Let’s talk about money. You will need some of it to start your business. Having done your business plan, you’ll know how much you need. Fine. Immediately add 20% to that amount to act as a contingency. You will nearly always need it.
If you have a few thousand sitting in a bank account, you can use that. For the rest of us, we’ll need to find the money from somewhere else. First port of call might well be to your building society or bank where you do your personal banking. They might be helpful. They might not. However, it will be good practice when it comes to pitching your idea.
You can get help from both Cumbria Business Growth Hub (www. cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk) and Britain’s Energy Coast (www.britainsenergycoast.co.uk). They have a series of well informed and friendly advisors that will be able to help you make sense of what’s out there.
This is a difficult period. You’ll feel awkward and unsure of yourself when you first start approaching people for money.That’s natural. But if your idea is a good one, someone out there will see it and will be prepared to back you.
Make sure you keep on top of the money side of things. Take care with every purchase. Don’t go mad. My brother (who is an accountant) always talks about new clients with new businesses who go out and buy a brand new white Mercedes-Benz when they start a business (we drive a Honda Jazz, which is great). You can use whatever accountancy package you want to but I keep a single spreadsheet to give me an overview of what’s going on. Along the top is each business I deal with. Down the left hand side are the days of the year. Every purchase goes on there and every day’s takings too. It helps me to project forward what the cash flow situation is like. I can tell if we’ve got any issues coming up over time.
Really concentrate hard on keeping up to speed with the money side. Get a good accountant. Without the money side being right, your business will come crashing down.