In the years after the financial crisis of 2008 credit markets froze up and many businesses, especially SMEs, were finding it tough to access the growth finance they needed. Furthermore, if turned down for finance many SMEs simply shelved their growth plans as they didn’t know where to turn or simply couldn’t face the thought of another torturous round of applications.
But where traditional lenders who controlled 80% of the SME market saw risk, Blenheim Chalcot saw an opportunity. And so BusinessFinanceCompared.com was born – an online portal where SMEs could enter a few simple details, instantly see the credit options available to them from traditional and alternative lenders and then apply online.
Before investing in developing and launching this service, Blenheim Chalcot wanted to better understand the nature of the opportunity, determine whether it was a sound investment and, if so, develop a market entry strategy. They engaged Circle Research to support them in this by:
- Establishing key trends in the SME finance market
- Sizing the opportunity by volume and value
- Profiling the target market and identifying high potential ‘hot spots’
- Mapping the competitive landscape and profiling competitors
Our task was then to make recommendations on whether Blenheim Chalcot should pursue the opportunity and, if so, where to focus their sales and marketing efforts.
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