How quickly companies are paying their bills is a bellwether for how well the British economy is performing. Debt repayments should be swift if cash flow is good. Last tax year, 2014/15, businesses in the UK settled their bills a day quicker than in the previous tax year, indicating growth in both the economy and confidence of businesses.
There are a myriad sources of grant funding available for small businesses and start ups and as a business owner it can be confusing trying to pick your way through the different options to decide whether your business may qualify for support. Here is my advice on how to go about finding out about funding support and some of the key schemes available.
We’ve all heard that old adage ‘cash is king’ but it is still relevant today – and perhaps in this competitive, fast-moving world, it is even more important. Without a steady flow of cash, your business will run into serious trouble. You won’t be able to pay bills or your staff, make purchases or plan for the future.
It’s difficult running a small business. Long hours, hard work and fear of falling profits due to external factors all combine to make a business owner’s stress levels among the highest in the country. That being the case, news of any form of tax break is always cheering for any business owner.
Look beyond the headline rates offered by many lenders, and you’ll encounter a confusing maze of add-ons, extra fees and hidden charges. It’s no surprise, then, that our research revealed 40% of UK SMEs are unaware of just how much they’re paying for finance, while a third aren’t confident that their provider’s costs are fully transparent.
When all usual sources of finance have been exhausted, people will often turn to family and friends for assistance. It is only natural and is, after all, probably safer than turning to a loan shark or even some so called pay-day lenders. The interest charged by some of the latter may often render the original loan practically impossible to repay.
As the economy continues to recover, businesses are facing increasing working capital requirements, which many, particularly small businesses, are not prepared for. Working capital can help to release much needed cash flow, which can help a business to grow, and in turn helps the economy to grow and the cycle therefore continues.
It doesn’t matter what you sell or who you sell to – it’s hard to overstate the importance of getting pricing right. On average, a 1 percent price increase translates into an 8.7 percent increase in operating profits, assuming no loss of volume of course.
If you don’t have knowledge of financing and don’t already have the available cash to get started, it can be really tough to fund a new business. With small companies struggling to secure bank loans without prior connections, getting the backing of angel investors and venture capitalists is a struggle.
Traditionally, early stage businesses, especially start ups, have struggled to raise finance to support the launch and initial development of their product or service.
The impact of forecasting has a profound impact on any business. Get it right and you’ll forge ahead of any would-be competitors. Get it wrong and it will cost you the confidence of shareholders, respect from customers and critically, business performance.