Guiding you to a better future

For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Debt is growing problem for business owners

5 November 2018

Debt is growing problem for business ownersA growing number of small business owners and self-employed people are facing high levels of debt as they struggle to keep their businesses afloat, according to a new report.

Business Debtline is a free advice service aimed at people that run their own businesses run by the charity Money Advice Trust; it helped more than 36,000 people in 2017 and demand for its service is increasing. It says half of its callers have debts of £10,000 or more and nearly a quarter (23%) owe more than £30,000.

Its new report, Taking care of business, suggests there are a number of key challenges facing the UK's self-employed workers (who now represent 15% of the workforce). These include: late payments, low and variable incomes and a lack of essential business management skills.

The findings show that both business and personal debts are increasingly common for business owners, with the two often intermixed. Many callers to the helpline are from households that are younger, with lower household incomes, high uses of credit and limited resilience in terms of savings and pensions.

No idea where to start?

Take the pain out of finding business funding. The experts at Funding Options can recommend the right finance deal for you, whatever your circumstances.

Get help today

Callers have a wide income range but 39% have gross business annual turnover below £25,000. Nearly half (45%) of callers surveyed said they experienced problems with late payments. Another issue is additional vulnerability caused by depression, anxiety and stress.

The Money Advice Trust has made three key recommendations for government, regulators and creditors. These include:

  • The government's new Single Financial Guidance Body must ensure that self-employed people are well served across its debt advice, money guidance and pension guidance functions;
  • The Small Business Commissioner should be given more powers, including the power to fine persistent late-payers;
  • Creditors must extend their work on supporting individuals in vulnerable circumstances to include small business customers.

Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, said: "Self-employment and small business ownership continues to grow and play a crucial role in driving forward our economy. While many of these businesses are able to flourish, a growing number are struggling with high levels of debt, putting both their business and personal finances at risk."

Many self-employed people need advice at an earlier stage of their journey, she added. "There is support out there but the government needs to do more to proactively champion these opportunities to ensure that these businesses receive the help they need to succeed. For those already in difficulty there is some good news with the inclusion of sole traders in the government's planned Breathing Space scheme. However, too many people with business debts are suffering in silence for too long before seeking advice."

News type:

Stay up-to-date with business advice and news

Sign up to this lively and colourful newsletter for new and more established small businesses.

Contact us

Make an enquiry