Whether yours is a new or established business, you can’t achieve your goals without the right funding. Inadequate or badly structure funding can lead to missed opportunities and hold back – or even damage the viability of – otherwise healthy businesses.

You may need to raise finance for investment or your business may have reached a stage where the best way to improve its position in the marketplace is a merger or acquisition.

Perhaps you have the opportunity for a management buy-out (MBO) by your existing management team or your business could be an attractive proposition for a management buy-in (MBI) by external purchasers.

Or you may have decided that you want to sell, perhaps because the time is right to achieve a favourable return on your investment or simply because you want to retire.

Whatever your funding needs, the corporate finance team at Howard Worth accountants and financial advisers in Nantwich, Northwich and Cheshire specialises in providing financial solutions raising investment finance, for the sale and purchase of businesses and for MBOs and MBIs.

Through recognising the key priorities of businesses, lenders and investors, we develop creative commercial solutions to meet the requirements of all stakeholders and our expertise and contacts will help you to open doors to financing that might otherwise remain closed, particularly in a tough economic climate.

Our membership of The Corporate Finance Network (CFN) reflects our corporate finance expertise. The CFN is a UK-wide network of accountancy and business advisory firms, carefully selected for their specialist expertise in working with small and medium-sized enterprises and owner-managed businesses to raise finance and buy and sell companies.

Click here to view our most recent corporate finance deals

Are you (or your clients) thinking of selling or buying a business? Click here to see the latest list of businesses to buy and for sale

Obtaining and securing finance, Best-practice guidelines

Obtaining and securing the right source of finance can present a major challenge. Lack of available funding for SME’s has been brought into sharper focus post credit-crunch. Many growth businesses are started by entrepreneurs, often with little experience of how to raise finance to fund this growth. This guideline first and foremost seeks to help when it comes to looking for sources of finance, it sets out the main financing options and the key issues to consider when choosing between those options.

Click here to download the pdf.

  • A start-up business requires a plan to ensure that the funding is in place for the initial survival, monitoring cash flows, ensuring that the staffing and recruitment policies are appropriate, and to confirm the market is open to the business as a new entrant.
  • Developing and growing businesses need to consolidate their position within the market, identifying opportunities that can be taken advantage of, or preventing any weaknesses the business is subject to. In order to achieve this, the business will need to establish an understanding of its existing resources and products/services and then identify what is required, this could be as varied as financing or additional resources (staffing/machinery) or a step-change in the fixed costs (larger offices/factory).
  • Once the business is established, even if there is no ambitions for further growth, there will still be a requirement for a business plan as in order for a business to continue, it will need to consider the barriers to entry in order to prevent erosion of any market share.
  • So that business owners can leave the business in an effective and efficient manner, it is key that an exit strategy and succession plan is prepared well in advance. This could involve things such as the development of a second-tier management team, a change in the structure within the business and establishing the method in which the business will be sold or passed on to the next generation.

Howard Worth work with clients in order to establish a firm understanding of the business’s present position, the resources available, individuals involved etc and then ascertain what the business’s short, medium and long-term objectives and goals are. In doing so a business plan encompassing a range of commercial aspects is prepared – not just a set of financial forecasts, but consideration of the people, the products/service, the market involved, the direct costs, the pricing strategy/financial modelling, the operations and overheads. This all leads to an understandable business plan report which can be tailored for whichever purpose that it has been drawn up for.

If you would like any further information about business plans for your business, we would be happy to have a free no-obligation meeting with you to discuss your needs and at which point we would agree a fee prior to any work being carried out so that there are no surprise additional costs.

In the current climate, even if a company is profitable, it’s position as a going concern may be jeopardised by cash flow difficulties. Cash flow problems can be as a result of late customer payments, declining sales or increasing overhead costs – all of which are trends that Howard Worth has been witness to over the past few years.

However, even if the company has a growing turnover, the business can suffer from over-trading through rapid growth, resulting in the income and financial resources not being able to keep up with the terms set by suppliers or with rising costs associated with the growth.

We encourage businesses to monitor their cash flows in order to anticipate and plan for the critical times in the year, as well as the riskier stages of the business’s life cycle.

By regularly reviewing the cash flow with the actual position, and working hard with credit control (chasing customer payment), businesses can take action early which may avoid expensive financing fees altogether through managing the cash flow, or at least have the information to hand regarding what funding is required.

Howard Worth has recently worked with clients to prepare cash flow forecasts for a variety of reasons, from a children’s day nursery that wanted to gauge the level of pension contribution (which also results in tax advantages) that the company could stand, to a retailer looking to secure an bank support in their first couple of years trading.

When fundraising, business owners are best to be open about their cash flow requirements. Banks and alternative lenders are often comforted when the figures have been prepared by accountants, and Howard Worth know the format in which both the banks and clients can understand and use.

If you would like any further information about cash flow forecasts for your business we would be happy to have a free no obligation meeting with you to discuss your needs at which point we would agree a fee prior to any work being carried out so there are no surprise additional costs.