BOOST SPOTLIGHT | Business Planning
Business planning for start-ups and new businesses may seem an onerous task, but the sooner you have these plans in place, the quicker you can identify the future financial needs for your business and how you plan to address them.
Having ‘ready cash’ is an important aspect as it funds the things that make your business run. It covers the expense of stock, raw materials, salaries and wages, rent and other operating costs.
Naturally, positive cash flow is preferred, but predicting your future needs when first starting out may seem like ‘putting a finger in the air’. Cashflow forecasting, or modelling, is therefore a key tool in the financial planning process. It helps you to understand and foresee your future financial needs and to determine if additional funding or a business loan may be required to support your growth plans.
Boost: Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub offers a wide range of support programmes to help Lancashire businesses at all stages of growth.
Read how three organisations have been able to develop their financial business plans and grow with help through Boost’s support.
Planning cash flow in and out of the business
Sara Dewhurst’s home-based niche gin business in Lytham was growing fast. She had so much to learn about mass-production, sales and marketing, but also forecasting supply and demand and managing her cash flow. She turned to Boost to help with her growth plans.
Sara was assigned to Boost mentor Louise Owen who provided her with 12 hours of one-to-one mentoring including reviewing the firm’s growth plans, cash flow, branding and marketing to help Sandgrown Ventures reach independent stores and supermarkets.
The mentoring covered all areas of the business and particularly accessing working capital funding to support the significant rate of business growth, managing the rate of growth and protecting intellectual property.
Sara said: “Louise has lots of experience in the food and drink industry and she really challenged me to think about what I wanted and how to go about achieving my goals.”
In March 2020, Sandgrown Ventures is moving to a 2000 sq ft industrial unit to be able to set up a larger distillery with office space, a factory shop and tasting room.
Sara currently has five gins brands and recently launched her own brand of rum. She has taken on an additional member of staff and is collaborating with another company to produce four gins to be launched by summer 2020.
Exploring investment opportunities to grow the business
Based in Barnoldswick, Wolfenden Concrete has been supplying precast concrete products to farms for forty years.
Managing director Richard Moody, who recently acquired the business, had plans to achieve further profitable growth. This included making a significant financial investment in new moulds to manufacture new types of products.
Richard wanted to explore the potential investment opportunity in-depth before making the financial commitment. He approached The Innovation Sprint Programme delivered by Edgehill University’s Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC) to help him to explore the potential investment opportunity.
With support from the academic team, Richard was able to un-pick the complexity of investing in new manufacturing techniques. He examined his existing product range and current business model to determine there was capacity to maximise the company’s existing capabilities. It resulted in plans to develop three new products to increase sales and help achieve projected revenue targets.
During the programme, Richard spent time understanding his customer’s pain-points and looking at his existing marketing content and strategy.
Richard said: “The Programme is challenging but provided me with the opportunity to conduct a thorough exploration of a business opportunity before I made any financial commitment. I am so pleased that I took the time to complete the Programme and I am now committed to implementing my plan to support my growth objectives.”
Seeking funds to achieve long-term objectives
VS Group Holdings (VSG), a telecommunications firm specialising in the not-for-profit sector was seeking support to help meet its long-term objectives.
The firm needed funding to double in size and reach 1000 charity clients within the next five years.
It has secured a £100k investment for its expansion, which has been provided by the Rosebud Fund and managed by GC Business Finance
The Rosebud Fund is a package of financial assistance for growing businesses in Lancashire County Council’s administration area. It is provided by Lancashire County Developments Ltd (LCDL), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Council.
VSG’s £100k investment, will take place over a five-year period. The firm has plans to increase its team to between 15 and 16 people, enabling the business to better service existing customers and to develop its sales strategy to the wider market. This will also assist the firm in expanding its presence across the North West and Yorkshire.
Amin Vepari at Lancashire County Council, said: “Supporting and investing in businesses like VSG fits with our ethos and purpose for Rosebud ensuring we provide an accessible platform for growth to the County’s ambitious businesses.”
Rosebud loans of between £10,000 and £300,000 are available for ambitious growing businesses seeking to expand their workforce. You can access and tap into a vast array of services, (subject to eligibility) including Rosebud, through Boost Business Lancashire.
To start your growth conversation today, call 0800 488 0057 or complete the contact form and one of our advisers will be in touch.