02/09/10

By Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurs at Smith & Williamson

To help you assess the severity of your funding situation, we have divided some of the typical financing issues entrepreneurs face into potential ‘red, amber or green light’ threats.

RED

• My bank has asked me to move to another lender when my current facilities expire.

• My facility has been renewed, but the bank is charging me 5% over base rate, instead of 2%, and an arrangement fee of 1.5%.

• My bank needs a personal guarantee before it will consider renewing my loan.

• I’ve just found out that, because my management accounts arrived late at the bank as result of the mail strike, I am in breach of the covenants on my term loan, and I need to repay the entire balance immediately.

• Before my facility can be renewed, an accountants’ investigation will be required. What does this mean?

AMBER

• My bank manager has just been changed; the new one’s from the ‘business support unit’.

• My overdraft if up for renewal soon; should I be worried?

• I’ve a good relationship with my bank, but recently it has been raising concerns about working capital control. What action should I be taking?

• I took out a fixed term loan at a fixed interest rate of 8% two years ago. With interest rates at today’s levels, can’t I change to something lower?

GREEN

• How can I be sure I’m getting the best deal on interest rates and fees at the bank?

• I’m being courted by a new bank — can I trust them?

• I’m contemplating an acquisition, and I’ll need to raise finance to do it. Can I rely on my bank to help?

• I’d like to consider restructuring the ownership of the business to give my son control. I’d also like to release some money now. How is the bank likely to react?

Book a free funding review

If you’re grappling with any of these or other similar issues, please email guy.rigby@smith.williamson.co.uk or call 020 7131 8213 to find out more about our free funding review or get in touch with our Fast Track Funding team who will be able to help.

This article is part of the Entrepreneurs' Toolkit series, produced by Smith & Williamson. More information on this and other toolkit topics is available at www.smith.williamson.co.uk

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Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurs at Smith & Williamson, will be speaking at Fresh Business Thinking LIVE! and tell you how to grow your business and live happily ever after. Great ideas are two a penny, but great businesses are rare. It's not just the idea that makes a business successful, but the way it's developed, implemented and managed. In his session, Guy will look at the key drivers of business success, as well as examining some of the more common reasons for failure. He will explain how to build a strong and sustainable business, the opportunities that will create and how you can use these to help you live happily ever after.

With just under a week to go to this year’s event we have reached capacity and all tickets are sold out.

We have opened up a waiting list for delegates to go on ‘stand-by’ — please click here to register for the waiting list.

Fresh Business Thinking LIVE! will take place at Old Billingsgate on 8th September and features over 40 expert speakers and workshops.