YourBusinessWithJamesCaan2016 - 39

LOANS

On the downside, a venture capital
fund will expect to get some control
over company decisions and a large
portion of the company's ownership in
exchange for their cash.

LEASING

JAMES SAYS
Borrowing money
has become like a
supermarket and it's
advisable to look at
comparison sites to
explore what's out
there - don't just take
the first offer
giving, so your success will depend on
your business idea and how you sell
yourself. If you can persuade 1,000
people to give you £3 each then that
could be the £3,000 your business
needs. You'll set a date in the future that
the money has to be raised by and, just
like in the BBC's Dragons' Den, if some
of the target is pledged but not all of it,
then you don't get a penny. So make
sure you set a realistic funding target.

VENTURE CAPITAL

Venture capital (VC) is a lot like angel
funding in the sense that they both
involve funding a company in exchange
for part ownership of the business, but
there is a big difference. Angels are
individuals, while venture capital tends
to involve 'funds' with large pots of
money looking for new, high-risk
businesses to invest in.
Whereas angels can make a decision
to invest pretty quickly, VC funds can
take a long time to do so as they will be
looking for companies in high-risk
industries that want large chunks of
money (typically more than £50,000)
who are hoping to turn that into a great
deal more.

GO WITH
THE FLOW
Cash flow has long been a headache
for small businesses. Traditional

You can see leasing equipment as an
alternative way of financing your
business. We are all aware of the
benefits of renting property instead of
owning it: it's more affordable if you
haven't got enough money to buy and
you can move elsewhere quicker and
easier than if you owned the property.
The same goes for business equipment
like furniture, computers or vehicles.
Leasing allows you to use equipment
you wouldn't have been able to afford
otherwise. Just as importantly, it also
means you can use the money you
would have spent buying the equipment
on other things.
On the downside, leasing can mean
you pay more for equipment in the long
run and you are giving yourself lots
more admin to deal with. Beware of
getting locked into inflexible agreements
that may be difficult to terminate. As
ever, always make sure that you read
the small print.

finance options lack flexibility,

TAKE FOR GRANTED

difference to our customers.' says

Government may be able to fund where
other investors can't - grants are out
there for new and young businesses if
you know where to look. Central
government has money to fund new
businesses through schemes like the
New Enterprise Allowance Scheme that
aims to create 40,000 new businesses
over the next two years. Under the
scheme, unemployed people who have
been claiming Jobseeker's Allowance
for more than six months and want to
start their own business could receive a
support package of up to £2,000.
Local councils in England and Wales
and, in Scotland, Scottish Enterprise,
have money for new businesses if you
can show a benefit to local communities.
There are independent funding bodies
like the Nominet Trust and UnLtd that
fund social enterprises. The application
processes can be time-consuming and
difficult as lots of people are competing
for these grants, so remember, it is a
marathon not a sprint.

enabling the alternative finance
industry to vastly improve funding
choices. Liberis provide small business
owners access to finance where
traditional routes are either
unavailable or put the business under
stress over the repayment terms.
Customer repayments are directly
linked to the credit or debit card
takings of the business. This
repayment model, where a small
agreed percentage of every card
transaction is automatically taken, is
designed to mirror daily business
performance. So customers can repay
despite seasonal fluctuations or
unforeseen changes in trade that
make fixed monthly payments
so unforgiving.
'The clarity of having one regular
outgoing for the entire repayment
period, along with there being no extra
costs, arrangement fees, late payments
or charges, ever, makes a huge
Rob Straathof, CEO of Liberis.

IT'S SUCH AN
EFFICIENT AND
EASY FORM OF
FUNDING'
The Ivory Wardrobe in Milton
Keynes, Bucks, owned by Laura
Buckingham-Brown, (above) sells
beautiful designer gowns to bridesto-be. Laura buys her dresses twice
a year, that's a significant outlay of
£5,000-£10,000 each time.
After finding traditional monthly
bank loan repayments crippling, Laura
approached Liberis and advanced
£15,000 against future card takings on
two occasions.
'I paid my first one off in six months,'
she says. 'I don't really notice the
payback as it comes off at source
through my Worldpay machine. It
makes it so much easier to budget and
manage cash flow.'

39



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