If you’re a business owner looking for flexible finance solutions, you may have heard of Stuart Mckee. As the Managing Director of ELS – Equipment Leasing Solutions, Stuart has helped countless businesses across the UK to secure the right finance for their needs. In this interview, Stuart shares his expertise and insights into the world of finance, as well as his personal journey in the industry. Read on to discover how Stuart Mckee and ELS Finance could take your business to the next level.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got involved in the business finance industry?
I started in the industry over 20 years ago as a young office assistant. It was only meant to be a stopgap before I found another role in accounting which I was studying at the time.
What inspired you to start Equipment Leasing Solutions and what sets it apart from other finance companies?
Having worked across the industry for various brokers & funders I felt that I had gained enough experience to support opening my own business. There are a host of extremely good business finance companies in the UK and I think the key difference has been the niche sectors they tend to operate in, with ours being energy
How do you work with suppliers to provide financing options to their customers, and what types of products can you fund?
Our aim is to make it as simple & easy as possible for suppliers to offer finance options on their products, so provide quoting tools, full support and we do all the leg work so that they can concentrate on their main role which is selling equipment. The products that can be funded are vast including LED Lighting, Mobile Handsets, Fork Lift Trucks, Solar PV and even Cows!!!
Could you share some success stories of businesses that have grown and increased their sales through your finance solutions?
One of our suppliers, that have worked for us for over 5 years, has gone from initially just funding business handsets and tablets, to a group of businesses that now offer IT, Telecoms and CCTV, all with funding options.
How do you ensure that your funding options are compliant and in the best interest of your clients?
We are fully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and ensure that our processes fall in line with their requirements for regulated clients. We work with the clients through the whole process from an initial discovery call to understand what they are looking to achieve, through an info request and finally to a funding offer.
As a director of ELS, what is your vision for the company and where do you see it heading in the future?
ELS stands for Enquire, Listen, Solve and we apply that across our business. We want to be considered as the broker of choice in the energy equipment industry and want to provide regional access to clients through our franchise network that we launched earlier this year
Can you talk about some of the challenges you have faced in the industry, and how you have overcome them?
Being in the financial industry there are a number of challenges that you encounter, from access to funders to changing credit criteria, but throughout it, the key thing is to surround yourself with business partners & an internal team that can support you.
What advice would you give to business owners who are considering leasing or financing equipment?
I would say consider all your options and compare, speak with your accountants to understand any tax benefits associated with the agreement and understand your return on investment. For example, an LED Lighting project paid for as a cash purchase could give a return on investment of around 18 months whereby on a lease agreement it would be immediate. It’s always worth a call with a broker to discuss all the options available to the business
How do you stay up to date with the latest trends and changes in the finance industry, and how does that inform your business decisions?
There are several industry newsletters advising of the changing landscape along with regulatory updates, as well as a great network of independent finance brokers who have regular discussions with each other. We have to adapt our business to this changing landscape but with the support of our industry & a move towards automation this is becoming easier to manage
Finally, what do you enjoy most about your work at ELS, and what motivates you to continue providing financing solutions to businesses across the UK?
Every day is different and challenging but ultimately you are striving to arrange funding typically for SMEs that can have a huge impact on a business’s ability to grow and access opportunities. It could be assets that allow a business to secure a new contract for their company or a credit facility to enable a business to expand.
Is your business ready to benefit from Stuart’s knowledge to find the right funding?
🔵 Lease finance for equipment to run your business: https://els.lease/leasing-for-customers/
🟢 Lease finance for suppliers to offer funding to customers: https://els.lease/leasing-for-suppliers/
🟣 Business Finance, loans or revolving credit facility: https://els.lease/alternative-finance/