If your business has reached a mature stage, if you have become a recognised market leader with a management team that can operate and grow the business independently of your input, you may be at a point when you are asking yourself: double or quits.

If you have new ventures in mind, you will perhaps be thinking about an exit from the business. If you feel there is more to achieve by staying put, however, it may be time to plan for another growth push.

One obvious risk to avoid, after all, is allowing the business to stagnate.  Any business at the top of its game will attract competitors, perhaps players with more flexible approaches and more modern technology. Letting those competitors get a toehold in your market and make gains into your territory is the business equivalent of sleeping at the wheel.

But you should not underestimate what is required to reinvest in your business at this stage. Like everything else you have achieved with your company, it will take planning and effort.

Diversifying into new product or service lines or reinvesting in technology will require renewed commitment and financing. And it may be that you are considering other options, including setting up new facilities, expanding into new territories or including making an acquisition.  But it can often be difficult for businesses at this stage in their lifecycle to attract the attention of the banks.

The alternative finance market can offer peer to peer business loans, both secured and unsecured, as well and online invoice trading. Take a look at our overview here (link to stage 3 blog).

Or it may be that you will be turning to your advisers for more complex forms of funding including mezzanine finance.

Whatever your chosen route, alternative finance provision is opening up new channels and options for entrepreneurial business at each stage in their lifecycle and today’s market features greater, speedier and more flexible access to funds for business people that choose to bypass the banks.

This month we’re focusing on helping UK businesses get access to the wide variety of alternative forms of finance available. For most businesses the first port of call is their bank – but what if they turn you down or can’t give you the amount of funding that you need?

Don’t worry – our latest ebook outlines the funding options available to you at each stage of the business lifecycle and one things for sure, it certainly isn’t over just because ‘the bank says NO’.