Support2business Ltd is designed to meet the needs of SME companies seeking funding. There are many good companies who are unable to achieve their full potential because they are unable to raise funding. Any company needing funding will usually only do it once, or at best infrequently, whilst for Support2business Ltd it is our business and we achieve many fund raising successes per year – visit our Case Studies to see examples.
We are not sector specific and have succeeded across a wide range of sectors and business types. We have raised funding for small business from as low as £50,000 to £10 million.
Back to basics
Before we even talk about what kind of funding might be available, we examine your business to the appropriate level of detail, in order to establish the most suitable form of funding for your plans.
It is often the case that the right funding solution for you is different from what you expected. With the tools available to us, we are frequently able to get you funding which does not require you to offer up any shares or even give any bank guarantees; and this allows you to retain 100% of the business.
The following pages describe in more detail the things we do to make a business investor ready.
Every business is different and each business is at a different stage in its development. There is rarely an “off the shelf” funding solution, that fits perfectly and that’s why we take the time to understand the business, before we recommend a way forward.
Start with your ambitions
It may sound odd, but the right place to start is by asking you to define your ambitions, both for the business, and personally. It’s surprising how many people have not really defined their ambitions and yet so much depends on them. Why are you doing this? What wakes you up in the morning? What do you want to be doing in X years time? How will your investors get their money back? What will you do with your millions?
Assessing your business
Assessing your business can be as simple as reviewing your latest accounts and details of the property (or other assets) to be used as security. For more complex funding proposals it may be appropriate to develop the business plan and/or modify it – including the following questions, amongst many more:
- What is your business model? Is it credible?
- What is your market? Is it big enough?
- What proof do you have of the demand? Orders?
- What is your route to market and have any contracts been placed?
- What is your overriding strategy?
- What is the quality of your executive team?
- What is your ultimate exit route?
- How much of the Business (Equity) are you prepared to give away in return for the Cash injection?
- Are alternative funding routes available?
We are unlikely to take you on as a client unless, in our assessment you have a better than 75% chance of achieving your objective and we usually are able to tell you your chances of getting funding very early on.
We may have to suggest changes to your business plan to improve your probability of success, but as this is based on our experience of the funding market, the reasons will be explained to you in full.
Cost reduction/income gains
Support2business has amongst its Directors and Regional Directors people who have had to turn companies around from failures into successes, and that skill base is available to all clients.
Cost reductions, arising from an in depth review of the company, can produce very substantial savings which automatically drop down into the bottom line.
S2b services can range from saving 20-30% on Energy; 30% on Insurance; reduction in Debtors by perhaps 20%, and reductions in inventory of 30%, all of which can release large quantities of cash which can be used to finance the Companies growth without resorting to external finance.
With Cost Reduction 100% falls to the bottom line, whereas with Sales only the additional Gross Margin 35-55% will fall through to bottom line.
Managing/improving cash flow
Cash is KING! This is a truism. If you have cash you don’t need to borrow; and if you don’t have it then you do need to borrow.
As with our Cost reducing experience, our consultants have all had in depth experience of managing the cash, to ensure that the business can use this resource to the maximum to grow and gain leverage from what cash it has.
Cash Management is about ensuring that your company gets paid on time for the products and services it provides, and that inefficiencies do not lead to discounts for quality claims, or late delivery etc. Discounts given by Salesmen should also be subject to high level review to ensure that your Gross Margin is what you thought it should be.
Just as you wish to deal with honourable people who pay you what you invoiced, and on time, so your suppliers want you to act in the same way; but this does not mean paying them ahead of what you had agreed or paying them in full for short deliveries. You need to agree the terms of trade and set up procedures which ensure that you are getting the promised value for money and the supplier is paid what he is owed in the agreed time scale.
Just by getting these 2 items right can affect your cash flow substantially; and our s2b personnel still have a few methods for further conserving your cash in a crisis.
Business is about taking risks, but they are manageable risks and this is especially true when a company is seeking funds from an external party. You have to reduce risk to an acceptable level and increase the probability that the plan for the company is going to succeed.
“Risk” is the Danger of the unexpected occurring. Your Business Partner, the key Technical Man in the programme may be seriously injured in a car accident and be unable to assist the business for a period of months. The Company has to continue to pay his salary, but is getting no input from him and is falling behind the development targets; so what do you?
You manage the risk. How? By taking out Key Man Insurance. This will pay for the Technical Director during his recovery; it can also pay for the recruitment of a replacement or subcontracted service to ensure that the development work continues.
We will complete an Audit of your risk profile and our brokers will make a professional proposal as to the steps you should be taking to manage the risks faced by your business.
We cannot take the risk out of life or business but we can try to manage it.