When your cashflow is stuck in transit

Managing cash when you have to pay up-front

Some businesses face high up-front costs. Those same businesses tend to be the ones that also have to deal with long production times, shipping times, and often long payment terms from their customers.

You may recognise this in your own company as it’s a common problem that takes many forms, for example:

  • Smaller construction companies have to pay for land, materials and staff long before the sale is made.
  • Many product companies have to pay for materials and manufacturing in China before waiting months for the slow boat to arrive in Bristol before starting local deliveries and getting paid.
  • Even service companies can have up-front bills. Design and advertising agencies often have to pay for props, professionals and talent well before getting paid.

Many of these companies have turned managing cash flow into fine art, but they are often starved of funds to grow their business.

Knowing your options

So you have a bank account and, unless it’s one of the “challenger” banks, you have a relationship manager who’s already helping you navigate the wealth of financial products. If working internationally, you might also use Foreign Exchange risk management so that today’s profitable deal doesn’t turn into a loss-maker in 6 months. As you’ve learnt to manage this long “working capital cycle”, you’ve possibly tried and used a variety of products:

Slow to get. Predictable. But also locked in.

Loans come in a variety of guises, but they’re slow to arrange and inflexible. You can get a better deal if you provide “security” (like a property) and will typically need to offer a personal guarantee.

You are limited to a fixed amount of money over a fixed period and potentially vulnerable if your income takes a dip or the interest rate changes.

Finally, the debt will show on your accounts.

Overdrafts and Credit Cards:
Pay for what you use. But at a price.

These can often be appealing because you have the impression that you only pay for what you use/need, but there are many fees (some hidden). These can include annual “facility” fees as well as first-time “arrangement” fees.

You can withdraw and repay cash at will, giving you true flexibility; however, your overall limit will be much lower than a loan.

We’ve got something new

Whilst we cannot help you reduce your long working capital cycle, we can organise a short term cash advance that you can use to grow your business whilst the bulk of your funds are locked up.

InstantAdvance from Previse is a merchant cash advance with a single fee (from 3%). You can use it to pay for materials, staff or equipment, or for those unexpected costs. It gives you flat-fee, instant access capital designed without complexity for SME’s

2x your monthly turnover with fees as low as 3%

repayments calculated on your revenues – pay as you profit

no equity dilution
no personal guarantee

You provide us with banking or accounting data, and we then agree to an affordable loan amount that is up to 2x your monthly revenue. We decide your single fee, so you know the exact cost. We agree on the percentage of your income that we will take for repayments (typically between 5 and 20%, depending on how fast you want to repay).

We use Direct Debit for your repayments. If your revenue goes down, your repayments slow down with it (and vice versa) up to a maximum of 12 months. Should your circumstances change or you wish, you can repay in full at any time.

There will be no further fees or charges if you comply with the terms, including providing automated or manual access to your data.

Related case studies


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Hi, I’m Kate,

I’m one of the Previse Relationship Managers for businesses interested in InstantAdvance

Blah blah blah

InstantAdvance is provided by Previse
a multi-award-winning business that uses data to make finance simple for SMEs


SMEs’ data processed



I used to have to turn down orders from a very large high street retailer – I didn’t have the cash to buy the stock.

Ed Vickers
Supplier to high st. retailers