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Raising finance for your busienss through crowdfundingCrowdfunding is often seen as an easy route to raising money, but a major factor often overlooked is that it only works for certain types of businesses.

This article explores what those businesses that suit crowdfunding typically look like, and for companies that don’t fit the mould, suggests some steps you can take to make your venture more attractive to crowdfunding investors.

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open banking affects small businessOpen Banking is here and is about to transform competition in the banking and funding arenas.

Since 13 January 2018 nine of the largest banks in the UK are governed by the new regulations introduced by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

But what exactly is Open Banking, and how does it affect businesses across the UK? Here are five key facts you need to know about Open Banking: Continue…

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Finding investors to support fledgling businessOne of the biggest obstacles to growth for start-up businesses is investment. Investors are often reluctant to commit their money to a new business with a promising idea but no track record of success.

Fortunately the Government lent a helping hand in 2012, and introduced the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) to help smaller, riskier companies attract investors willing to take a punt on a bright idea becoming a successful business. Continue…

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How to get the right business finance Any time is a good time to start a company, so said renowned American angel investor Ron Conway.

That may be true, but how easy is it to find the necessary funding?

The answer largely depends on your understanding of how fundraising should be done.

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pros and cons of funding your business with credit cardThere’s a huge variety of finance solutions available to small businesses these days, and each have their own pros and cons.

What works for one business may not work for another, and you may use a number of different products to finance your cashflow, short-term projects, or long-term growth plans.

Many companies find business credit cards useful for the short-term end of the spectrum, and while you wouldn’t necessarily use one to pay for larger purchases, they can be a good tool for day-to-day spending, expense tracking, and perhaps emergency cashflow needs. Continue…

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fnding options for businesses
PROMOTED GUIDE – This is a promoted guide from Funding Options – the free marketplace for business finance. Find the right finance for your situation, from dozens of the UK’s best lenders.

They might not have the catchiest name — but revolving credit facilities are one of the most useful types of business finance available.

Here’s everything you need to know about revolving credit facilities, and how they could help you fund your business. Continue…

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short term financing solutions for small businesses

Christmas can be a challenging time for many businesses, whether it’s your busiest time of year or a seasonal slump in trading.

Either way, lots of small businesses find that short-term finance can provide the boost needed to cover short term cash flow issues. Here are 5 funding options that can do this for you; Continue…

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invoice finnce and factoring explainedInvoice finance is an umbrella term for two distinct forms of business funding called invoice discounting and invoice factoring.

It’s likely you’ll have heard of these alternative types of business finance before, but without knowing exactly how they work, you might dismiss them as just another financial product that you and your business don’t need.

However, there are real benefits to these products, so here is what every business owner should know about invoice finance.

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ow to attract investors to back your tech businessVenture capital money going into technology companies in the UK is at an all-time high. A year post-Brexit referendum, British tech firms attracted £2.4bn in funding.

To date this year, UK fintech companies alone have seen £825m of VC investment.

So, what do investors look for in tech start-ups and how do you get a slice of this funding for your technology venture? Continue…

Getting finance for your business is no longer just a case of approaching your high street bank manager and asking for a loan.

The market is now much more varied, and boasts a huge range of products which have been tailored for more specific purposes. This means that depending on your requirements, it’s easier than ever to find funding that fits your business – if you know where to look.

Asset finance is one such funding solution, but what exactly is asset finance and is it a good option for your business? Continue…

How to get funding for your startup businessEverybody understands that starting up a business from scratch is not a simple process or an easy challenge to take on.

Regardless of how lofty your ambitions are or whether you’re aiming to establish yourself as a sole trader or as a the boss of a burgeoning new enterprise, finding access to initial and early-stage sources of finance is a vitally important step along the way towards sustainability and success.

Here’s a look at some of the most commonplace and most viable routes to finance currently available to startup businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them.

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12 Steps to getting paidDealing with late payment can be tricky for small and medium sized businesses. Handle it wrong and a customer could be lost, ignore the issue and it can stifle business growth, have a huge impact on cash flow and even cause a company to go bust.

Staggering figures published in a government paper, revealed that small businesses spend around 130 hours a year chasing late payments, equating to an average cost of £1,500 per business.

The problem is endemic with two thirds of SMEs suffering according to research by the IOD, but follow this 12-Step plan and you’ll be able to minimise the damage late payment causes your business.

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When the bank won't fund your businessPROMOTED GUIDE – This is a promoted guide from Funding Xchange – the business funding marketplace where lenders compete to fund your business. Get Funding Now!

If you have approached your bank and found it difficult to secure the funds your business requires, you’re in good company. Banks are declining up to 50% of loan requests from some smaller businesses.

Banks’ lending decisions have very little to do with you or the prospects of your business. And their outdated processes and high costs of capital make it difficult for them to lend to smaller businesses.

Business owners are also being frustrated by the inability of banks to provide flexible forms of credit to businesses. This is highlighted by the fact that the availability of business overdrafts, long a favorite tool for businesses to smooth cash flow, has shrunk by more than 30%.

So where else can you get funding for your business?

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There are lots of things to think about if you’re considering taking out a business loan.

The UK’s business lending market includes a wide range of providers offering subtly different types of business loans. Some are aimed at a particular type of business, or companies of a certain size or those operating in a specific sector.

With a wide range of business loans available it’s important to first get a basic understanding of the different options you have when it comes to borrowing money to fund your business.

Here are some of the key considerations you need to bear in mind when sourcing a business loan for your firm. Continue…

raise funding through alternative financeSince the recession of 2008/2009, there has been a significant reduction in the ability of banks to lend to British SMEs.

Whilst mainstream finance is still great for some businesses, many banks now have lending criteria that small businesses are unable to fulfill.

