professional bodies and sector regulators.

There are various bodies that set out minimum insurance requirements - the Solicitors Regulation Authority, for example. Members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales also requires members to have cover.

In the wider business world professional indemnity should be sort by any business that offers advice to their clients.

The Business Protection Insurance Group says the largest number of professional indemnity claims come from people who say they haven't been given good advice.

Other professions such as management consultants, tutors, health practitioners, web and graphic designers should also consider professional indemnity insurance.

The Chartered Insurance Institute sums up the need for professional indemnity insurance. It says: “When professional people offer professional advice, they must exercise an adequate degree of skill and have enough information to make that advice reasonably safe to give. If they fail to do so they can be held liable for any loss or damage that results.”

What does professional indemnity insurance cover?

If a claim is made by a client, professional indemnity insurance can help pay for any legal costs incurred for defending and settling a claim.

In any business mistakes can happen, and the cost of defending claims can be expensive, which can result in financial pressure on your business. Covering you and your business with professional indemnity insurance can give you peace of mind.

There are many reasons to have professional indemnity insurance and it can be a requirement of your profession. For example, if you belong to an association with specific requirements or work with regulatory bodies that require PI coverage, make sure yours is compliant so as not to violate any agreements. You should also consider the potential for mistakes in contracts because they could cause financial loss or damage reputations.

Benefits of professional indemnity insurance

The benefits of having Professional Indemnity Insurance include protection against claims from third parties due to errors made in executing their contract/agreement; obtaining cover when no other type is available; being able pay legal expenses without going into bankruptcy during disputes over fees charged by lawyers who may represent them on cases.

Professional indemnity insurance FAQ's

 

For more information on how 'Professional Indemnity Insurance' can help your business.

Contact: Chris Meyer

Phone: 07854 380900

Email: chris.meyer@orchardfunding.co.uk

Making clear the cost of premium finance provision to our customers

This is the first time the FCA has created rules which could impact on the levels of premium finance remuneration earned by insurance brokers. The new rules come into effect on 1 January 2022.

Limitations on premium finance remuneration

ICOBS 6A.5.5 R states that a firm must not arrange any retail premium finance where this would not be in the customer’s best interests.

Brokers may need to ask themselves the following questions.

1. Is the premium finance rate in the customer’s best interests?

2. Is there a conflict of interests resulting from the commission earned on the premium finance and the best interests of the customer?

3. How does the premium finance arrangement selected provide a fair outcome for the customer?

4. Why was the premium finance arrangement selected for the customer?

 

Broker A earns 15% commission from offering premium finance to its customers through a premium finance provider. The insurer’s instalment facility offers an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 10%. On the face of it, Broker A may not be acting in the best interests of its customers and may wish to consider reducing its commission.

Broker receives all its commission in advance from a premium finance provider either as a direct payment or in the form of marketing or training allowances. A potential conflict of interests may exist between the broker offering premium finance to hit a target and so retain the commission and the best interests of its customers.

 

Pre-contract disclosures

ICOBS 6A.5 R makes it clear that customers must receive information about:

1. The total cost of the policy without premium finance;

2. The total cost of the policy with premium finance;

3. The cost of the premium finance ie 2. MINUS 1.;

4. Notification that the use of premium finance will be more expensive than paying for the policy upfront;

Any difference between the duration of the policy and that of the premium finance.

Fair value

Firms would be breaking the fair value requirements were they to increase the price of insurance products because the customer is purchasing the policy using retail premium finance, unless the firm has an objective and reasonable basis for making the change.

ENBP and premium finance

When ensuring the price of the premium finance at renewal is no higher than ENBP, the relevant measure is the APR if the premium finance is a regulated credit agreement or, the total price paid by the consumer if it is not.

Reporting

The Supervision Sourcebook (SUP 16.28.13 R) contains the new rules relating to premium finance reporting. Firms will be expected to report (on form REP021):

1. Total charged for retail premium finance on policies written in reporting period.

2. Total number of policies with retail premium finance written in reporting period.

3. Total number of policies written in reporting period falling into bands of APR rates from 0% to 50% or more.

Non-retail premium finance

All premium finance offered to non-retail customers ie firms of three or more partners or limited companies does not fall within the new FCA premium finance rules.

 

Ravi Takhar

CEO

Bexhill UK Ltd

 

Insurance Premium Finance - Know the quality of your customer

Effective October 1, 2021, the FCA Rules PS21.05 effectively change the way that insurance products can be sold by firms, to read further here.

