Asset Finance – A Guide for Small Business Owners

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 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? (more…)

The way to get paid – 12-Step Action Plan to stop customers from paying you late

12 Steps to getting paid

Dealing 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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Business Funding – What to Do When the Bank Says “NO”

PROMOTED 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 And their outdated processes and high costs of capital make it difficult for them to lend to smaller businesses.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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How to Choose the Right Business Loan

choose best business loan

 

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 understand 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 business. (more…)

6 Things you need to know before trying to raise funding through Alternative Finance

raise funding through alternative finance

Since 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. (more…)

What are the dangers of overtrading?

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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Banks are making it difficult for ‘Mumpreneurs’

New research by APS financial, the most proven digital UK challenger to banks, reveals what’s stopping UK mums from starting their own business.

With nearly half of UK mums saying they admire entrepreneurial businesswomen like Michelle Mone, Karren Brady and Liz Earle, the study unveils the barriers Mumpreneurs believe are stopping them from becoming the next ‘Baroness Bra’.

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7 Steps to starting your business on firm financial foundations

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. (more…)

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

turning around a struggling business

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. (more…)

The Secrets of Getting a Business Bank Loan

how to get approved for a business loan

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. (more…)

How to Finance Your New Business – Funding Advice for Start-Ups

startup funding options

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, so what options are there to fund a new business? (more…)

Why YOU need to understand the numbers of YOUR business

Undertand your business numbers

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; (more…)

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

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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Concise guide to choosing a business bank account

One of the first things you will do when you set up a new business is to open a business bank account.

The easy thing to do is to use your personal bankers to act for your new business, but this isn’t necessarily the wisest move as there are significant differences between the services you will receive from the various high street banks.

Here’s some sound advice, together with some practical tips to help you get the most out of your bank, and choose the best business current account for your start-up, or small business. (more…)

What’s My Business Worth? How to Value a Small Business

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 are relatively easy ways to value certain parts of the business – such as stock, fixed assets (land, machinery, equipment etc.), there will very probably be a sizeable intangible element to the value of a business.
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How to Maximise your Chances of Securing a Small Business Loan

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 chances of getting that all-important business loan, we asked Rishi Khosla, the CEO and co-founder of OakNorth Bank – a bank that specialises in lending to entrepreneurs and growth businesses – to share his valuable insight and personal experiences with ByteStart readers;
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How peer-to-peer lending offers start-ups and small businesses a new funding option

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) lending.

P2P lending is fast becoming the norm for businesses needing finance to get an idea off the ground or raise the capital necessary to expand and take projects to the next level.

But whilst it’s become a more common financial avenue for SMEs to pursue, it’s still not as well-known as it could be. According to a 2014 Nesta Report, only 44% of UK small businesses have heard of P2P lending.

So what exactly is peer-to-peer lending and how can small and growing businesses use it to finance growth?
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Low profit is no barrier to achieving a high price when you’re selling a business

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 sure you maximise the return when it comes to selling up. But without any previous experience to draw upon, it’s all too easy for business owners to sell their company for less than it is worth.

With so much at stake, we asked Clinton Lee of UK Business Brokers to help explain how you can get the best possible price from a buyer, when you are selling your small business;
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How to switch business banking providers

Most individuals use the same bank for decades, if not for their lifetime. Many small businesses are the same, and stick with their high street bank even if they are missing out on far higher interest rates and lower bank charges which are available elsewhere.
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10 Top tips to ensure your crowdfunding efforts are rewarded

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 to avoid any tears at a later stage.

So how do crowdlending and crowdfunding differ, and what opportunities do they offer start-ups and small businesses? (more…)

What to do if your company is running out of cash

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 some of the best options potentially available to you if your company is facing a financial squeeze and is running out of cash, along with some ideas on how to approach the turnaround process.
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Cashflow Forecasting – top tips to produce a better cash flow forecast

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 grows, a cash flow forecast becomes an increasingly important tool to help you manage the business and to avoid any sudden cash flow problems.

We all therefore appreciate the importance of a cash flow forecast, but are there any trade secrets to doing it better?

Here are some top tips to help you produce a better, more accurate cash flow forecast first time, and how you can use it to give your business a commercial advantage.
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8 signs that a small business may be approaching insolvency

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 early warning signs that indicate your small business could be heading for financial trouble, and the actions you can take to overcome them. (more…)

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

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 into new markets, attracting investment will be essential to your venture’s success.
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ByteStart’s Guide to insolvency, liquidation and bankruptcy for business owners

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 businesses can be struck by cash flow problems because as they grow, more working capital is tied up in the business.

Without proper cash flow planning good businesses can suddenly find they don’t have enough money to buy resources to fulfil the orders coming in.
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7 ways to make sure your business gets paid on time, every time

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 out of cash. Even profitable businesses can be brought down by cash flow problems caused by slow-paying customers.

Without clear credit control procedures to ensure your customers pay you promptly, your business won’t be able to grow and could jeopardise your ability to pay your own bills in a timely manner. That’s the start of a slippery slope that can end in the destruction of years of hard work.

Don’t let your business die this way. Here’s how to build good credit control procedures into your operations from day one, with ByteStart’s seven ways to make sure your customers pay you on time, every time. (more…)

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

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 ventures will never get off the ground at all. Of those that do, the majority will fail. Of those who submit business plans to venture capital investors, less than one percent will get the funding they seek.

Those elite few who do raise finance have to give away large portions of their company and control in return. Worse still, many business founders who do receive venture capital money get fired within a year of the investment.

Despite the challenge of raising money, and the serious potential downsides, there is a widespread notion that if you are an entrepreneur looking to build a successful, growing business, you need to write a business plan and raise a few million pounds. But this vision is essentially wrong.
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