A fresh look at finance for small businesses

An urgent need for finance is often presented in the form cash flow pressure. However, it is perfectly possible to look at the funding requirements of a small business from a more all-encompassing viewpoint.

In recent years there have been improvements in the availability of finance and more examples of communication that integrates what is on offer in a coherent way.

Given a background in trade, I instinctively look at sources of funding for exports and imports. From this perspective the messages on raising finance on the ‘Exporting is Great’ website are helpful:

However, for a more comprehensive view, it is also worth looking at the Business Finance Guide produced by the British Business Bank:

This document maps out options both in terms of raising equity and debt and then relates them to the stage of development of the business. It is not the easiest read, but the benefit is that many of us will gain a fuller view of what is potentially available. With this groundwork done it is then possible to pursue those options where the fit with the circumstances of your business is better…with the confidence, you have not missed something important!

Within Module 3 of Trade & Export Online, we devote a number of units to finance, which allow you to drill in more detail to specific export and trade offerings. As it is a changing landscape, these articles, updates and further modules will help to keep you up to date.



About the author

David Millett is a coach and trainer who works regularly for RWA. He has a long experience in trade issues with a background in banking, where he was Head Of Trade Product Management for the Royal Bank of Scotland, before becoming Head of Business Development for UK Export Finance’s short-term business. David is a Fellow of the Institute of Export and former Council Member for the International Chamber of Commerce UK and the British Exporters Association.

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