admin No Comments

10 Biggest Mistakes when Securing Business Funding

1. Half-baked business plans

A good business plan should not only be realistic it should be specific. It should show how the plan will be implemented, highlight the market opportunity and separate what is an assumption and what is a fact. You don’t want to fall at the first hurdle when securing business funding.

2. Focusing too much on the idea and too little on the management

Having a great idea is one thing but ideas don’t fuel themselves. Making the dream a reality is as much about the mundane paperwork as it is negotiating the perfect deal or creating the ideal marketing campaign.  Knowing who is responsible for what, where, when and how makes sure the ‘machine’ continues to run as the business shifts through the gears.

3. Not asking for enough money

‘Better to have too much than too little’ as the old adage goes.  Being prudent and hedging your bets is one thing but be sure not to leave yourself short.  Make sure you’ve carefully analyzed how much you need including contingencies and if you’re unsure seek expert advice. Nothing worse than getting what you want, only to find out its not what you need.

4. Having too many lenders or investors

This is certainly a case of quality over quantity. While it’s great to have many suitors they will not all be the same, offering the same terms.  It’s better to have the right quality of funding rather than dilute the fundamentals of the business, for what could ultimately be short term gains.

5. Failing to get the proper legal agreements

As with most things in life ‘the devil is in the details’ and this is no different.  The right legal agreement can free you to expand, grow and take the right risks while others can chain you down, becoming a weight on your mind and business. Be sure that the agreement isn’t just right in principle but the conditions and penalties fit your financial structure.

6. Poor cash flow management

So you’ve got the funding you were looking for, great!  Now what?  It’s important to allocate and track spending accurately, adjusting spending to meet changing demands and continuing to look for opportunities to maximize spending. Ultimately it’s about having the right person with qualified experience advising you on your the use of you new funding effectively, ensuring the proper cash flow management.

7. Poor personal credit

Poor personal credit can be a real stumbling block but often isn’t as fatal as expected.  Be vigilant of all the lending and investment opportunities available to you and again seek expert advice where you need it.

8. Not understanding your financial situation

Sadly too many businesses fail to truly understand their financial situation which can lead to underestimating the funding they need.  Underestimating the exponential increase in expenses as they grow the business or just over estimating future revenues are obvious hazards.  It’s never easy to predict the future, which is why it’s so important to analyze the present as best as you can.

9. Under utilizing the management team

Having a strong team is a key component of any successful enterprise.  Finding the best way to utilize the full capabilities of that team can make a huge difference.  Identify the key skill sets of your management team as well as their weaknesses and potential for growth and if you find gaps that can’t be filled you can always recruit or outsource.

10. Lacking a clear go-to market strategy

Your go-to market strategy should be clear and precise, a plan you can follow, execute and track. Once you are ready to go you don’t want be distracted or uncertain, delays can cost you money and opportunities.  Go to market with energy, focus and a purpose for your new funding and the chances of success greatly increase.

 

At Budget Mastermind we offer free initial consultations and work with our clients for all their financial needs from drafting business plans to sourcing funding and managing their accounts. If you have any questions at we encourage you to contact us HERE for a free, informal chat.

You can keep up to date will our blogs and latest news by following us on social media via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

admin No Comments

BREXIT – Where there is uncertainty there is opportunity

Many entrepreneurs are considering starting their own business in the new economy and for good reason.  While a resent poll showed the number of people interested in starting a new business has increased to 14% from 10% in Q3 2016, it’s still a far cry from the 39% in Q2 2015.  The resent rise could just be the first shoots of recovery for the British entrepreneurial spirit post the Brexit vote.
This has a lot to do with the fact that even though the effects of Brexit are impossible to predict, most business owners in the UK believe that the best thing to do is to keep progressing.  This includes investing strategically which is aided by the fact that uncertainty gives way for more opportunities.  If you take into account the fact that some of the most successful companies originated after the 2008 financial crisis, then there seems good reason to be optimistic.
Irrespective of the business environment you find yourself in, as a new entrepreneur you will face a number of challenges before you can establish yourself.  At the top of the list of concerns for most budding start ups is finance.  As with most things in life, starting with a solid foundation is key and the key to finance is planning.  Here are 3 things every Startup should thoroughly consider.
Cash-flow
Thorough analysis of your cash-flow options (http://www.budgetmastermind.com/services/cash-flow-improvement/), factoring solutions and alternative finance options gives you a clear understanding of what you can do financially at the start, it also shows you the opportunities that are available going forward as the business grows.  Small changes to your business structure can have a tremendous impact on your cash-flow.
Business Plan
It’s easy to overlook the importance of a business plan but that’s never a good idea.  It is more than just a map for you, it forecasts your success and prepares you to navigate pitfalls, when it is structured around facts and informed ideas.  It will also help you control your expenses and determine which aspects can be reduced or even taken out from the budget entirely.
Quarterly Meetings
Quarterly meetings are usually enough to reveal hidden costs that might be draining your business besides assuring you that it is going in the right direction.  It’s important that all responsible partners have a chance to get together with the finances laid out.  Decisions can be made based on solid facts and new opportunities can be identified.
Needless to say, in order to preserve a budding business environment in the UK after its exit from the EU, the need for self-sustainable business solutions is substantial.  Poor financial planning is the main reason why most businesses fail before they realize their potential.  Building a team you can trust to provide solutions and highlight opportunities fundamentally improves those prospects.
Planning takes time, effort and a lot of patience since it is incremental. Changing trends will compel you to change directions multiple times but with a strong financial team working with you, not just for you, you can be sure you’ll be building a business on solid foundations.
Follow us on social media to keep up with our next blog and latest updates
admin No Comments

HMRC Christmas Party Allowance For Your Limited Company

Christmas is nearly here and as it’s an expensive as well as a jolly time of year, we thought you’d appreciat a tax break with regard to your company Christmas party.

HMRC allows a tax exemption of £150 per employee for a Christmas party. As a gift from her majesty, an employer can spend up to £150 per employee tax free, which is separate from any additional deductions from corporation tax.

The tax exemption applies whether you are a multi-national or the only employee and even includes guests of the employees, tax and NI-free!

A Christmas party does not necessarily have to constitute a party; it could take the form of a meal or entertainment. Just make sure the total cost per head stays under the £150 per head. If the cost per head exceeds this exemption even by £1, then the full amount would become a benefit in kind for the employee and tax and NI would be charged.

The cost per head is calculated as:

  • The party/function
  • Transportation or accommodation included
  • Divided by the number of people in attendance
  • The restaurant or hotel should be booked in the company name and if the £150 limit is at risk of being exceeded, the director should be authorised to pay the bill personally and claim back only up to £150 per head from the company – supported by receipts.

If you have any questions about the above, why not get in touch to see how we can help you save this yuletide! A very merry Christmas to you all. Hope to see you in the new year!