 

In a nutshell, the FCA wants to stop insurance brokers charging to spread the cost of insurance premiums, although, this may not please some brokers, this does present an opportunity.

 

The changes will liken selling premium finance to purchasing a sofa, where customers can pay monthly at O% interest.

 

Companies like Klarna and PayPal offer the buy now pay later model with no interest, that model of paying offers a more flexible way to pay for products.

 

As more consumers use this form of payment in their everyday purchases, the more they will expect it when it comes to paying for a range of products, including insurance.

 

‘Open Banking’ can reduce the risk for brokers, by determining if the customer can afford the repayments.

 

Orchard Funding Ltd is offering brokers the option of using our ‘Open Banking’ service to determine whether their customers can afford a policy, whether the customer chooses to spread their insurance premium payments or not.

 

This allows the insurance broker to know the ‘quality’ of their customer, hence less risk and can result in customers securing a lower insurance premium, so beneficial for both the customer and the broker.

For more information on how ‘Open Banking’ can help your insurance business.

 

Contact: Chris Meyer

Phone: 07854 380900

Email: chris.meyer@orchardfunding.co.uk

 

#insurance #banking #openbanking #fintech #insurancebroker #insurancebrokers #premiumfinance

New premium finance rules – what does it mean for the industry?

Brokers are going ’to have to change the way they do business’ around premium  finance following the FCA’s pricing reforms, says insurance premium finance chief executive

The FCA revealed its new rules for premium finance last month 28 May which includes guidelines for firm that use premium  nance to allow customers to spread the cost of their insurance.

Due to come into effect on 1 October this year, the new rules in the FCA’s PS21/05 applies to all firms selling insurance products, not premium finance credit providers directly or premium finance arrangements without interest or additional cost to customers.

The rules do not require that insurance firms provide premium finance with 0% APR. Changes were proposed as part of the FCA’s consultation on general insurance pricing practices, which closed in January.

The new guidance states:

  • Premium finance sold alongside insurance provides fair value for customers and the costs associated with it will not detrimentally affect the value of the insurance produce.
  • Any remuneration related to retail premium finance is consistent with the firm’s obligation to act honestly, fairly and professionally in their customers best interests.
  • They give clear information about the costs of the retail premium finance arrangements and make clear that this makes the contract more expensive.
  • They do more than simply ask the customer to choose between paying monthly and annually to ensure customers actively choose to take premium finance.
  • Firm’s remuneration arrangements in relation to retail premium finance do not give an incentive to offer retail premium finance with greater costs to the customer where a better aligned arrangement with the customer’s interest is available.

Point of sale

Speaking about these changes, Ravi Takhar, insurance premium finance provider Bexhill’s chief executive, told Insurance Times: “What the FCA does not like is insurance brokers charging high finance costs to people spreading the price of their insurance premium.”

He predicts it might become like the point-of-sale market – ‘buy now, pay later’ – where you buy something and spread it over 10 or 12 months. Previously, for insurance, customers would probably have to pay between 10% to 20% for the right to spread the payments.”

This he said could see the industry move to a payments system similar to the one used by Swedish fintech company Klarna, which allows customers to “buy now and pay later”.

Takhar said the FCA would say this approach is fairer for the customer, but where does it leave the insurance industry? Likening this model to Klarna, Takhar said that if you buy shoes for example, using the fintech, the retailer would pay Klarna commission but the customer is offered 0% interest to spread the cost. “It’s going to be the same for insurance – the insurer or broker is going to have to pay for spreading the payments to its customers,” he added.

“This is really going to change the industry because historically insurance brokers have been used to earning huge income from interest on premium finance, so they are going to have to change the way they do business in that market.”

“That is some security for the insurance policy – if the person stops paying, the insurance policy is cancelled, and the insurance company should make a payment back. It’s safer for the borrower to take insurance finance,” he added.

Checking customer finances

Takhar highlighted the savings that could result from such a move. He added that this would appeal to millennials.

Takhar said: “They are very wary of paying any interest, so it’s right and a good development in the market.”

Bexhill is offering brokers the option of using open banking to determine whether the customer can afford a policy, whether they spread payments or not. Takhar added there is a “real benefit” for brokers and insurers in knowing the quality of customers. Clients should also be keen to show they have a good financial background because this can affect the premium.

He said: “It could reduce the cost of insurance because they are financially stable”.