Fortunately, ‘alternative finance’ can offer a viable substitute for entrepreneurs looking for innovative and flexible ways to fund their business growth.

But before blindly assuming alternative finance is the answer to all your financial woes, there are six things you need to understand before you approach an alternative finance provider looking for funding. Continue…

You may have heard the expression: ‘Revenue is vanity, profit is sanity and cash is reality’. If ever there was a philosophy which I passionately believe in, it is this.

However, there are three important financial measures, which we need to unpack in this expression. Let’s look at each of them in turn; Continue…

Business is a complicated old game sometimes. Just when you think you’ve got your head round one thing, you realise there’s another rule you didn’t know about!

Here’s a good example. Did you know it’s possible to get your business into serious financial trouble by selling too much?
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Due diligence is a term bandied around quite a lot. However, not many people understand what it means or how it’s can be used to help.

If you ever consider buying or selling a business, or investing in a business, then you’ll need to know precisely what due diligence means, what the process involves and how to conduct due diligence properly. Continue…

When you are starting out in business, you need to quickly grasp that the three key factors that determine a company’s financial success, or failure, are:

  1. Sales
  2. Control of costs
  3. Cash management

Two out of three simply won’t work – you need to have complete control over these three crucial aspects, otherwise your chances of succeeding in business will be very limited. Continue…

The 10 Steps you need to take to turn around a struggling business

February 20, 2017

Most companies will face some kind of cash flow problem at some point. Temporary cash flow problems or financial squeezes usually arise out of matters that are outside of the immediate control of the directors, but when problems like this happen it’s vital you take the right steps and move quickly to ensure the issue […]

The secrets of getting a business bank loan

February 16, 2017

Borrowing money from a bank to finance your business is a lot harder than getting a loan to buy a new car or to improve your home. Banks have a number of tough rules that you need to know before you approach them for a business loan, and these rules have become even more stringent […]

How to finance your new business – funding advice for start-ups

February 10, 2017

If you are looking to start a new business, there is a good chance that you will need some funding to get it off the ground. Most businesses will have start-up costs, whether it’s securing premises, stock, equipment or hiring people, and they will all need paying for. Some people might have savings, or a […]

Why YOU need to understand the numbers of YOUR business

January 20, 2017

Understanding the numbers of your business is crucial to your success. If you have a grasp of key figures, and have an understanding of your business’ accounts you are more likely to make good business decisions. Knowing your way around business accounts isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone, but if you are serious about […]

Why financial forecasting is important for startups, and how to do it painlessly

January 16, 2017

When you are launching a new business, it’s fair to say that planning your finances isn’t the most exciting aspect of of being a startup. However, it is a crucial part of understanding whether your business has a chance of succeeding And the good news is that there are now dedicated software, tools and apps […]

What is the Bank Referral Scheme and why does it matter?

December 20, 2016

Many small business owners don’t know about the Bank Referral Scheme, but it represents a significant milestone for business funding in the UK. But what exactly is The Bank Referral Scheme, how does it work, and how will it help businesses? We asked Conrad Ford, Chief Executive of Funding Options, to explain;

6 Things you need to know before launching a crowdfunding campaign for your business

December 12, 2016

You have a great business idea and you’re finally ready to make it a reality. However, the next obstacle you need to overcome is to find the funding you need to get your business off the ground. In recent years, the advent of alternative finance has brought startups new funding options, and driven an explosion […]

A Guide to Company Administration for small business owners

November 28, 2016

The purpose of putting a company into administration is one that’s widely misunderstood by business owners. So to help de-mystify what’s involved and what it entails; here’s a guide to the company administration process;

A Guide to ‘Alternative Finance’ – the new funding options for startups and small businesses

August 22, 2016

Young businesses and start-ups that are looking to raise funding have a dizzying array of choices nowadays. In fact, there has probably never been a bigger range of places to go for early-stage finance, from crowdfunding and angel investors through to government-backed start-up loans and P2P lenders. But before we take a look at the […]

What’s my business worth? How to value a small business

January 31, 2016

When it comes to selling a business, the most important question you need to ask is – how much is it worth? There is no single formula that can be used to precisely value every private business. The seller will want to drive the price up, and potential buyers will want the opposite. Although there […]

Bank loans and overdrafts becoming less popular as SMEs turn to alternative finance sources

December 21, 2015

The Albion Growth Report – a study of 1,000 SMEs which aims to explore the factors that help businesses grow and the issues that hold them back – has found that the popularity of bank loans and business overdrafts is declining. Instead, business owners appear to be turning to equity finance and other long-term financing options […]

How to maximise your chances of securing a small business loan

December 3, 2015

One of the biggest challenges start-ups and fledgling businesses face is securing the funding they need to realise their potential. A majority of business owners feel that finding finance is difficult in the current climate, and in particular, that banks are reluctant to provide business loans at competitive rates. So to help you maximise your […]

How peer-to-peer lending offers start-ups and small businesses a new funding option

October 24, 2015

If you need more finance to grow your business, there are a number of options which you might wish to consider. You could turn to your own personal savings, ask family members for help, get a bank loan, issue shares, or speak to some business angels or venture capitalists. Or you could consider peer-to-peer (P2P) […]

What is “gearing” and how can you make it work for your business?

October 12, 2015

When people talk about ‘gearing’ in a business, they are usually referring to one of two types; Financial gearing Operational gearing Here’s a guide to what gearing is, and how you can use it to increase the returns your business makes;

Low profit is no barrier to achieving a high price when you’re selling a business

October 9, 2015

For most business owners, selling their business is a once in a lifetime event. It’s also often the culmination of decades of hard graft so it’s important you get it right. When building up your business, you will have invested a huge amount of your time, energy and money so you will want to make […]