engage magazine issue 007/\'08 - Page 69

FOCUS 69 The Credit Crunch approaches you can take. Getting involved in a network for investors and companies or an investment group could be enjoyable and informative on a number of levels. That said, there is no excuse for not doing your research. Some helpful hints and tips are provided here for you but this should be seen as a starting point. Equity finance will not suit every business. For example, you will lose some of the decisionmaking power to someone with a real interest in seeing a return on their investment. Of course, in addition, you or your business may not be ready for a number of reasons, but it is always good to look at all the options available before making a decision. Here are some alternatives to consider: Loans - there are many options available, from commercial mortgages secured against your business assets to short-term borrowing for periods of between three and five years. How To Beat The Credit Crunch 3 Overdrafts - overdrafts can be expensive but are a flexible form of borrowing. They are not especially suitable for long-term finance as they are repayable on demand. Every day in the media we’re bombarded with news about the UK economic downturn and the impact on the global financial markets. This is due to the “Credit Crunch”. Ask yourself: Loans from family and friends - these can be a sound method of raising finance, but beware of potential damage to relationships if the money isn’t repaid on time. 1. How is the Credit Crunch affecting me and my business? This can relate to your financial situation Balances on credit cards and loans Your financial management strategies 2. Where can I go to find practical guidance and solutions? Focusivity Credit Clear Services is a Claims Management organisation. Supports applicants in reclaiming 100% of their Consumer Credit Act Agreement balances ethically and lawfully. Educates successful claimants on responsible money management For further information The British Business Angels Association (BBAA) is the new National Trade Association for the UK’s Business Angel Networks and its Associates and Affiliates. www.bbaa.org.uk Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has lead responsibility for small business and enterprise policy. www.berr.gov.uk European Business Angels Network (EBAN) is the European trade association for business angels networks. www.eban.org Gate2Growth is a pan-European business platform for entrepreneurs seeking financing, investors, incubator managers, knowledge transfer offices, and academics. www.gate2growth.com Additional funds - from you or your fellow partners or directors. Revisit how you raised finance for your initial investment. 5 Top Tips on how to beat the Credit Crunch 1 Only buy what you truly need and not what you want or desire. 2 Use cash as much as possible as you can negotiate a lower price. 3 Set up a direct debit with your bank to make automatic payments. 4 Always pay more than the minimum balance on your credit cards. 5 Draw up a budget and stick to it. Government support - your local Business Link is a good starting point for information on the range of support available. Joint ventures - these can take many different forms. The term normally applies to the cooperation of two or more individuals or businesses in a specific enterprise rather than in a continuing relationship. ‘How To Beat The Credit Crunch’ is a monthly workshop that explains exactly what the credit crunch is, it’s rippling effects, right through to helping participants tap into potential income from their past and current debts. Credit cards - these are a relatively expensive but quick way of raising finance. They are a flexible form of borrowing but are not suitable for long-term finance. Contact Valerie Lothian, Financial Stress Manager, Focusivity Credit Clear Services on 0800 195 1864 or email Valerie@Focusivity.co.uk for further information and workshop dates. www.Focusivity.creditclearservices.co.uk ISSUE SEVEN 2008 engage | uk