Insurance Times

The Benefits Of Independent Schooling Post Lockdown

Independent schooling 

 

In 2020 and 2021, UK school children had to contend with a new reality, many were now home-schooled due to the spring lockdown. The pandemic added an even higher level of chaos in education than before when it came around last year; schools struggled as they tried their best to keep up, but there was no way for them to prepare themselves enough for what would come next.

 

Many parents were thrown into becoming teachers for their own children, and the difficulties educating from home. This raised interest in the value of an Independent education. 

 

Independent schools are now becoming more and more popular with an emphasis on their smaller class sizes, teachers able to conduct live online lessons during lockdown, and greater levels of support for students, Independent schools have become an excellent option for parents wanting the best for their kids.



Financial accessibility

 

If your pockets are deep enough, then you can still find a way to afford an independent education. In the UK 6.5% of children attend an independent school and that many parents have found creative ways to cover their child’s tuition fees with help from financial planning support or taking out loans against properties they own for example through remortgaging them or drawing down on pension funds when necessary because it is not always money that's holding people back, it might be time constraints too!

 

Schools understand that the cost for an independent education may well be out of the reach for some, but maybe unknown to many, there is an option that is becoming increasingly popular. A monthly payment plan just like you would take out for purchasing a car of other expensive products, can help give a child the opportunity to access the best in education. Monthly payment plans can spread the cost, and help parents balance the books.

 

For more information on how School Fee Finance can help you attract more pupils

Call Chris Meyer on 07854 380900 or email chris.meyer@orchardfunding.co.uk

Attracting Students & Parents To Your Independent school

When parents are looking for a school that will cater to their child’s individual needs, most consider public schools. However, there is another way you can go: independent schools.

Independent schools are an excellent option for parents who want their children to be surrounded by peers with similar interests and abilities.

Marketing Your School Differently

Millennials are the new generation of parents. They’re hyper-connected and they rely on their phone for all things Internet related.

That’s not to mention that millennials have less trust in advertising than any other age group, so it makes marketing to them even more difficult!

Getting more creative with how schools market themselves in order to attract a new generation of students is a great place to start.

It’s becoming more difficult to compete against other schools, such as state ones that have better resources for marketing thanks to their larger applicant pool size.

Independent schools had an easier time recruiting kids back when everyone knew about them; but due to socioeconomics changing things or because fewer people want children nowadays (UK birthrate), it’s getting tougher than ever before!

The competition has never been greater between private and public education systems.

Today’s Millennial parents are inquisitive, caring, and want to know the best way they can care for their children.

They’re looking for user-focused content that answers key questions about what is safe or healthy choices when it comes to things like food, education etc.

A multi-channel strategy with an emphasis on social media marketing will do wonders in this vertical market.

You have to market where your audience is, social media marketing is a cost-effective way to reach and engage with potential parents and pupils.

Posting regularly on social networks like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter will help your school grow their following.

Don’t forget that you need to post content of value, it’s got to be worth taking the time out of your day for posting if it isn’t going attract attention.

Old fashioned marketing through brochures is still relevant. Schools can increase their reach by distributing brochures or flyers in key public places such as supermarkets, doctors’ surgeries and anywhere else where parents might be shopping.

When using these methods be sure everything is of the highest quality. A poorly designed brochure or flyer that looks like it was put together in a hurry will not be effective.

Find your school’s (USP) unique selling point - what makes you different to other schools? This information is on your doorstep, speak to staff, pupils and parents to find out the strengths and weaknesses of the school.

You should use this information to create a focused marketing strategy and create content that will help to promote the school and attract new pupils.

What are the qualities of an independent school?

These include smaller class sizes, lower student-teacher ratios, higher college acceptance rates for graduates and more individualized attention from teachers.

Independent schools also offer greater flexibility in curricula and teaching styles, as well as experiential learning opportunities to enhance their students’ development.

To attract new students, independent schools should emphasize the quality of their teaching staff, curriculum offerings and extracurricular activities (such as clubs or sports).

Facilities such as libraries and sports clubs, and social initiatives like community engagement or after-school programs are also good points of interest to mention.

School fees - Making it an easier sell

One thing that always comes up in conversation is the cost of tuition. If they are looking for a school that offers more affordable education, independent schools can be the answer.

Many parents are not sufficiently informed when it comes to the available options for paying school fees. An affiliation with Orchard Funding’s School Fee Finance could be just what schools and parents need.

