Cash is King - how to effectively manage working capital in a business

Direct Business Lenders

“Cash is king” is a phrase often used to underline the importance of effective working capital management in a business. In an uncertain economic climate companies experience consistent financial pressure, so cash flow management is more relevant than ever. Let’s face it — without the right amount of cash, your business will inevitably run into distress, and, if not corrected, into failure.

According to the accountants, PWC, in their 2015 Annual Global Working Capital Survey “Bridging the Gap”, the cash opportunity from improving working capital to UK industrial manufactu...

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Kautham's Top Tips for Exporting

Invoice Funding

Delving into a foreign market can open many lucrative pathways for your business but before you dive in head first, there are a few things that you should consider:

Know your potential market

Even though you’ve successfully traded in the UK, take some time to research and make sure there is a serviceable demand for your product abroad before you commit to any major investments. Investigate the competition and their prices, to make sure there is a gap for your business. Cultural differences between regions mean that some products that are big hitters here may not see the same popularity abroad – hopefully nothing a few modifications can’t fix!

How to sell

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AltFi: How Fintech is shaping the lending scene for SMEs

By Arina Osiannaya, Director of the Business Funding Show

Financial technology, or FinTech, has redefined the way in which money changes hands. From helping businesses to manage costs to establishing efficient payment relationships, FinTech is an industry that has come along way in recent years. It’s prospects show no sign of abating in 2016 either.

And nowhere is this growth more keenly felt than with our nation’s SMEs. They power the economy, employ millions of people and support individual responsibility. According to The Economist, around 99 per cent of all non-financial companies in the European...

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5 Signs Your Business Needs a Loan to Grow

Direct Business Lenders

Ambitious to grow your business? A speedy injection of capital can be just the push you need to capitalise on a new opportunity or make sure your business idea delivers on its potential…

As every owner or manager knows, running a small business means wearing several different hats – sometimes all at once. From finance to sales to production to HR, the buck stops with you.

But to grow your business to its full potential, you need to ensure that no key area is getting left behind. That’s where some additional funding can make all the difference, helping you to expand your resources, improve your processes or just make yourself heard in a cr...

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Shareholders = Customers = Ambassadors

By Oscar A Jofre Jr., KoreConx

Each interview I've had in the past two weeks has asked a question about how some companies or outsiders believe that having a large pool of investors is not good for a company and is distracting. I pondered my response on a number of occasions and then I reflected on comments from the founders of the JOBS Act (Sherwood Neis, Jason Best and Douglas Ellenoff) that crowdfunding is the democratization of capital and the publication of private companies. They went on to state that when investors invest into companies through these equity crowdfunding portals, the investors become the best ambassadors to the company.

So the c...

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The Christmas Crunch for SMEs

Invoice Funding

By Caroline Langron, Manager Director of Platform Black

The holidays are upon us and it’s a busy time for SMEs as we approach year end. With research showing that last year’s average cost of Christmas for these organisations hit upwards of £20,000, it’s easy to see why businesses could find themselves in a pinch.

Supply and demand

During this busy period, many businesses will be focusing on meeting customer demand, especially those offering retail or food products, for example.

All hands on deck

Recruitment and staffing is likely to be high on the list of priorities too, as the festive season calls for more hands on deck to manage increased demand....

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Entrepreneurs Get Naked for Money

By Oscar A Jofre Jr., KoreConx

I think you should get naked.

There’s a reason why people have nightmares about being naked in front of a crowd, and it’s because they hate the idea of being that vulnerable. As an entrepreneur, it can be even more daunting. Your success or failure depends on what that crowd decides, and you’ve likely been through a pitch or two, and maybe some of them unsuccessful. So when it is your turn to do so again, it’s tempting to feel defensive.

But you have to get naked for money.

I’m not being literal when I say this, naturally. I mean that if you want buy-in from a crowd of investors, then you need to go out of you...

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The Credit4 Financial Kit Bag: Part 3

Direct Business Lenders

Last month we brought you the second installment of Credit4’s Financial Kit Bag. For the third part Credit4 are looking into how to create a perfect business plan. This leads on from Cashflow Forecasts and Management Accounts.

Business Plan

Business plans are used by most businesses regardless of size and how long they’ve been established. For young businesses, however, the time, energy and money that it takes to produce the right business plan will be worth all the effort in the end.

What may seem a chore to would-be borrowers – when all they want to do is get on with implementing their great business idea – is regarded by most serious investors...

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Banking By-pass?

Peer-to-business Loans

By Ian Cunningham, Head of Credit, LendingCrowd

Across the world, small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have traditionally been the backbone of regional economies and in recent years they have also benefited from increased globalisation which has helped to boost their geographical reach into new markets.

However, since the 2008 banking crash SMEs have often struggled to raise the finance they need from the banks to grow and expand their businesses. The global regulatory response to financial crises through banking supervision regulations such as the Basel Capital Accord, while designed to reduce systemic risk, has also constrained bank lending to SMEs. In particular Basel III, aglobal voluntary regulatory f...

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How to Become a Disruptor

By Richard Prime, CEO of fintech start-up Sonovate

The concept of ‘disruption’ within business has received a huge amount of attention in recent times. There’s TechCrunch Disrupt, CNBC’s annual “disruptor list” of the most disruptive companies out there, and the Burson-Marsteller 2015 EMEA Crisis Survey to name a few. The latter reveals the changing nature of crises facing businesses and has put the emergence of new disruptive enterprises at the top of the potential business crisis list for the next six to 12 months.

Of the Crisis Survey respondents, 73% indicated that they have noticed new market entrants, or innovative business models, over the past three years that could potentially th...

