Financing your business

Financing your business

Since the BREXIT decision was announced we have received a growing number of enquiries from existing and new businesses about ways to finance a business. Here are a dozen.

Self finance
Using your own savings means that you can retain full ownership and control of your business. Should you need to raise further finance, you will have demonstrated a commitment to the business.

Organic growth
If your business model is suitable, starting small and operating from home with minimal overheads on a full or part-time basis, should ensure that finance requirements are kept to a minimum. As the business proves itself, further finance can be sought to scale it up.

Family and Friends
Whilst loans from family and friends can often be on more favourable terms than a bank, you should ensure that the terms are clearly written down and the document signed by all the parties. You should also consider the potential impact on relationships if things do not meet expectations.

Credit cards
Useful for relatively small amounts on a short term basis, these are not an ideal source of finance and should be used with extreme caution. Shop around for the best rates.

Grants
Not easy to find, often with quite restricted and specific qualifying conditions and usually involving a long and complicated application process, grants can provide a valuable source of finance which, provided you satisfy the terms and conditions, does not have to be repaid.

Bank loans
No longer as easy to obtain, you will need a solid business plan and will almost certainly have to provide some form of security. If this is an issue, the EFG (Enterprise Funding Guarantee) is worth looking into.

Bank overdrafts
These are a flexible source of finance for ironing out short term cash shortages. They should not be used for long term financing as they can be withdrawn with little notice. Personal guarantees are usually required.

Asset based lending
There are any numbers of finance houses that will lend against uncharged assets owned by the business, such as plant and machinery, stock and buildings. These tend to be long term agreements and terms and conditions vary greatly.

Invoice factoring
Basically the factors will advance a fixed percentage of your weekly/monthly sales so that you effectively receive payment for sales invoices as you issue them. This can be an effective way of resolving cash flow issues which can grow with your company.

Regional funds
There is a diverse range of regional funds each designed to help businesses at various stages of their growth. Most have fixed funding pots so an early application can be advantageous.

Business angels
These are successful business people who will offer you cash and often invaluable support and advice, in return for a stake in your business.

Venture capitalists
Only dealing in significant amounts, with businesses having a proven track record and a solid business plan, they will take a (significant) equity stake and want a pre-defined exit route.

Whatever approach you take, you would be well advised to seek out sound professional advice before committing yourself.

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