Schools won’t have to worry about managing a monthly payment option in-house because Orchard Funding will take care of this process for them.

Offering School fee Finance at your school can help to improve cash flow, improve annual budgeting and reduce administrative costs.

For more information on how School Fee Finance can help you attract more pupils

Call Chris Meyer on 07854 380900 or email chris.meyer@orchardfunding.co.uk

6 Ways To Increase Enrolment To Your Independent School

With the pressures on parents’ finances increasing and the effects of the pandemic still to be counted, it's important that independent schools get the message out there of the benefits of a private education.

For any business having a (USP) unique selling point is vital in finding new customers. Independent schools are no different, and in the current financial climate it's important that they communicate what sets them apart from other providers of a similar service - otherwise they will be forgotten about as people make economically driven decisions to save money by sending their children elsewhere.

With 2,500 Independent schools across the UK educating around 630,000 pupils. This equates to around 6.5% of the number of UK school children, so making your school standout has never been more important.

Why is your school special, and what does it offer that others don't?

Every school is different and has their own advantages, but some common points are:

  • Private teachers who focus on the needs of each individual child
  • Smaller class sizes that make for a better learning environment
  • Access to more resources than offered by local state schools - particularly when it comes to things like science laboratories or musical instruments
  • Private schools tend to offer better facilities than state schools. They are often newer or in prime locations that local councils cannot afford
  • Schools with boarding facilities may be attractive as they provide security for children
  • A well-rounded educational experience that is tailored to the needs of each child - including emphasis on traditional subjects like math’s and English, as well as art and music
 
How does your school compare?

 

How can independent schools improve enrolment?

Here are five ideas

  1. Branding: Your school should have a strong, clear brand message that distinguishes them from other schools. This branding will help you reach the right audience with your marketing messages and get people excited about what's happening at your school. A well-thought-out marketing plan, executed with consistency can yield measurable results.
  2. Develop a content marketing strategy that aligns the school's goals and values to the needs of your audience, inviting them to interact through social media or by subscribing to a newsletter mailing list for updates on what is happening at your school. Share different perspectives about education - like how technology is changing.
  3. The first place most parents will look for information on a school is online. A well-designed website will help parents when choosing a school and make it easier for you to get in touch with them. Make sure the navigation of your website is easy to follow and directs parents to the information they are seeking. Also ensure you have up to date information on your website and all the contact details are current.
  4. Be sure your website communicates the benefits of your school and the advantages of sending their child there. Showcase your successes and explain how you are continuing to grow in the future. Include videos, photos of school life and testimonials from current parents showing why your school is a good choice for their child.
  5. Word of mouth is an excellent way to get the word out about your school. Have parents and teachers speak on behalf of your school at conferences, job fairs, or neighbourhood events in order to build awareness around what you do and why it is important for children today. Local and national newspapers are a great way to get your school noticed. For example, you could get your school mentioned in a feature article about the city neighbourhood it is located.
  6. Offer open houses for prospective families similar to college visits - Give tours on campus every week so potential students can get an idea of what it is like at your school.

Having a monthly school marketing meeting and involving key members of staff is a great way to keep everyone on the same page. By sharing information about events and achievements, can help plan your future marketing.

Speaking with students and parents what they like about the school, will give you invaluable information on what made them choose the school in the first place and where they found out about the school.

This information will help you come up with better marketing campaigns that more people are likely to be interested in.

How to help parents afford the education they want for their children

With many parents' wallets feeling the pinch and their children's education being one of the first things they cut out as costs continue to rise, offering monthly support is not only an excellent way for your school community to grow, but also help with your school funding.

Why private schools should offer parents a payment plan?

Most private schools in the UK offer parents an option of paying for school fees upfront or over time. However, only 40% of these options are monthly payments. This means that 60% of parents must pay their child's school fee up front.

Offering monthly payments for private schools can help parents afford the cost of sending their children to a school. Private schooling is expensive, so it makes sense that monthly payments would be an attractive way for parents to cover these costs with predictable instalments.

Monthly payments also offer more stability and peace of mind for parents because they don't have to worry about saving up money for years before being able to afford the school fees.

The advantages for the school are they receive the money upfront and know how much money to budget for. The pressures on private schools have increased in recent years, but for those who want to offer a monthly payment option the rewards are well worth it.

Most parents who are looking at paying their child's tuition up front worry about the impact this might have on them. They also want the choice of how much they can afford to pay each month and when they would like it paid over a set period.

