Start Up Tips – Getting Credit

As a new business start up with no trading history managing your cash flow can be made more difficult if you cannot get credit from suppliers. Many start ups find themselves buying everything on cash-on-delivery terms or even paying up front. When they factor in production or lead time, and credit offered to customers this can mean it weeks or even months before that money is recouped from customers. Ironically it’s then when business takes off that the real problem kicks in as the business has an even bigger cash shortfall.

Some ways to help alleviate this situation are:

Start Early

From your very first day in business look for ways to build up a credit history with local businesses who perhaps know you personally. Buying fuel on credit from your local service station who’s known you for years means this person can act as a referee

Meet Your Suppliers

Get out and meet your potential suppliers in person. Tell them about your business and your future plans, let them get to know you, build a relationship and trust. In Ireland there’s every chance that you’ll have contacts in common and this might give the supplier a chance to “check you out”. And because it’s such a small world you might even be related!

Always Ask

Many new businesses work on the assumption that credit isn’t available and simply don’t ask. Before you place the first order with a new supplier ask about credit terms, offer to pay upfront or COD but also ask if credit will be available in future. Some companies will offer credit after an initial few orders. If you can place a number of smaller orders over a period this could result in obtaining credit sooner than you think.

Business Credit Card

When you set up your business bank account get a business credit card. Use this to make large cash purchases. If you can plan purchases to maximise the credit available, so much the better. Some suppliers will offer credit against a business credit card which will help where you are being asked for upfront payments.

Talk to Your Bank

As your business grows talk to your bank, keep them informed of how the business is growing. In most cases you’ll know you’re going to need an overdraft so start the application early and support it with written orders from customer and cash flow forecasts

Agree credit terms in advance with Customers

Agree when payment is expected and any terms and conditions. Where possible ask for a deposit or part payment in advance, with the balance on delivery / completion. Some customers will be in a position to do this and if you don’t ask you certainly won’t get it.

Sales Invoices

Get into the habit early of regular and accurate invoicing, including a retention of title clause. Don’t ever let a backlog develop in sales invoicing, and be sure to follow up a few days later to see if the invoice has been received and accepted.

Cash Collection

You’ve done the work or provided the goods or service so don’t ever be embarrassed to ask for the monies due to you. Too many small business owners

How FIT is Your Business?

NG Management Services has kicked off the New Year with a fitness campaigns for businesses. “At this time of year we often take about getting fit.” says Nuala Greenan of NG Management Services, “Now more than ever we need to make sure our businesses are in the best possible shape. At NG Management Services we have a three pronged approach to our Get Your Business FIT for 2013 campaign, Financial Planning & Budgets, Improve the way you work and Turn your To Do list into gamecrasted a done List. Doing these will make sure a business can maximise profits in 2012”


  • Financial Planning & Budgets – NG Management Services prepare these so you know what you want to achieve and plan for it.
  • Improve the way you work – NG Management Services put in place those improvements who’ve been talking about
  • Turn your To-Do List into your “Done List” – NG Management Services get these things done


For more information on how NG Management Services can get your Business FIT for 2013, call Nuala Greenan on 087 1609600 or email


What’s on Your Business Dashboard?

Even the least mechanically minded of us understand that a warning light on the dashboard of our car means there’s something wrong. When the fuel gauge hits empty we know we need to top up or we could end up stranded on the side of the road. On long journeys we’ll plan fuel stops so we never run the risk of being too far from a service station.

In business the dashboard isn’t quite as obvious but having your own set of “warning lights” in place will certainly help you take action before a serious problem occurs.


Think of the fuel gauge as your sales pipeline or the funnel of sales activities that feeds sales into your business. If yours is the type of business where a customer makes an initial enquiry, gets a quote, requests more detailed information and then takes weeks to make a final buying decision your Sales Pipeline will show how much is happening at each of these various stages.

Measuring the levels of “Fuel” at the various stages will help you identify when any activity drops off so that you get a warning light going off before the sales pipeline is empty.

Some common measures would be taken on a weekly or monthly basis:

  • How many initial enquiries from customers OR prospecting calls result in a sales meeting
  • How many sales meetings result in quotes
  • How many quotes turn into orders
  • How long does it take on average from first contact to sale

For a retail business the measures might be quite different and are likely to be  measured daily.

Understanding these will help you to identify what’s “in the tank”. For example if you know that it takes you at least four weeks to convert a quote into a sale on average and you’ve not sent out any quotes in the last two weeks you’re facing a problem in four weeks time because you won’t have any “Fuel” flowing through that section of the pipeline.


We know if the car runs out of engine oil we could be in serious trouble but we only get a warning light when it’s very low.

Think of Oil as everything you do in your business to come into contact with your potential customers. This customer contact feeds into the sales pipeline.

For a shop owner this could be dressing the window to attract people inside; for others it will include marketing, PR, networking and every other way of spreading the word about your business. Like the engine oil this can be a bit more difficult to measure but understanding and measuring customer contact whether it’s phone enquiries, footfall through the door or new contacts you’ve made will allow you to top up before the warning light comes on.

When you’re starting out, identifying the required levels of essential activity allows you to put warning lights in place so that you can act fast if any one area isn’t performing. That way you avoid being too far down the road when you discover you’re out of fuel or oil.


Event Planning for Business

What’s the single most important thing you need to plan a successful event? No, it’s not the venue, or the weather; it’s not even the people who turn up on the day. It’s knowing why you’re doing it and what you want to achieve. Every year businesses organise, host or attend all sorts of events. Whether it’s a trade exhibition, a customer seminar, an open day, a product launch or a social gathering the single most important thing you can do before you start planning this event is ask yourself these questions:

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