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Date: 10/12/2018 | By: Ian

Applying for finance for your business can be a minefield. How do you make sure you’re investment ready?


BizSmart Core Advisor Ian Priest is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and has 39 years’ experience in banking and finance. On top of that, he’s also chair of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund Regional Advisory Board and on the regional board of the Institute of Directors.


In his webinar, he talks about the Worcestershire County Council-backed investment readiness programme. Investment covers debt and equity, and Ian will be discussing eligibility criteria and why it’s important to get assistance with this. There are some pitfalls to going it alone.


Listen to the webinar here 


Or read on for an introduction to this topic…


How can you secure the investment you need to grow?


There are multiple reasons why a business needs additional funding in order to achieve growth:

  • Cash flow constraints
  • A need to invest in machinery
  • Outgrown premises


If your business has had funding declined, or you need assistance to secure funding, the investment readiness programme can help.


If you meet the criteria, you can access 18 hours of fully funded support.


You’ll get:

  • Advice on types and likely cost of funding
  • Help to fund working capital by managing cash flow
  • Help on how to approach lenders or investors
  • Business planning
  • Analysis of financial needs


Who is eligible?


To be eligible for this funding you need to be:

  • Located in Worcestershire
  • Be an SME with less than 250 employees or less than €50m turnover
  • Trading B2B
  • Have potential to grow
  • Been trading at least 12 months
  • Meet De Minimis criteria


There’s a reason that getting help in this area is beneficial, and it’s related to the way in which you need to approach lenders.


It’s important to note that most lenders are very busy. All of the banks have reduced frontline staff and have limited time available to look at business lending.


Therefore if your information is not presented clearly and concisely, and in a way they can easily understand, there’s a real risk they’ll say, “No, it’s not for us”. And once a lender has said, “no” it becomes very difficult to get them to look at it again.


How to give yourself a better chance of getting your lending approved



  1. Present information that is easy to digest in language that is easily understood
  2. Be clear and concise
  3. Give the bank everything they are likely to need in one go
  4. Answer the questions the bank staff may ask before they ask them


For more in-depth information on this topic, listen to Ian’s webinar here 


BizSmart aims to help SME and micro-business owners scale their businesses and create value through sound practical business support. We aim to give you insight and clarity and fire up your determination to succeed. You can access blogs like this and more besides through our free SmartRoom service here.