It's clear that parents have more options than ever before when considering where their children can receive private education and if they need some help paying for school fees, this is an excellent opportunity.

It's never too late! Talk to us now about school fee funding plans - just give us call on 07854 380900 or email chris.meyer@orchardfunding.co.uk for more information about our plans.

 

New Opportunities For Brokers

 

Coming out of lockdown

With the lockdown finally starting to lift and warmer weather on the way, we can be excited about what lies ahead. Now we are all getting out of the house to get a haircut, a visit to the pub, and the opportunity to meet friends and family once again. It’s finally starting to feel like normality is returning.

Life through Zoom just isn't the same as meeting in person. The lifting restrictions means people will hopefully be able to come together should soon become a reality. Following government guidelines is still important, but the ability to be out and about is a welcome one.

Time for brokers to make those calls

With many industries opening up again, there's never been a better time for brokers to contact potential clients or customers. Your clients business may have changed due to lockdown, or their insurance needs to be reactivated. It's been a rough, tough year for finances.

With normality starting to return, there are certainly opportunities for brokers. If your clients business has changed because of the lockdown, it’s time to contact them and find out what they need. Maybe now is a good time for some new insurance?

Premium finance is a great way for customers to spread the cost over monthly payments. No more being left without protection from life's uncertainties because of a lack of cash, making it affordable and easy to budget, and giving your clients access to the cover they need.

Orchard is here to help

Our team at Orchard Funding are here to support you in growing your insurance business. If you are looking for new funding or are looking at an in house facility, then do get in touch.

The Year Ahead For Personal Lines Broking

The last 12 months have been a tough time for insurance brokers, but personal lines are taking the brunt of it. The pandemic has caused people to hold off from expensive purchases like cars that require insurance and forced millions of people to re-think the way they travel. 

Customers who have taken their car off the road in order to save money have cancelled coverage, which is just another unfortunate consequence of this terrible economic downturn.

An optimistic Bank of England believes there will be increased household spending later in the year. Although, personal lines brokers who were affected by restrictions due to pandemic fears may find it harder to get their numbers back up after the end of those restrictions.

The Office for National Statistics reported the unemployment rate fell back slightly to 5% in the three months to January, representing 1.7 million people – down from 5.1% in the three months to December.

The number of employees on furlough has risen to almost 5 million during the latest wave of the pandemic. The economy is under pressure, so this helps a little, by preventing job losses in some companies who are still able to function with less staff than usual.

However, the economy has been improving lately with the help of an increase in clear government restrictions and firms adapting to new regulations. So, there is a glimmer of hope that consumers will begin to feel more secure in their personal financial outlook. 

Being competitive in the market is a must for brokers as we start to come out of lockdown. Furthermore, as consumers become increasingly dependent upon internet searches when determining what business services to use, having a strong digital presence offers smaller brokers increased opportunity for their business to compete with larger organizations who traditionally have had stronger brands.

Insurance Premium Finance is a bespoke and innovative financial product that provides brokers with the opportunity to grow their business by providing clients with an insurance premium finance solution.

0% Interest Free Professional Indemnity Insurance

0% Interest Free Professional Indemnity Insurance

Professional indemnity can protect you and your company. We can make your business insurance simple and cost effective, allowing you to get back to work knowing you are protected, should any mistakes happen.

Solicitors in particular, are facing the hardest market for indemnity cover since demutualisation over 20 years ago; some insurers are seeking personal guarantees from their clients. 

Many firms continue to renew on 1st October and industry experts say they must start preparing well ahead of time, the Law Society is already reporting premium increases of 5-50% as ‘typical’.

To address this issue we have created a 0% interest free product to finance the Professional Indemnity Insurance for solicitors and accountants.

If you would like to apply for our 0% interest free Professional Indemnity finance product please contact our Sales Director, Chris Meyer.

Contact: Chris Meyer

Phone: 07854 380900

Email: chris.meyer@orchardfunding.co.uk

The Year Of Open Banking

The year of Open Banking

The banking industry is having to deal with shifting sands due to Covid-19, forcing banks to look again at their product offerings, and customer relationships. This could now be the year for banks to build on the Open Banking framework. 

With more than three million people, and businesses using Open Banking in the UK, even the pandemic has failed to stop the numbers doubling since 2020. Open Banking looks here to stay. 

What is Open Banking?

Open Banking, provides a secure way for banks to share financial data and services with third-party providers with the consent of their customers’. Using an application programming interface (API) two or more third-parties gain access to a consumer's banking data.

