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5 Essential Accounting Skills for Small Business Owners

The role of a small business owner can be difficult because they are required by necessity to assume a number of different roles including that of an accountant or bookkeeper. Staying on top of your accounts is critical to the success of any business small or large. Although there are many accounting skills that can be of benefit to small business owners I regard the following as the most essential ones. […]

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Invoice Discounting Vs Factoring – Which Is Better For A Small Business?

When a business faces financial crisis and with the growing demand for working capital in the market, securing finance to meet your daily business needs has become an item of luxury. The banks are growing to be even less credit-friendly as they were and obtaining working capital is becoming more and more difficult for both small and large scale companies. In this post we look at invoice discounting vs factoring […]

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New Loan Support Welcomed for Ireland’s Small Business Community   

The network of Local Enterprise Offices is teaming up with Microfinance Ireland, to launch a new type of loan support aimed at Ireland’s small business community. The ‘LEO Microfinance’ loan was launched in Cork with small business loans on offer, of between €2,000 and €25,000, at a reduced rate of interest. Benefitting from advice and support during the application stage, start-ups and small businesses can now apply directly to any […]

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[Event] Free ‘The Perils of Business Growth’ Seminar, September 16

At long last we are starting to see some signs of recovery and business growth, however, this comes with its own risks, many businesses have failed as a result of uncontrolled growth, so business owners need to be careful. Broadly there are three categories of risk associated with business growth: Financial – Increased turnover requires increased working capital, if it’s not available, your business goes bust. Infrastructure – Growth usually requires more […]

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How to Cut Costs When Organising a Business Conference

Nowadays the importance of face-to-face meetings is obvious. We are looking at so many opportunities that are available and when it comes to conferences, everything is a lot more necessary and needed than in the past. These meetings are necessary for so many different reasons and while it is so hard to organize them, this need automatically leads to price analysis. Saving money is something that is always necessary. The […]

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Linked Finance; Curious Wines expands

Michael Kane is a friend of Smallbusinesscan. He and his brother are looking to raise 30K through Linked Finance. They are already at 75%. You should have a look. Cork wine company Curious Wines run by brothers Mike Kane and Matt Kane, one of the first wine companies in Ireland to use the web and social media to get business, are innovating again. The brothers are expanding their business by […]

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Business support; Microfinance Ireland

Crowd funding I was at the Innovation 2.0 conference and at the entrepreneur’s day as part of the world conference on entrepreneurship. Two great conferences. There was a common theme (Drucker has always said that entepreneurship and innovation are two sides of the same coin) and that was crowd funding. In Ireland we have Linked Finance, Fundit, nTrai, iFund, Moneycrowd and Cofunder. I am sure that I forgetting some and […]

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Business Trip Money-Saving Tips

If you are a sole-trader, new start-up or SME, then a pivotal business trip could be something of a make or break moment in your company’s life. Making the trip could potentially secure a landmark deal for the business, but it could also drain a significant amount of resources that could jeopardise its future. Whilst there is the technology available to correspond via the internet, it may be necessary to […]

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3 Effective Ways to Build and Boost Your Business

When it comes to putting up or running a business, a wealth of tips and tricks is available to all those who are willing to learn and take the risks. But sometimes, the sources can be so overwhelming it leads to confusion as to where you should begin. When this happens, one useful point is by going back to the basics. So if you’re looking for easy and effective ways […]

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One Simple Way to Take Your Business to the Next Level

Trying to grow and develop a SME can be difficult; often it can feel like you’ve plateaued once you have reached a certain level. When you’re not sure how to move your business forward, there is one simple thing you can consider that offers your business numerous advantages; gaining an ISO certification. What is an ISO certification? ISO certifications demonstrate when a company has set up a management system for […]

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Managing Cashflow for Growth

Cashflow is not just accountant-speak. Cashflow is all around you. Case in point: as a business owner, you might have had the experience of coming up with a brilliant revenue idea, with the potential for huge profits, but you had to let it go. Why? Because you didn’t have the funds to finance it until it became profitable. That’s cashflow. Checking your bank account balance is a very blunt indicator […]

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Crowdfunding – Why Do It?

Hi, I am Fiona and I am Chief Operating Officer at Sian’s Plan. We’re raising €120,000/£100,000 through Seedrs. Check out our campaign here. Why did we at Sian’s Plan think that this was a good option? 1.  Show Me the Money We’d be lying if we said that our main aim with a crowdfunding round was not to bring in the money. Crowdfunding can be a great, relatively speedy way […]

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What difference could €100,000 make to your fledgling business?

Companies are encouraged to enter now for slice of €280,000 cash prize fund What difference could €100,000 make to your fledgling business?  Would it help you to develop a prototype?  Would it allow you to move on to the testing phase?  Could it even offer an expedited route to market for your product or service?  If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions then there is no better time […]

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6 Tips to Prepare for a Meeting with Potential Investors

When Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google, it’s likely they didn’t envision that the company would grow into the juggernaut it is today. They certainly had their hopes set high, though. Similarly, when Andy Bechtolsheim wrote the first check to fund Google, he probably didn’t think he’d get as incredible return on his investment. Bechtolsheim gave them $100,000 in 1998. In March 2010, that investment had grown to $1.7 […]

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Practical Tips to Manage your Cashflow

I gave a presentation about managing cashflow recently and one member in the audience confided to me that the issues I had highlighted were exactly the kind of problems he was running into. He would forget the all-important time factor: calendar dates will make or break your cashflow. Have a cashflow timeline: when does money come in or go out? As an example, he had been in a situation where […]

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Six Ways to Finance your Small Business

You’ve got a great business idea, you’re motivated, customers are waiting and the supply chain is in place. But you can’t make progress because the bank wants more collateral, or a revised business plan, or, maybe they won’t even talk with you. Take a look at these Six Ways to Finance your Small Business. What options does a small or mid-sized company (SMB) have when they can’t get funding from […]

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Tips for Funding Your Start-up Business

Start-up businesses are the trend nowadays. Different people have different opinions on what a start-up business is, but Merriam-Webster defines it as “a fledgling business enterprise” while according to The American Heritage Dictionary it is “a business or undertaking that has recently begun operation”. In other words, a start-up business is a business that has just started which means that it is still in the process of finding its groove […]

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Two Finance Options for Irish SME Businesses

I think it’s important that all Irish SME business owners know about the full range of options open to them to finance the expansion of their business in 2014. 1.  Through your local enterprise board, (find yours here:  you can avail of between 5-25k from Micro Finance Ireland (  This money is available for start-up and existing businesses and the application process and available mentoring is improving in 2014.. 2. […]

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No SME’s Need Apply – When Awarding Tenders Price Is King

The support which Irish Businesses receive has hit an all time low as government and semi-state tenders awarded to non-Irish companies have risen from a previous high of 18% to a staggering 28%. These tenders have a significant impact on the growth of Irish SME’s as well as having a major impact on potential job creation. Despite this the government has structured its procurement policy in such a way that […]

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Gerry with Minister of State Alan Kelly

Irish Trade Mission to Moscow

Ulster Bank often works with Enterprise Ireland in their efforts to assist Irish companies in the SME sector develop their export business. We do this in many ways, some recent examples involved speaking at their Funding for Growth seminars, joint hosting of events on doing business is a variety of markets and travelling on Trade Missions with Enterprise Ireland and their clients to key business markets. Recently Gerry Ennis, Head of Trade […]

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