The top 10 tips from the Institute of Chartered Accountants are:

 1.  Prepare a business plan: this helps investors understand your business, aims and goals and therefore investors can assess your proposals and their risks in backing you.

2.  Do your research: there are many ways of raising finance now, so consider all your options not just your local branch of a big High Street bank.

3.  Utilise tax relief: there are specific tax relief schemes to encourage investors to put money in young businesses such as Enterprise Investment scheme, Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trust Scheme.

4.  Invest in management: a strong management team whether of 1 or 10 people will give investors confidence.  If you have never set-up a business before then think about using some of the mentoring schemes that are funded by the government.

5.  Manage your cash: cash is king, you need to understand yours receipts and payments before asking for more money from new investors.

6.  Use external advice: trade associations, Prince’s Trust, HMRC have starting up advice and the government has advice on writing businesses plans etc. – all available online.

7.  Set realistic targets: set milestones and key indicators so you can monitor how your business is progressing and sort out any problems early.

8.  Work with investors: if investors have put money into your business you have to expect that they may wish to have input into the strategy or running of the business.  If they have business experience then learn all you can from them.

9.  Know your market: Do your research so you know if the business is seasonal, cyclical, is open to lots of competition or is pretty difficult to break into.

10. Be flexible: you will need to change and adapt as you go along so don’t be too dogmatic about sticking to your original business plan.

Clearways Accountants can help you if you need advice on preparing a business plan – please contact us on 01737 244298 or use the contact form below.