Budget planners are an example of Open Banking in use. A customer can connect their bank account to a budgeting app, and they will be recommended financial products, based on data from that person’s bank account and credit cards etc. helping them make better financial decisions. This information is only made available through the API, when permission by the consumer is given.

Importantly, Open Banking holds the potential to create a single, unified platform for people to manage every money-related aspect of their lives.

By sharing customer transaction data with third-parties banks can offer personalised recommendations to customers in real-time. The advantages for the customers are it allows them to keep a track of their outgoings and balances, and pay directly through their bank account when making online transactions.

By improving the payment experience and approval ratings for transactions, this can help build a better banking experience. At the other end of the transaction, merchants processing costs are reduced.

Open Banking future

The UK has been the world leader in Open Banking since the law was passed in early 2016, and the ongoing digitisation of industries, and the demand from consumers for speed, accessibility and easy payments, combined with the pandemic is driving the early adoption of Open Banking.

As Covid-19 has shown us, the demand for online and mobile solutions is going to be the driving force for Open Banking, and the technology business is working with banks to build systems to speed up the digital transformation of the banking sector.

This will open up room for innovation, and developing new banking products suited to client’s needs. The ability to give improved financial advice to clients will improve brand loyalty.

The convenience and personalisation provided by Open Banking will help businesses in the future, with new innovation speeding up their day-to-day transactions.

Is Open Banking Safe?

All Open Banking service providers have to comply with data protection rules, and always provide the information of what data will be used. Only apps that the consumer has given consent to, can access their data.

 

For more information on how Open Banking can help your business to assess customer affordability.

Contact: Chris Meyer

Phone: 07854 380900

Email: chris.meyer@orchardfunding.co.uk

Client Interview

Paul Roberts (ACMA CGMA) & Group Finance Director of Asset Sure, talks about the benefits of working with Bexhill Insurance Funding.

 

What problems, if any, were you trying to resolve by switching to Bexhill?

There were two or three major changes introduced by our previous provider in a short space of time and we did not have any consultation or a clear line of communication to solve such issues. We were unable to have any real sway in getting changes put in place.

How did you hear about us and what made us stand out from your existing provider?

It is a name that has been in the premium finance arena for some time so we were aware of them 

What was the driving force behind you taking “that” step to join Bexhill?

Lack of consultation on changes was the driving force for us to seek another provider. After some initial discussions with Bexhill, we had a good rapport and it was clear we felt we would work well together with similar goals and ambitions.

If you were to tell another Broker about us, what one feature or benefit of our service would you recommend and why?

It is a very personal service and you deal with an individual. Any issues or problems are passed to one person and they get them solved by working with us as a team. That is very reassuring. It is a big step to change provider. The provided excellent reassurance and guidance.

Now that you have worked with us as a partner what has the experience been like and what has really stood out?

It has been an excellent experience and just as we wanted and expected.

Has anything about us surprised you?

No surprises, which is key. We had one or two minor issues but we work together to solve them.

Client Interview

Jamie McGilvray ACIB Director & Co-Founder of Versa Accountants, talks about the benefits of working with Orchard Funding Ltd.

What problems, if any, were you trying to resolve by switching to Orchard Funding?

We have used Orchard Funding for over 10 years and built an excellent relationship. They offer a fantastic finance solution for our clients, and extremely easy to deal with. 

How did you hear about us, and what made us stand out from your existing provider?

We were first introduced to Orchard Funding by one of the founders Chris Meyer, and have used their services ever since.  It’s so rare these days to have such a long standing relationship that you can call a trusted partner in striving to achieve world class customer service.

What was the driving force behind you taking steps to join Orchard Funding?

Chris Meyer, no non-sense business approach, reliable and extremely efficient.

If you were to tell another Accountant about us, what feature or benefit of our service would you recommend and why?

Close personal relationship, straight forward approach to business, efficient, long standing proven business, always contactable, they offer a great solution to clients who may wish to spread their fees, especially in the current climate.

Now that you have worked with us as a partner, what has the experience been like, and what has really stood out?

The longevity, usually there would be some personnel change, and with Orchard there hasn’t.  This has helped build a really strong relationship where both sides truly understand each other’s business. Also, the efficient nature of Chris in getting things done.

Has anything about us surprised you?

The service has always been top class, so I guess I would say to keep that level up for over 10 years has surprised me.

Finally, based on your experience would you recommend us to other businesses out there?

