How to set up and run a small business

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How to fund your business

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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 And their outdated processes and high costs of capital make it difficult for them to lend to smaller businesses.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…

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 doesn’t escalate.

To help you navigate safely through troubled financial waters, we’ve asked Richard Saville of Corporate Financial Services to set out the 10 key steps you need to consider when your business is faced with a financial problem. Continue…

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 as a result of the credit crunch.
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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 redundancy payment, they can use to fund their start-up, but others will need to find funds before they can launch their new business. However, as many prospective business owners find out, getting start-up finance can be difficult.

For someone who just wants to start their own business, negotiating the finance maze can be confusing and take up a lot of valuable time. So to help increase your chances of success, here are the answers to some common questions on how to fund a new business; Continue…

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 your start-up, investing some time and effort to learn the accounting basics will pay dividends for all business owners.

It certainly did for Paul Oberschneider, who after facing up to his financial shortfalls turned his life around to become a successful entrepreneur, angel investor and author. Here, Paul shows the value of knowing the numbers behind your business; Continue…

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 that can quickly and easily produce financial forecasts for you.

So to help you understand more about how planning your finances can help your startup succeed, we asked Robin Booth of Brixx.com to share his experience with us;

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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; Continue…

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 in the number of entrepreneurs raising money through crowdfunding. Specialist crowdfunding websites have made it possible for anybody with a business idea to reach out to potential investors. However, crowdfunding success isn’t guaranteed, no matter how good your business idea.

If you’re thinking of raising money to kick-start your business through a crowdfunding campaign, there are some key steps you need to take before you launch your campaign. With so much at stake, we asked Indiegogo to reveal the 6 things you need to do and know before you launch your crowdfunding campaign;
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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; Continue…

Everybody 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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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 options in more detail, it’s important to think about what sort of funding you’re after for your business, and what you’re prepared to offer in return. The basic division here is between equity and debt. Continue…

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 […]

10 Top tips to ensure your crowdfunding efforts are rewarded

September 10, 2015

Business owners that are exploring some of the newer business funding options, commonly referred to as ‘Alternative Finance’, can sometimes struggle to distinguish between ‘crowdlending’ and ‘crowdfunding’, not least because they sound remarkably similar. Both describe ways of raising business finance, but there are huge differences between the two which need to be clearly understood […]

What to do if your company is running out of cash

August 26, 2015

Starting up and sustaining a company is a tough challenge for even the most gifted of entrepreneurs or the brains behind the business world’s biggest and best ideas. Within that context, the margins for error tend to be slim, particularly when it comes to financial matters and the business of balancing your books. Here are […]

Cashflow Forecasting – top tips to produce a better cash flow forecast

May 18, 2015

When you are starting a new business, you will most likely need to produce a cashflow forecast. If you’re looking to raise money, from either a bank loan or outside investors, a cash flow will be one of the financial forecasts that you will need to produce for prospective lenders and investors. As your business […]

8 signs that a small business may be approaching insolvency

April 17, 2015

Although it does not necessarily herald the end of a small business, decline into insolvency can bring significant changes in company structure, operations and management style. It’s worth checking your company for characteristic signs that, if spotted and acted upon early enough, could help you to steer the business away from danger. Here are 8 […]

Business angels or dragons – who do you trust to invest in your company?

March 30, 2015

Looking for an investor to help fund your business? You’d better make sure they’re an angel, not a dragon! Most businesses require outside investment at some point in their development. Whether you are a new business needing a cash injection to get started, or an established company looking to launch a new product or move […]

10 late payment excuses used by customers – and how to deal with them

February 27, 2015

With late payment problems a constant burden for small business owners, we look at the most common delaying tactics used by customers, and how you can overcome these late payment excuses.

ByteStart’s Guide to insolvency, liquidation and bankruptcy for business owners

November 27, 2014

If there’s one piece of advice to hold above all others while running your business, it’s this: cash is king. It doesn’t matter how much you are selling or the size of your profit, if your business doesn’t have enough cash to pay staff and suppliers you are in big trouble. Even successful and profitable […]

7 ways to make sure your business gets paid on time, every time

October 14, 2014

Cash is the lifeblood of any business. And in the first few years of your start-up, the ability to get cash into your bank account faster than it goes out again will be one of the main measures of whether it is a viable business. Every year, many small businesses fail, simply because they run […]

How to get your customers to fund your business start-up

October 10, 2014

While “entrepreneur” may occasionally be a euphemism for “out of work”, there are more and more individuals working in earnest to start a business of their own. Indeed, statistics show no fewer than 400 million such individuals globally, with over 2 million in the UK and 20 million in the US. Sadly, many of these […]