Business Blog


Managing Cashflow: What The Latest Reports Tell Us

Managing Cashflow: What The Latest Reports Tell Us

A raft of new reports on small businesses and cashflow last month has underlined the unnecessary time and money being spent on managing company cash flow. While technology has enabled businesses to simplify many aspects of their day-to-day operations, daily cashflow management is still a challenge for UK small businesses. A recent survey found that small firms are collectively losing over £8.72bn every year as a result of the time taken to complete weekly finance related tasks. Another study revealed that more than six out of 10 business owners regularly, or occasionally, draw upon personal finances like a personal credit card to support their business. And with 15% of small firms also saying that they found this to be an issue, what can we do to avoid unnecessary cashflow volatility and b... »

Raising Finance: Overcoming the Barriers Created by Stereotypes

Raising Finance: Overcoming the Barriers Created by Stereotypes

I launched Frugl, a London-aimed bargains and deals platform for people on a budget, back in 2014. In this age of austerity, it was an idea I truly believed in and backed it with my own risk, funding our initial app by selling my house. One year on and we now have close to 20,000 active users, regularly list more than 200 activities per month and have just launched a marketplace for small and medium enterprises and event promoters to list and manage their own events and offers. We are ripe for growth, which is why I am crowdfunding new investment using a platform called Syndicate Room (SR). This, however, is not without potential pitfalls such as finding investors, revising and adjusting financial forecasts and spending a lot of time in meetings. Today’s funding environment The idea ... »

Business Investment Timings and Their Importance

Business Investment Timings and Their Importance

Getting the timing right is crucial when it comes to running a successful business. While most business plans will include forecasts for product milestones, market penetration, and expenditure, based on the overarching questions of “What resources do we have?” and “How do we use them?” it’s still necessary for this plan to also include a marker for external funding. Given that the acquisition of funding is usually the most important factor that will determine the success or failure of a company – especially a start-up, it often gets little attention in the company’s early plans. Often, there will be a clear plan on resource utilisation, which will include ample detail around the development costs and marketing expenditure, while the funding section will simply have a date that denotes the ... »

Life Beyond the Business Overdraft

With so many businesses starved of traditional bank finance at present, Evette Orams, Managing Director of invoice finance broker Hilton-Baird Financial Solutions, explores the benefits that businesses could enjoy by looking beyond the likes of overdrafts and bank loans towards more flexible and tailored funding solutions. Amongst the wide range of challenges that businesses have had to contend with in recent years, access to finance has featured highly on the lists of many. »

Latest news from the ninth SME Finance Monitor

The ninth SME Finance Monitor report was published at the end of August 2013. The largest independent survey of its kind, it provides detailed information on the issue of access to finance for SMEs, both currently and over time. The full report can be found at, but here are the key headlines that will be explored in more detail in future posts: »

The SME Market: One Size Does Not Fit All

As covered last time, the SME Finance Monitor reports on more than just applications for finance. It also reviews other business activities to provide context to the financial analysis. This article reports on some of these other business activities, such as innovation and business planning, and how they vary by size and sector. More than 20,000 interviews were conducted in 2012, with analysis shown in the summary table and key headlines as follows: »

Personal Funds Also Supporting SMEs

The SME Finance Monitor reports on more than just loan and overdraft applications, it also looks at the broader financial context for SMEs. One aspect of this is the blurring between business and personal funds, particularly at the smaller end of the market. 54% of all SMEs have some personal element to their business arrangements, ranging from 59% of those with 0 employees to 15% of those with 50-249 employees. This net figure includes using a personal bank account for business banking, having, or applying in your personal name for a loan or overdraft facility for the business, or reporting an injection of personal funds into the business in the previous 12 months. »

External Credit Risk Ratings Explained

The external credit risk rating held on businesses by companies such as Experian and Dun and Bradstreet are used by banks and other lenders as one of the assessment factors for lending decisions. A poor credit history, or lack of credit history is regularly cited by SMEs asked why they think they were declined by their bank. Credit risk ratings are appended to the results of the SME Finance Monitor, so what does analysis tell us? »

Uniform Approach to Merchant Acquiring Legislation Jeopardises Small Businesses

By Phil Curtis, Managing Director, First Data Merchant Solutions With payment devices now ranging from touch screen point of sale systems to smartphone apps, coupled with the increasing number of customers that are ditching cash and opting for the ease of paying with plastic, the card payment market has risen dramatically in recent years. It has never been more important for businesses of all shapes and sizes to accept cashless payments, but as the marketplace grows, regulation becomes an issue. Consequently the Payment Services Directive (PSD) was devised by the European Commission in 2009 to provide a single regulatory regime for all payment services in the European Union for the first time. »

Monitoring SME Access to Finance

The eighth wave of the BDRC Continental quarterly SME Finance Monitor was published in May. The report investigates the availability of external finance for the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and is the largest and most frequent study of its kind in the UK, with overall findings now based on more than 40,000 interviews with SMEs. The SME Finance Monitor allows us really to understand the key trends and themes around SME access to finance, and to highlight where these are changing over time. Whilst there are signs of SMEs retrenching in terms of their use of external finance and the increasing obstacle of the current economic climate for those wanting to seek finance, there are also some positives as awareness of the Funding for Lending Scheme continues to grow. The key hea... »

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