What is SWOT analysis?

Used to identify the key strengths and weaknesses of your company as well as any threats and opportunities, a SWOT analysis can help to work out what your business strategy should be.
(more…)

Financial planning – 6 steps to a successful plan

Good planning is important for both startups and established businesses, and a financial plan is no exception.

So to help you get your financial plan right we asked Robin Booth of Brixx.com to outline the 6 steps you need to take to develop a coherent, holistic financial plan for your business. (more…)

Top 10 business planning tips for start-ups

10 business plan tips

Writing a business plan is an important step in the business start-up process. And, if you want to raise funding for your new business, you simply must produce an up-to-date business plan to show potential backers.
(more…)

A beginner’s guide to financial reports for small business owners

Financial reports are standardised measures of a business’ financial health. They are a necessity for publicly traded companies, but this does not mean that they are only useful for large organisations.

If you know what to look out for, these financial reports are great tools for businesses of all sizes, so Robin Booth of Brixx.com, the financial forecasting app, explains what the function of the three main financial reports. (more…)

How to write a business plan for you, not the bank

When you decide it’s time to get your business started, you’ll find the first piece of advice given by most experts is to “get a business plan written”.

And they’re right; that is the first step to turn your business dream into a reality. But many people find it the hardest step to make. (more…)

What I learned from going bust

Business startup lessons

Every business owner can learn valuable lessons from studying how successful businesses are born and grow. Looking out for, and replicating, key drivers of success in other businesses, can help to drive our own business forward.

However, vital insight can also be gained from business failures. In many cases, what we can learn from terminal business mistakes can prove even more illuminating than what we can glean by following the high-flyers. (more…)

How to make realistic sales forecasts

forecasting sales for cash flow

So, how do you do forecast sales realistically?

Every startup benefits greatly from making a cash flow forecast. But if your business hasn’t opened its doors yet, how is it possible to estimate the kind of sales you will get in your first month, let alone year of trading? We asked Robin Booth of Brixx.com to explain. (more…)

How to make a cash flow forecast for a startup

cash flow forecast for start-up

How can I forecast my cash flow when the business doesn’t even exist yet?

That’s a question most new startups wrestle with as they are planning their new business. It may seem to some to be an impossible task, so we asked Robin Booth of Brixx.com to show how you can produce a cash flow forecast for a new business. (more…)

A guide to small business continuity – planning ahead to survive a crisis

Life can be great when you’re running your business as a one man band. You get to escape the shackles of employment including a boss telling you what you do and when.

Of course there are downsides, such as the loss of a regular salary and other employment perks. And the most serious of these is how you would continue to earn money if something happened to you or your business.
(more…)

Market research – what do you need to find out about your customers?

market research

Market research is often assumed or anecdotal. A few good words here and there, enthusiastic leads, handshakes and happily resolved issues from existing customers can lead to the pleasant feeling that you know your market.

However, if your business is to thrive, you really need to develop a deep understanding of your customers. To help you to do this, we’ve asked Robin Booth to explain the steps you need to take. (more…)

Short term planning – how to balance your time and detail when planning

In a previous article, I described the differences between short term and long term planning. A challenge to both types of planning is how much detail to go into.

I’ve seen accountants trying to create perfect 30 year financial models based on the level of detail they use for tracking the day to day running of the business.

Needless to say, they quickly find an already large job turning into a mountain of work. When the time comes to update the plan (1-12 times/year depending on the organisation) the battle to ensure accurate detail in the plan needs to be taken up again.

So how do you get the right level of planning for your business? (more…)

Planning short term and planning long term

planning your business for short term and long term success

Planning ahead is important. It helps you to understand where you want to get to and how you’re going to get there.

However, financial planning can be a bit of a mystery for many small business owners. So to help demystify it, we asked Robin Booth of Brixx.com to answer the questions business owners often ask about financial planning;

(more…)

5 warning signs your business plan is unrealistic

business planning

As you start up your business, the need for a well thought through business plan is clear.

Even if you are just going to be you sitting in your spare bedroom selling things over the internet, you need a business plan to understand how you are going to market your products or services and actually turn a profit.
(more…)

Why you need a cash flow forecast and how to produce one for your small business

cashflow forecast

One of the most useful bits of advice that established entrepreneurs give to people starting their own business is this: ‘cash is king’.

It doesn’t matter what business you’re in and how profitable it is, if you run out of cash, your business will struggle to continue. If you can’t pay suppliers you’ll have nothing to sell, and it’s a quick, vicious circle from there to insolvency.
(more…)

The differences between a business coach and a mentor

mentor coach

Many of the world’s most successful business people became that way with help from a key figure in their lives.

When you have a mentor or a coach, you are involving someone else in the decisions you need to make to grow your business. They will help you stay focused, on track, and get the most out of yourself.
(more…)