Category Finance

Getting into bed with the celebs

Not about frocks Keep up won’t you; I’m not asking you to actually sleep with the celebs. I don’t allow anyone to sleep with me. Simon Cowell’s unofficial biography mentioned Dannii Minogue but not me. Yet, coincidentally, I also have a chic shorter ‘do and a couple of designer frocks with an of-the-moment statement shoulder.…

7 Questions To Ask When Considering Equity Finance For Your Business

Do you have a registered limited company? For equity finance to work, you need to have a limited company (occasionally limited partnerships are acceptable), which then allows for the allocation of company shares to your external investors. If you are unsure about the advantages and disadvantages of moving from your current structure to that of…

Yes, Ex-Minister,#MicroBizMatters!

Question Time Just before I flew home to Canada I was asked by my inept agent, Tony Robinson OBE, to chair a ‘Question Time’ type debate at a large micro business conference in his home town of Scarborough. Micro businesses (0-9 employees) are, apparently, quite important to the UK. There are 4.5 million of them…

The Real Deal – Don’t Accept Anything Less

Entrepreneur Conferences need a business health warning. November and March are always the biggest months for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship conferences. Last week, I was lucky enough to be in Liverpool for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. Last year it was in Dubai and next year it’s in Rio de Janeiro so we were lucky to have…

Crowdfunding – could it work for your business?

Crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly popular method for small businesses and social ventures to raise much needed funds.  The map below gives you some idea of the scale of growth in Crowdfunding over recent years.  Interestingly, the same source indicates that 46% of all UK Crowdfunding platforms were launched in 2011 alone, so with the…

Worsening Access To Finance For UK Small Business

Following on from my interview on CNBC, I came under fire with some criticism for suggesting the banks and the government is failing small business with access to affordable finance. Today the British Chamber of Commerce announced in its latest monthly report that: 33% of companies said access to finance was more difficult over the…

Equity essential to finance new ventures writes the Financial Times

Equity rather than debt holds the key to financing the future of the UK’s small business sector, according to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). The association’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) committee claims that economic recovery could be the shining moment for wealthy individuals who put money into early-stage ventures. Read more @…

How much money do you really need to start your micro business?

Starting from home and using bootstrapping techniques will save you money and help your small business to stay afloat. But you will need some money – the question is, how much capital will you really need. To work this out you should do a cash-flow forecast, planning your income and expenditure for the next six…

Q & A: How Do I Find A Suitable Bank For My Small Business?

I would take this stepped approach to finding a small business bank in your area, and many of the steps are similar to finding other suppliers: Find out the facts - i.e. account charges, loan charges, banking hours, online banking and other benefits, like free advice, software, etc.Talk to the person who would be in charge of your account, meet with them.Talk to other small businesses about the bank and the bank manager, go to networking events in your local area.Make a Pro's & Con's list - then make your decision.You will notice that banks don't like to be called suppliers, or service providers, but that is exactly what they are, nothing more and nothing less.... This is probably the last time for a while that you hold all the cards, so it's better to find out what your bank is like before you really need them.For me business is between people, I move bank with my bank manager when he leaves, I'm on bank number three with him right now and that always served me well in the past, it is also a compliment to my bank manager, and he knows it.Better the devil you know......!

Q & A: What should I do when my bank cancels my overdraft without warning?

This question is hard to answer, because there are no simple answers here and the outcome of this situation could easily be fatal to the business and if you are personally guaranteeing this money - and you probably are - this could potentially be very serious for your personal life too.The things that you need to do, in my opinion are: Find out why?... Many years ago someone made the the umbrella analogy and it goes like this: When the sun is shining your bank gives you an umbrella (O/D, Loan);when it is raining, they need the umbrella themselves.It is best if you do everything possible to not need banks in the first place, by bootstrapping, outsourcing, planning your business and keeping your fixed costs as low as possible.Remember sometimes, attack is the best defense even with banks, they may need their money, but they do not need bad publicity either.

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