Finance

From tips on handling cashflow to obtaining government grants and setting up a credit control system; our finance section contains everything you need to know about raising investment and managing your small business money.

Managing Your Money and Your Business: A Guide

Managing Your Money and Your Business: A Guide

For anyone striking out as an entrepreneur for the first time, the stakes are often high. Owning and managing a small/medium sized business means that your own personal financial affairs are likely to be tied up in those of the business. It’s crucial that you always consider how your business is affecting your financial situation – whether you have been running it for two weeks or 20 years. This guide aims to help you control the flow of personal finances into and out of your business – how to manage the investments you put into the company and the income/profits it provides you with in return. Furthermore, it will help you choose the business structure that benefits you most financially, learn about tax advantages, how to withdraw profits and make investments, how to manage an exit, and m... »

How to Manage Import Finance

How to Manage Import Finance

Importing goods from another country typically exposes you to more risk and financial commitment than purchasing from a UK supplier, so it is especially important that you know what you are doing. In this guide you will learn about: Negotiating a deal with a supplier What payment methods exist The costs involved How to arrange short-term finance What factors do I need to consider when negotiating with my supplier Both parties will want to obtain different terms but should strive to reach a balanced and mutually beneficial outcome. The method of payment you choose will, in large part, determine what level of risk you’re exposed too (see below for more on this). You will want to reduce the risk of paying for goods that don’t arrive, or arrive late or damaged and the supplier will want to be ... »

How to Complete an Income Tax Self-Assessment

How to Complete an Income Tax Self-Assessment

Completing a self-assessment can be a daunting prospect for many, especially if you lack a natural aptitude for numbers. Unfortunately, for the majority of people working in business, it is a prospect you are likely to face. However, provided you keep comprehensive and relevant records, and meet your deadlines, it doesn’t have to be something to fear. This guide will help you both recognise your obligations as a small business as well as teach you how to keep detailed records to ensure you submit your return without any problems. Am I affected by self-assessment? You are responsible for performing your own self-assessment if: You are a sole trader You are in partnership You are a company director who receives benefits or remunerations You are a higher rate tax payer with a higher-rate taxa... »

How to Manage Business Overdrafts and Bank Loans

How to Manage Business Overdrafts and Bank Loans

Overdrafts and bank loans are the most common way for businesses to obtain external finance – but they have to be used properly. While carefully managed debt finance offers a flexible and cost-effective way of investing in your business and keeping on top of cashflow, poor debt finance decisions can cause major problems and eventually failure. How do I decide what kind of finance I need? First of all, you need to work out what ‘gearing’ you want your business to have, meaning the proportion of your finance you have in the form of debt as opposed to investment. To establish this you should consider your cashflow, less available cash might mean you struggle with repayment, as well as your risk profile – more risk isn’t always bad. If your investors are prepared to accept higher risk in the e... »

Choosing and Using an Accountant for Your Small Business

Choosing and Using an Accountant for Your Small Business

When running a business for the first time, it can be tempting to think you can go it alone – as an enthusiastic advocate of lean techniques, you may have taken the view that an accountant represents an unnecessary expense. But the opposite is almost always the case; a small outlay on an accountant can save your business untold costs in the long run. In this article, you will find an introduction to accountants from the point of view of a small business. We cover what services they can provide, where to find one, and how to save on accountancy fees. What services can an accountant offer my small business? Accountancy is a broad term, and different accountants will offer different kinds of service. There are a number of such services. Helping you file annual accounts. Whether you are a sole... »

Business Angels: How to Find Them, Pitch and Secure Investment

Business Angels: How to Find Them, Pitch and Secure Investment

If you’re looking to secure investment above £25,000 and below £750,000, then a business angel could be the way to go. A business angel is any individual prepared to provide you with capital at their own personal risk. The personal nature of their investment means an experienced angel can also offer hands on knowledge and expertise than can help grow your business. This guide will give you advice on finding a business angel that suits your needs, how to pitch to them successfully and how to secure their investment. When should I consider using a business angel? An angel should only really be considered if you are able to fulfil the following conditions. You must be: Trying to raise £25,000-£750,000 Equity finance over £250,000 is generally the preserve of syndicates – angels investing toge... »

Selling a Business: What you Need to Know

Selling a Business: What you Need to Know

As a business owner, selling a business can simultaneously be one of the most stressful, liberating, bittersweet and potentially exhilarating experiences of your life. It should not be taken lightly – the process of selling a business is tricky, and introduces all sorts of variables which could scupper the whole process at any point. This article is intended as a step-by-step guide to the sale process for business owners. We cover how to determine whether the time is right to sell, how to increase your business’ value prior to the bidding process, the sale process itself, and how to choose a buyer and complete the deal. Read on to find out more. How do I know whether the time is right to sell? Ask yourself these questions: Have I planned ahead? Selling a business requires careful planning ... »

A Guide to Finance for Non-financial Managers

A Guide to Finance for Non-financial Managers

Learning how to survey and manage your financial position is perhaps the most important part of running a successful business. Whatever your background, you will need to know how to collect figures and use them to establish your performance, your problems, and your opportunities for growth. This guide will help you to manage your profits and losses plus your cashflow and profitability, by carefully preparing balance sheets and realistic budgets. How do I manage my profits and losses? You need to compose a profit and loss statement. This records all the sales, expenses, costs, profits and losses for the previous ‘accounting period’ (commonly one year) , as well as any tax provisions. It gives you a picture of your trading performance, and allows you to identify any growth or problem areas. ... »

How to Maximise Profit: Business Owners Share Their Secrets

How to Maximise Profit: Business Owners Share Their Secrets

When running a small business, making a profit is vital to your existence. A constant challenge for any enterprise, it probably serves as the most fundamental thing you strive for as a business. With only half of small businesses reaching their fifth birthday, we’ve gathered insights from some of the country’s top small business owners on keeping lean, maximising profits and avoiding costly mistakes. 1. Keep it lean “I think that it’s really about scrutinising spend to some degree. It’s amazing how creative you can be with quite a small budget, and I think one of the things that happens to large businesses is that they lose sight of the ability to do that. I’m always really looking constantly into how to get more value out of the things that we’re doing – particularly in marketing.” ... »

Small Business Finance: What you need to know

Small Business Finance: What you need to know

For any business, initial funding is a crucial element of success, but raising finance will almost certainly be the most difficult element of starting and running a business. Thankfully, you have an array of options open to you when it comes to raising finance. Before proceeding to raise finance, you should first ensure your business plan is economically sound. If it is, you should be able to build a solid financial base if you know what you are doing. This article should serve as an introduction to financing your business. It will cover how to assess your funding needs, then explore the multitude of different funding options – exploring your options for external investment, bank finance, and other finance options. How do I know how much finance to seek? To identify your funding needs, fol... »

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