Tag Archives: COVID-19

Why bother with a cashflow forecast?

With CBILS, Bounce Back Loans, VAT deferrals, grants etc there may be more cash in the bank now than ever before and your cashflow is sorted for the next couple months.

But what happens after that?

Lockdown has probably helped the bank balance with customers paying while you’ve been running down stocks or furloughing staff. However the problems will come when customers start buying again: you’ll need to buy new stock or pay wages for sales that take a while to be paid for.

Right at the point where your bank balance has run right down you’ll need to invest more in your business.

In addition to this you need to keep an eye on payments due in the future.
Corporation Tax: usually paid October or January
Self Assessment tax: due January
Deferred VAT: due March 2021
Loan repayments: starting May/ June 2021
Plus regular VAT due every quarter regardless of other cash spend

A lot of this cash is heading to HMRC so perhaps a phone call will stem the flow? But that only drains cash from next year’s profits and stifles growth potential.

A plan for the future is vital, which means some sort of cashflow forecast. Even if it’s just a rough estimate, that plan allows you to see what pressure you’ll be under and give you time to take action.

And if you’re going to take action, the sooner the better.

Sometimes getting started is the hardest step to take. If you need some inspiration, or a template to kick off your forecast then get in touch.

Help with accessing support for small businesses

In the news recently there have been horror stories about how difficult it’s proving for small businesses to access the government’s CBILS business support scheme. Here we look at how to get the best result in any funding application, and particularly the Covid-19 support.

We are currently supporting a number of businesses with their loan applications so here are our tips on what to include in your application:

1. What support do you need?

The CBILS scheme is actually just government backing for standard bank overdrafts and loan so think carefully about ways to reduce your business spending in order to reduce the potential loan you will need. There is a raft of new measures to consider: furloughing staff, deferring VAT and requesting payment holidays, amongst others.

2. Make your case

The days of bank managers who keep in regular contact with your business are long gone so be prepared to give the bank an introduction to your business; include your last set of accounts, your most recent management accounts and a summary of your recent successes and future plans. Think of this as a sales pitch; make the bank manager want to back you.

3. Outline the effects of the disruption on your business

The bank will want to see the effect on both your profitability and your cashflow, over the next 3-6 months. A cashflow forecast is essential for this – now, more than ever, cash is king. As well as the numbers make sure you explain what changes you expect in words. Every business will feel the effects differently so you can’t expect the bank manager to know this already.

4. What will your business look like after this is over?

Do you expect some of your customers to disappear? Can you capitalise on the changes you’ve been forced to make? Are new markets suddenly open to you? Most importantly you need to extend that cashflow forecast to (ideally) show the bank that you expect your recovery to allow you to repay the loan that you’re applying for.

Finally, remember to state clearly how much money you want to borrow based on the forecasts above.

We have a detailed advice sheet on giving that application your best shot: Government support.
You can find other information and help concerning the government’s support for businesses at this time on our Covid-19 support page