Putting customers first

Austin Barcley, managing director at Improveasy, explains the company’s approach to getting installers ‘finance ready’ and how it has helped Improveasy become the 23rd fastest-growing company in the UK.

We were thrilled to receive confirmation that Improveasy would be listed in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 report as the UK’s 23rd fastest-growing, privately-owned company.

To pick up a copy of the Sunday Times supplement and see Improveasy listed in this illustrious report was an incredibly proud moment for all our team, and the culmination of what has been a remarkable few years for the business.

During the three years recorded by the Sunday Times, we’ve continued to see incredible demand from installers across the country for our range of flexible finance options. As the balance has shifted and consumer buying habits have changed, point-of-sale finance has quickly gone from an optional extra to an absolute must-have for all retail businesses.

As demand for our services has grown, so has our business, continuing our trend of consistent year-on-year growth. In fact, 2019 was a banner year for Improveasy as we grew by 138% in those 12 months alone. The praise for this achievement belongs to our trade partners and our dedicated team, who work hard to support our growing customer base and help them get ‘finance ready’.

With £millions of finance being written every month by our network, we attribute our success to a company-wide commitment to making finance as accessible as possible for businesses across the industry. To do that, we’ve put together a full suite of finance packages to suit all types of home improvement, whether it’s windows, doors and conservatories, boilers and heating systems, or solar, roofline and driveways.

On top of finance terms of up to 10 years with a range of APRs, we also offer 0% APR ‘interest free’ finance and our popular ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ package. All of these services can be offered at the point of sale by using our online platform. Not only does the application take a couple of minutes to complete, but the customer will receive an instant credit decision.

We wanted our service to help businesses effectively level-up and take the fight to both their local and national competition. It’s the same reason why we take care of the FCA authorisation. Installers have enough on their plate without having to go through the painful process of becoming FCA approved. By working with Improveasy, partners become Appointed Representatives (AR).

For many, partnering with Improveasy is their first venture into offering finance. They see the benefits, they hear customers demanding for flexible ways to pay, but it doesn’t stop it being a daunting process for some.

It’s certainly not a case where customers are signed up and sent out into the wilderness. Our in-house team works closely with each trade partner to work through our onboarding and compliance process. With the help of our team and online video seminars, we can complete this process in as little as seven days.

We then follow this up with our training and support strategy. This is by no means an off-the-shelf’ course, but a bespoke programme, delivered on-site and geared around each company, their offering, and their pricing structure. This is not a one-time offer either; as the business grows and evolves, we will provide further training on site to support new members of staff.

Once sales teams have the knowledge and confidence to integrate finance into their process, we then provide a full marketing support package which includes showroom literature, promotional material, press advertising and high-impact editorial.

All the signs point towards another busy year on all fronts with new installers joining our nationwide network and more business being won and fulfilled through flexible finance.

Despite our successful year and Fast Track honours, we’re certainly not taking our foot off the gas. Instead, we’re launching a number of exciting new services and continually expanding our customer support, all with the aim of helping our network accelerate their sales and maximise every opportunity in the months and years to come.