There are more than five million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK – many of which were started by people going into business for the first time.
Launching a new company can be an incredibly daunting and demanding process. But now help is at hand in the form of a new book from Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland.
The free downloadable guide – called Yes Business Can: Start up, Scale up, Go Global – features in-depth insight from some of the top business brains from across the world.
They discuss everything from securing funding and improving productivity to investing in intellectual property and handling mental health in the workplace.
Below we’ve picked five key pieces of guidance shared in the book to help any aspiring entrepreneur…
“A comprehensive business plan is one of the most important first steps”
Gareth Oakley is Managing Director, Business Banking, at Lloyds Bank. He says your plan should detail the why, the what and the how of your business.
He explains: “Make sure it’s thorough – it will act as your roadmap to get you from where you are now to where you want to be in the future. The clearer you are about the market for your product or service – that is, the problem you’re trying to solve – the easier it will be to work out exactly how much funding you’ll need.
“Be clear in your plan about what you want your borrowing to do for your business. Be realistic about your cash flows too – in my experience business owners are naturally optimistic and don’t always plan for the unexpected. But potential funders will want to see that you’ve had the prudence to plan for things that could go wrong. Show that you have contingencies in place, making sure your plan details how you will keep enough cash in the business to cover costs and borrowing.”