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Starting your own business is the Dream Career for many of us. The idea of following our passions, setting our own schedule and making unlimited income – it’s an appealing way to make a living.
And with the social and technological trends the world is currently experiencing, setting up in business is more accessible than ever before – the prospect of an online startup is available to virtually anyone with a laptop and a good idea.
Now is, without doubt, the Age of the Startup. In the UK alone, the number of small businesses increased by over 200,000 in 2018, according to The Federation of Small Businesses.
It’s an exciting time in the world of commerce as more and more ordinary people are able to follow their dreams of being their own boss or bringing a vision or venture to life.
But along with the excitement, running your own business brings unique challenges and not just for Startups and Sole Traders – issues like staff, inventory, suppliers, logistics, cash flow, and sales affect all businesses, whatever it’s age or size.
There’s one issue, however, that is the lifeblood of every business – the single issue that can determine whether a Startup will get beyond it’s first few years – and that’s how the business owner handles their company’s finances.
Even though every business will have its financial ups and downs, one of the factors that will determine its ultimate success or failure is the control of expenditure and the management of any debt.
Problems in this area are not exclusive to Startups or new business owners, but often it’s the lack of experience in handling any shortfalls or temporary problems that dictate the outcome.
So, if cash flow or debt becomes a serious challenge that’s threatening the viability of your business, a savvy Startup owner would be wise to seek help from those more experienced in the financial challenges of business.
This external support is available from a number of sources, ranging from an informal chat with a more experienced mentor to the involvement of London Insolvency Practitioners who are specialist accountants adept at business rescue.
Taking the simple step of seeking this support could be the beginning of your debt solutions and the first step to moving your business past its current challenges.
So, here are some tips for getting help and guidance with your business finances, whatever the age or stage of your enterprise:
- Family & Friends
Who do you know that is running a successful business, who has experience with the challenges you’re facing? See if they’d be happy to help you discuss your options and come up with some possible solutions.
- Free Business Advice
With over 99% of UK businesses being classed as SMEs, (Small or Medium-sized Enterprise) there is a wealth of support, advice and information available. Much of this is free, with various government schemes set up to support small businesses – the lifeblood of the UK economy. Do some research to find out what’s available in your local area and take advantage of the business advisory services on offer.
- Mentors & Consultants
If you are lucky enough to connect with an experienced mentor who is keen to give back and support young businesses, this kind of support could be invaluable in riding out any financial challenges. If you’re not able to find someone to donate their time for free, there are also paid business mentors or professional consultants who can be worth the expense if they help you turnaround your business’s profitability or manage problem debt.
- Insolvency Practitioners
Contrary to common belief, insolvency practitioners do not only work with winding up a failed venture, they are actually highly experienced in business rescue. Depending on the severity of the situation, calling in these skilled professionals at the right time could help to save a business that would otherwise succumb to its debt problems.
With recent statistics revealing that bad debt for SMEs is a growing concern, (increasing by a third between 2014-2018), it is vital for any business to be proactive in addressing any serious debt problems before they become unmanageable.
Financial hiccups and challenges are a part of being in business and the good news is that often these debt issues can be resolved and the business can go onto healthy growth and a stronger financial position. The crucial factor in turning around a debt problem is facing up to the reality of the situation, and then taking the right action at the right time.
Support, information and experienced guidance is widely available for small businesses to help you in making the best decisions for your circumstances.
Taking steps to get some experienced guidance at this crucial stage in your business journey could help you avoid being one of those sobering new business statistics and instead become one of the inspiring Startup Success Stories.