100%, we actively do this and would continue to do so.

Golf Membership Finance – Club Interview

Helen Swaby the Club Manager at Appleby Golf Club Cumbria, talks about the benefits of working with Orchard Funding Ltd.

What problems, if any, were you trying to resolve by switching to Orchard Funding?

We had a problem with new finance applications which was fully resolved by Sarah.

How did you hear about us and what made us stand out from your existing provider?

Our club was recommended to Orchard Funding by another golf club - Keswick Golf Club.

What was the driving force behind you taking steps to join Orchard Funding?

We wanted to offer our members a reduced interest rate for members who wanted finance, when compared to our existing supplier.

If you were to tell another golf club about us, what feature or benefit of our service would you recommend and why?

Very good customer service and lower interest rates for members, I find the service from Orchard Funding very friendly and efficient.

Now that you have worked with us as a partner what has the experience been like and what has really stood out?

The main things that stand out for me are:

  • fast responses to my emails and queries that I have
  • an efficient system which helps with club reporting
  • prompt payments to the golf club
Has anything about us surprised you?

What has been surprising is the ease of transition to working with Orchard Funding and their system.

Finally, based on your experience would you recommend us to other businesses out there?

Yes, I would definitely recommend other golf clubs to work with Orchard Funding for their golf fee finance scheme.

Spread the Cost of Your Child's Private School Fees

Investing in your child's future

Private education is a long-term investment in your child's future. Investing time and money in their education now will pay dividends for years to come. But when it comes to paying school fees, most parents are looking at large lump sums that can be difficult to manage on top of other household bills.

What is the difference between a public school and private school?

It's not just about the price. There are many advantages to choosing a private school over a public one, including more individualised attention from teachers, smaller class sizes that allow for greater student-teacher interaction, and specialised academics that focus on each child's strengths.

1. Private schools are often more academically rigorous than public schools 

2. Students at private schools are less likely to be distracted by outside influences 

3. Private school students have a better chance of getting into top colleges and universities 

4. Private school tuition is typically higher than public school tuition, but the investment can pay off in the long run

How much does private education cost?

In recent years school fees have been increasing year on year, and according to the Independent Schools Council (ICS) 2020 survey, the average quoted charge of independent school tuition fees in the UK is roughly £11,763 for boarding, £6,636 for boarding day pupils, and £4,980 per term for day schools.

With this in mind finding a better way to pay for school fees can be found with Orchard Funding. Our monthly plan offers peace of mind - our fees are fixed for the entire school year.

We will provide you with a clear indication when you apply however the majority of our parents are charged an interest rate of 3.90% per annum. This is an Annual Percentage Rate of 7.36%.

How can Orchard help your school?

We offer our customers the opportunity to spread the cost of school fees rather than paying all at once - this way parents don't have anything else taking up their already stretched budget!

Since Orchard Funding Ltd entered the school fee funding market in 2017, choice has been at the centre of their proposition.

  • Choice of offering fee funding direct to the public or through a school partner.
  • Choice of secured or non-secured funding.
  • Choice to receive funds early or later to help drive down price.
  • Choice of working capital or asset funding.

With our simple and flexible range of products, we can help parents stay in the sector especially if their financial circumstances have changed. This means schools don’t always have to dip into their bursary fund to hold onto students.

With our monthly payment plan we offer peace-of mind that fees will be fixed throughout a school year so there’s no need worry about unexpected changes in circumstances or budgeting errors which could lead you into difficulties.

It's never too late! We can start spreading those payments right now - just give us call on 07854 380900 or email  chris.meyer@orchardfunding.co.uk for more information about our plans.

 

*Credit is subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. Credit agreements are available to over 18s only.

Ways To Grow Your Accountancy Business In 2021

Communication

In an accountant-client relationship successful communication is crucial to getting things done. By agreeing how often you communicate with your client can help you build a long-lasting relationship and play a key role in the success of your firm.

Be sure to keep to an agreed timetable for communication, either by phone or online. Always show that you are proactive and eager to talk about your progress and any bumps coming down the road.

By showing your clients you’re forward thinking and always available, they’re more likely to stick with your firm and refer you to other businesses.

Research has found that finding a client costs five times more than to retain your current customer and makes it much easier to upsell a service to an existing client.

Quick Replies

When a client emails, it’s important to reply within 24 hours. Even better within the hour. It is much more effective to acknowledge the email, knowing you need more time to find the answer to the enquiry. A quick response shows your client you’re on top of your email.

