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SMEs Are Facing a Cashflow Crisis

SMEs have faced multiple challenges for the past two years, but they might be forgiven for looking forward to better times, now all the lockdowns are behind us. Instead, a recent report shows that the cost of living crisis is creating a situation where more than two million SMEs are only just managing to break even. Why the Crisis? Many SMEs had a difficult time during the pandemic, but conditions haven’t impro
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What Can I Do About Overdue Payments?

Overdue payments are a fact of life in business, and unfortunately the situation only looks like getting worse. High inflation is going to squeeze everyone’s cashflow, and even if your customers are trying their best to keep up payments, they might be chasing bad debts themselves. So what strategies are available to you, if you want to chase money owed to you? Using Your Customer Relations When you have a probl
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Why Do I Need a Formal Contract?

Contracts come in many different types. A contract can be a document to rival War and Peace in length and complexity, or it can be little more than a handshake. However, it’s a contract if it amounts to a provable agreement of how business is going to be conducted between two parties. So do you really need something formal, when an informal agreement serves the same purpose? What Is a Contract A contract is a l
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Why You Should Always Ask for Payment Up Front

If you’re offering services to clients, you have the choice of whether to request payment up front, allow them to pay after delivery or set up a payment plan. Many business owners shy away from asking for up-front payment, fearing it will make them less attractive to prospects. However, this can lead to situations of having to pursue the client through the courts for unpaid invoices — or even having to write th
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The Enforcement Conduct Authority — New Proposals for a Debt Enforcement Oversight Body

Many sectors of the financial world have their own independent oversight bodies. The best known is probably the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) but similar organisations operate in various areas of finance. One notable exception, though, has been the debt enforcement sector — but that may be changing. A prominent think-tank has brought together various sides of the sector and proposed a framework for a new oversigh
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One in Five Renters Finding It Difficult to Meet Their Housing Costs

A Government report released in April shows a stark picture of how households are coping with their housing costs and savings in the pandemic. The problems apply to both the home-owning and rental sectors, but renters seem to have been hardest hit. The Second Wave Household Resilience Study After more than a year of the pandemic, the Government has published a study of how households are holding up in the wake of the
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Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel over Late Payments?

Late payment has for a long time been the scourge of small businesses, and this has only got worse during the pandemic. Many businesses are suffering severe cashflow problems as a result, including the risk of closure. However, there are signs the government is finally contemplating action to help struggling businesses facing this issue. The Scourge of Late Payments Most small businesses operate on very narrow margin
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£70bn Unsustainable Debt for UK Businesses

The past six months have been hard on everyone, and many SMEs have found themselves struggling financially. The government has created a variety of opportunities allowing businesses to borrow money or defer payment, but this has come at a price — high levels of unsustainable debt. Financial Predictions for Business A recent report by TheCityUK has predicted that UK businesses, the vast majority of which are SMEs, are
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Late Payments — a Crisis of the Pandemic?

If there’s one thing that unites virtually all SME business owners, it’s the scourge of late payments. This is always a problem, especially for those operating on narrow margins, but the pandemic seems to have turned it into a crisis. The Scourge of Late Payments The great majority of SMEs don’t enjoy the huge cash reserves and almost unlimited credit enjoyed by the giant companies. If they’re
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Business Insolvency — Why It Happens and How to Spot the Signs

Insolvency — it’s a prospect every business owner has nightmares about, even if everything seems fine at the moment. But what leads to a business becoming insolvent, and how can you, as owner, see the signs that you’re at risk? Why Does a Company Become Insolvent? Insolvency can be the result of a company no longer being able to pay its way. It may be unable to meet its debts or have more liabilities than assets, but
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