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Winter Survival Tips for SMEs

Even though the festive season is well and truly upon us, it isn’t all good cheer for many SMEs as they struggle with ongoing troubles with financing and funding. Small businesses are facing ever tougher challenges despite ongiong government efforts to ease their access to finance. Are you facing a winter of discontent in your business? We’ve put together a few survival tips to help keep you going through to 2013 and beyond.

Manage your money well

You need ongoing money management processes, not leaving it all till the end of the month – any experienced business owner will tell you how important this is.

Top Tips:

- Have an efficient credit control system.

- Make sure your invoices are right first time, every time. Don’t waste time having to correct them.

- Have clear credit terms with customers.

- Credit check new non-cash customers before doing business.

Communication

Let your employees know what’s going on. This is especially important for small businesses who run a tight knit team. Maintaining a good, understanding relationship during tough times will help build loyalty and will make sure staff feel valued.

Top Tips:

- Use discretion, but tell employees if you’re having issues that might affect their day to day.

- Let them know if you need to cut hours, reduce overtime or even cut short contracts. Give as much notice as possible.

Find Funding to Suit Your Needs

Don’t struggle on with razor thin profit margins and tight cash flow. There is help out there, so don’t just limit your search to the banks.

Top Tips:

- Look into government initiatives such as the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme and other projects. There are many out there that could help your business.

- Alternative finance such as factoring and invoice discounting are becoming more mainstream as finance solutions, and with good reason. Do your research – they could provide you with a reliable, fast and flexible solution to cash flow worries.

- Choose the right finance for your situation. Loans or overdrafts might be expensive or too inflexible. Be sure to scope out your options.

If your business needs a boost to survive then be sure to look at all your options for finance – help could be there, you just need to find it.

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