Financing a growing business

The reasons for growth vary. It may be to meet increasing demand, or to expand into new markets, or to diversify. But as with any major business decision the key is to do your homework and understand all the implications.

Remember, while expansion can often mean increased revenue and profits, it's also likely to mean increased costs. So you need to have a strategy, including a plan for funding your growth.

This guide will show you how to:

  • Decide if your business is ready to grow
  • Achieve growth
  • Understand the implications of growth
  • Fund growth.

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Financing a growing business

Raising finance for your business

Raising finance for your business Businesses need to raise finance for a whole variety of reasons. It could be to start up. It could be to expand or diversify. It could be to provide working capital or to invest in new machinery. Even buying on credit from suppliers is a form of finance.

So raising finance is part of everyday business life, and there are many different types of finance available.

If you want to know more about the different types, how they work and the different needs they’re designed to meet, our guide explains it all. It also includes a helpful analysis of what lenders and investors will look for before agreeing to provide you with the money you need.

Business credit scoring explained

By understanding Business credit scoring, small business owners can increase the likelihood of future applications being successful. Whether you're a new business that needs start-up funding, or a growing company that needs the funds for expansion, any application for finance will mean that your bank will try and build up a picture of your personal and business circumstances combined with your financial history. This is a critical part of assessing the business and will often be used alongside your business plan and cash flow projections.

This short guide has been designed to help you as a business owner understand how business finance decisions are made and the factors that affect your application for finance.

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Business credit scoring explained

VAT: an introduction

VAT – Value Added Tax - is a term we hear all the time. As consumers, we just accept that we have to pay it. In business, however, things can be different.

If your business is registered for VAT you’ll need to charge your customers VAT on their purchases – and then pass it on to HM Revenue & Customs. That said, you’ll also be able to offset what you’ve charged against any VAT you yourself have paid. Inevitably, all this means you need to keep good VAT records.

Our guide provides you with an overview of the VAT system. It explains how to register for VAT, when to charge it, when you can reclaim it and what records you’ll need to keep. It also covers VAT on imports and exports, selling over the internet and even VAT on second-hand goods.

Book-keeping for beginners

Book-keeping is crucial to a well-run business. It’s not simply something that needs to be done at the end of the tax year, it helps you keep a running check on your business’ financial health.

Having accurate books will let you compare your actual figures against your forecasts to see if things are going to plan. You’ll be able track your expenses and your profits, which could reveal ways to run your business more efficiently.

Our guide will not only help you understand the benefits of good book-keeping. It explains the different options available to you as well, and the advantages of each.

Choosing a business bank account

Managing the financial aspects of your business is key to success. A business banking service that you can rely on and trust can save you time and money.

Understanding profit and loss

The terms profit and loss account, and balance sheet, are frequently heard. But what are they and why are they important?

A profit and loss account shows the amount of money your business has made over a certain period of time. A balance sheet shows what your business has and what it owes.

There are several reasons why you should produce profit and loss accounts and balance sheets. They can provide you with information on your company’s direction, and stimulate ideas about running it more efficiently. They can also provide essential information for others, such as banks and potential investors.

For an in-depth look at these key business documents, how to produce them and what all the terminology means, take a look at our guide.

Budgets: creating and using yours effectively

A budget is an essential part of any business plan. It should be a realistic forecast of the sales you expect to make, your anticipated expenses and, ultimately, your profit.

But it’s not just about forecasting. Once you’ve created your budget, the key is to use it. By plotting your actual performance against your budget, you can track your business’s financial position compared to your plan and make adjustments.

From creating a sales budget, to building your profit and loss budget, and arriving at your gross and net profit figures, our guide explains in detail how to actually create and use budgets.

Driving the bottom line

Key SummaryA change in company car tax regulations could catch businesses and their employees by surprise over the coming months.

Free Sage Planning for Business Software

When you're running your own business you want the right tools. We can offer you great deals on some outstanding business software from one of the UK's leading suppliers of business management software- Sage.

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The Planning for Business software is free when you open an account with us, and you can get free 90-day trials of the Start-up and Instant Accounts software and up to 50% discount on buying the software.

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