Small businesses win work by using sales quotes. Yet they often don’t realise that how they prepare quotes can cost them business. Many lose revenue by not following up on quotes or turning quotes around fast enough.
It is true that trustees, as well as individuals, can benefit from the 10% rate of capital gains tax afforded by entrepreneurs’ relief (ER). However, there are specific rules that must be adhered to for qualification; the relief is not available for all trusts.
It is well known that an individual selling a business or shares in their company will often qualify for Entrepreneurs’ Relief (ER) — which applies on any gains made to reduce the tax rate on the sale to 10%. As this is considerably more favourable than the ‘standard’ capital gains rates of 18% and 28%, it is no wonder this is often at the forefront of people’s minds when they come to sell their business.
Acquiring finance in the current economic climate can be a daunting task with seemingly few options available to small and medium sized businesses looking to build or expand. The first and most obvious option is to contact your bank and discuss the lending options that are available to you. This should be the first port of call for a small business seeking finance. However, unsecured bank lending to small businesses is currently very low, so don’t be surprised if your loan isn’t approved straight away or even rejected outright. This need not spell the end of your business expansion plans, renovations etc.
For the estimated 5.2 million SMEs in the UK that either survived or started trading during the economic downturn, talk of recovery and growth will come as welcome news. Both consumers and businesses are investing and spending once again, and this means there is an opportunity to sell more and expand your operations. Of course this new era will bring with it a whole new set of challenges that business owners will have to overcome.
According to a recent report by IDC, the top business processes being automated and digitised, both in the last 12 months and over the next 12 months, are heavily back-office oriented. Of all the back-office processes to automate, to my mind businesses should prioritise automating invoice processing (AIP). After all, this is the process that directly impacts payment cycles and cash flow – sitting right at the core of any business.
There is no doubt that small businesses are being declined finance; we know this from surveys and various case studies where businesses have eventually sought the help of a broker having been denied help from their banks, and where no ‘alternatives’ have been suggested.
For many growing businesses, accessing finance can be central to making or breaking a company’s success. But with so many sources of finance available, where do you start and which option is right for you and your business’ needs?
Like it or not, firms of all shapes and sizes need to conduct business and financial planning on a regular basis, which can often mean trawling through spreadsheet after spreadsheet of financial data in order to plan effectively. As a result, this process of data acquisition, validation, number crunching and reporting can be a significant drain on resources.
In recent years a number of investment and financial readiness initiatives have been launched to the SME world. These have been designed to raise awareness of what businesses need to do to access funding.