When people are looking for a quick response, your website can be a powerful tool. Investing in a chatbot that can answer customer enquiries when landing on your website 24 hours a day, saving the company time and money.

Create Valuable Content

Create content to share your expertise with your clients. This could be by creating an eBook, newsletter, posting on social media or blogging on your website. Generating valuable content that can be shared with, and by your clients, will improve brand awareness.

Sharing your expert opinion to a wider audience can also improve your company's visibility. Being a source for a website like HARO (Help A Reporter Out) can help you find more clients. When you are mentioned as a source, a link back to your website will also help your company be discovered.

Hold an Event

A Content Marketing Institute survey said in-person events worked better than any other type of marketing. This is of course not possible at the moment due to lockdown; however, a webinar can be a powerful marketing tool.

Many of us are becoming comfortable using Zoom or Skype to communicate. This can present opportunities to speak with clients and get your message across in a less formal way.

Forward Thinking

Mistakes will always happen, so always be clear and transparent. Studies show that up to 70% of unhappy customers become loyal customers if a mistake is fixed and exceeds their expectations.

To avoid mistakes, it’s better at the start to be realistic with your client and under promise so you can over deliver.

Much of our success at Orchard Funding Ltd has been through client recommendations, which is a testament to our expertise in the professional fee funding market. Chris, our professional fee funding expert is always available to speak to clients and walk them through setting up an account.

 
 

Will The Staycation Boom Of 2021 Be An Opportunity For Holiday Park Owners?

A staycation boom is expected this summer after the government warned against travelling abroad for holidays.

According to the BBC The Caravan and Motorhome Club are predicting a “cork popping from a bottle” situation in the coming months.

With hopefully the end of lockdown in the UK on the horizon and the COVID-19 uncertainty in many other countries, families will be looking to book their holidays in the UK this year.

Brexit is also another factor that could sway people into having a staycation. New rules mean that UK citizens will only be allowed to stay in an EU country for 90 out of 180 days. 

For people looking to buy a holiday or retirement home abroad in countries like Spain and France, these restrictions will force some to look closer to home.

For many, looking to book a staycation for the first time, this could create an opportunity for holiday park owners to sell the advantages of owning a static caravan or lodge in the UK.

Owning your own holiday home comes with many advantages. No more spending hours on the internet to book a holiday or queues at busy airports.

With the modern interiors and mod-cons, today’s static homes are a million miles away from the cold drab interiors our grandparents would holiday in. Central heating, flat screen TV’s and modern kitchens are standard on most homes.

Being part of the community is another aspect of owning a holiday park home, combined with the facilities and entertainment many holiday parks offer. There could not be a better time for holiday park owners to promote the joys of holidaying in the UK.

The costs of owning a park home including pitch/site fees cover the cost of making water and electricity available to your holiday home. These fees can vary depending on the location and can cost several thousands of pounds.

The cost of purchasing a holiday home or paying for site fees can be spread easily into monthly payments. If you’re a holiday park owner looking to offer your customers funding, then contact Orchard Funding for more information.

Client Interview

Paul Byett of Hacker Young Chartered Accountants talks about the benefits of working with Orchard Funding Ltd.

 

What problems, if any, were you trying to resolve by switching to Orchard Funding?

Our previous fee funding provider seemed to change policies frequently which just meant that the funding to the Practice became slower.

How did you hear about us, and what made us stand out from your existing provider?

We met Orchard at a conference and they appeared to be fresh, keen and totally professional. 

What was the driving force behind you taking steps to join Orchard Funding?

The real difference was the faster receipt of funding.

If you were to tell another Accountant about us, what feature or benefit of our service would you recommend and why?

The key to any fee funding system is the IT platform and ease of use.  We never have a problem with Orchard, and at the same time we have specific account contacts with whom we build a rapport.

Now that you have worked with us as a partner, what has the experience been like and what has really stood out?

The smooth operation is the main positive – we do not seem to have rejections or anomalies as we can speak to real named contacts in the event of an issue.

Has anything about us surprised you?

It takes a lot to surprise me, but the swift movement to electronic signature acceptance was impressive in the circumstances.

Finally, based on your experience would you recommend us to other businesses out there?

Yes – our main driver is to wrap a number of annual services into one agreement rather than constantly battling with agreeing new fees for new services, and then having credit control issues to collect such fees.

Paul Byett LLB (HONS) FCA

Managing Partner