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Know who to turn to in troubled times

By Peter Douglas

Business Finance Services

ACCORDING to a recent article in the Sunday Express research from finance group Funding Options suggests almost three million SMEs are struggling to cope with their finances. The fintech firm said that 51 per cent of small firms want help while 23 per cent have no idea if they are going to go into the red until it happens. Only half of SMEs carry out regular forecasts to help them keep track of their cash flow, while 17 per cent said that they do not carry out formal reviews of their business finance at all.

Assuming reasonable accuracy of these figures, they are worrying, though not necessarily surprising. We have written before about the need, not only to have a good business plan, but to monitor progress against it on a regular basis. There are numerous reasons why business managers do not do this: lack of experience, too busy, over confidence or fear of getting bad news. All commonplace but equally all potentially fatal.

In simple terms there are some basic rules that should be followed whether you have a start-up or an established business:

* Know where you are going.

* Be sure that you have the right plan (and products) to get there.

* Monitor your progress against that plan.

* Take remedial action where necessary to stay ‘On Plan’.

* Never be afraid to seek advice from professionals in areas where your business lacks knowledge or experience.

All good basic stuff but essential for SMEs that want to grow successfully. Even more so with Brexit (supposedly) just around the corner. The uncertainty this is generating makes it even more important to monitor progress. Having said this it is our impression that there is a lot of confidence in the prospects for business growth in this region whether or not Brexit happens.

As usual, we at BFS will do whatever we can to help SMEs with their planning and funding to meet future needs. Just call us on 0800 093 5240 or email us at and we will be happy to help.

Companies mentioned in this article

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