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Tips for Small Business Owners on How to Keep Up With Debt Payments

By Marc Glazer, President and CEO of BFS Capital

Small business owners have a lot on their minds.

It’s often their responsibility to decide whether to hire more staff, how to arrange the store/office, how to market the services and, perhaps most importantly, how to finance the whole operation.

Financing any business can be tricky though, especially because it’s so hard to predict how many customers will come in the shop or sign up for certain services. Many small business owners have to take out small business loans to help pay for start-up or growth expenses, ...

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Why Should You Include A Video In Your Crowdfunding Campaign?

Equity Funding

By Kirsten Buchanan, Squareknot

Your business plan has been perfected, your pitch rehearsed until it’s spot on and your rewards carefully considered – but what else can you do to make your campaign complete?

A Video.

A crowdfunding video can make a huge difference to a campaign and shouldn’t be left out. It’s a different medium to engage your audience, detail your project and generally can lead to more funding by appealing to a broader range of people.

Videos Allow Backers To Connect With You

By appearing in the video you allow people to connect with the face behind t...

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Founder Beware: The Risks of Seeking Investment via Crowdfunding

Equity Funding

By Richard Goold & Richard Ellis

Introduction

Crowdfunding looks like the entrepreneur's best friend.

Seeking investment used to involve trawling banks, angels and VCs. This was a gruelling process. It involved thorough preparation, challenging questions and, more often than not, painful rejection. With crowdfunding you can put a pitch on a platform and wait for the cash to start rolling in. Happy days.

Importantly valuations also appear to be generous at present – in a low interest rate environment investors are keen to find a good return on their cash....

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A Handy Checklist to Help SMEs Prepare for a Profitable Christmas

Revenue-based Loans

With research suggesting that Christmas shoppers hit the streets as early as October, and reports of retailers stocking Christmas products in September, it seems that it’s never too early for businesses to start preparing for the festive season.

Act now and have time to react to any seasonal changes or trends in your sector or niche.

There’s also plenty to do in advance, such as ordering products and stock, refurbishing display areas and putting up decorations, as well as finding and hiring additional skilled staff. The earlier you start the better prepared and mor...

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Crowdcube Catches up with Successfully Funded LOVESPACE

Equity Funding

LOVESPACE raised investment on Crowdcube in July 2014, and the equity crowdfunding platform caught up with them a year later to find out how they are getting on. 

The founder, Brett Akker formally co-founded Streetcar which was sold to ZipCar for £32m in 2010. Brett then established LOVESPACE which was the first storage-by-box company in the UK, in 2011. The company turned to the crowd to raise funds to move to a larger warehouse, develop and execute a marketing plan and acquire a fleet of vans and drivers to complement its courier network.

The company raised £1,562,960 – overfunding to 260% thanks to ...

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Why the UK deserves to be a Market Leader in Fintech

Direct Business Lenders

By Sarah El Mrabet, Credit4

One of the main challenges for innovative start-ups can be regulation. Whenever there is a genuinely new idea, it is often the case that it comes up against a legal obstacle or uncertainty concerning the legal feasibility of the business model.

We’ve seen how start-ups have struggled to transform their business plan into a legal entity. For example, Uber, the popular taxi App, has been sued in many countries where it has sought to operate. Even prior to Uber, Airbnb had encountered similar problems.

Legal barriers can be even more problematic in the financial sector where regul...

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Top Tips for Applying for a Business Loan

Revenue-based Loans

By Carolynn Blaxcell, Fleximize

Applying for a business loan can be a rather frustrating task to complete but Carolyn Blaxcell from Fleximize has given revealed her top five tips to follow when looking to borrow some money.

Tip 1: Know your business inside out

From a lender’s point of view, it’s a massive alarm bell when a business owner or manager stumbles on straightforward questions about their business. It’s like trying to sell someone a holiday without telling them which hotel (or even country) they would be going to and how they are getting there. Your chances to close a successful sale would be quite slim.

To convince someone ...

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The Credit4 Financial Kitbag: Part 2

Direct Business Lenders

Last week we brought you the first installment of Credit4’s Financial Kit Bag and today we have the second part…

Management Accounts.

In the second in our series of articles highlighting the essential information SMEs should have ready in their financial ‘kitbag’ when raising finance, we look at the Management Accounts, regarded by many as a key element of a company’s management information.

For a significant proportion of smaller businesses, producing the ‘Accounts’ may appear to be a purely administrative exercise undertaken by their accountants a number of months after their financial year end. Whilst the filing of a company’s annual finan...

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Why Crowdfunding?

Equity Funding

Crowdfunding is quickly becoming a capital raisers first choice, rather than the alternative method of finance. As such, some very interesting and high potential companies have turned to online portals to raise debt and equity to fund their business. A stigma formerly existed whereby some investors viewed those companies raising funds via crowdfunding as adversely selected, effectively meaning they had failed through traditional sources - but this simply is not the case. Business owners see a crowdfunding campaign as more than just access to capital and they are leveraging the ancillary benefits of a good campaign. A well planned campaign can bring significant PR benefits to the business and enhance brand equity. Furthermor...

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The Credit4 Financial Kit Bag: Part I

Direct Business Lenders

Cashflow forecasts

The alternatives for UK SMEs seeking finance seem to grow almost daily as more and more non-bank lenders enter the arena to secure market share. Some are offering genuinely innovative products, others not so, but what’s for sure is that SMEs have more choice now than ever before.

Many of the smaller companies however are finding it as difficult as ever to source the appropriate finance they need. One answer to the conundrum may be that, even in the dramatically changing world of finance, some key disciplines and criteria remain constant and SMEs often enter the market inadequately prepared.

Irrespective of who is offering the pr...

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