Why Many Retirees Opt To Start A Business For Fun Or Profit
Jim Green created his own retirement masterplan when he retired a few years ago. Now in his seventies he enjoys runs his own internet business. He is based in Glasgow.
Deciding to become a third-age entrepreneur isn’t only a rewarding and self-fulfilling experience; it is also tremendous fun, whether you do it for pleasure or profit. Maybe in the past you thought about starting your own business, but wavered because the risks were too great, the timing not right, the economy too bad. This time it is different, because your existence won’t depend on success or failure; this time, if you go ahead, you will be treating it as an exercise to add flavour and variety to your retirement.
The purpose of this chapter is to help you determine whether you have what it takes to strike out on your own belatedly and stamp your personality on an enterprise of your very own making. What makes a successful entrepreneur? Having a great idea, being highly creative, having lots of enthusiasm for sure, but are entrepreneurs born or made? If you believe the old saying that ‘genius is 1 per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration’, you will know that most success is down to hard work. So how do you channel your ideas, creativity, and energy into building your own business in retirement without bursting a blood vessel? Read on ...
Crucial questions to ask yourself before you decide
It is a big decision and one that you should not take lightly. You should be certain in your own mind that this is what you want to undertake as a retirement project. It will take more than a good product or service, and hard work alone won’t always be enough. Perhaps most importantly, are you willing to learn? You should not expect to know everything from the start, and you won’t get right. But providing you can measure up to the essential requirements for thire-age entrepreneurship, learn from your mistakes, recognise your weaknesses, and capitalise on your strengths, you will find success that much easier to come by.
Ask yourself the questions below. Then, rate yourself as an embryo third-age entrepreneur. If, on balance, you feel you have what it takes succees, then go for it...
1 Are you committed to running a business in retirement?
Personal commitment is germane to success and calls for a certain discipline. Now that you are retired, you have time on your hands to pursue leisure interests that you only ever dreamed about when you were working: time to take a holiday whenever you want, to visit the grandchildren on the spur of the moment. Do you really want to impinge on this free time by contracting to display the dedication that running your own business will entail? Or is your disposition such that you can comfortably couple freedom and commitment with equal dexterity?
2 Are you capable of making decisions on your own?
You can listen to advice from other people, of course, but when it comes to making crucial commercial decisions affecting your own business, you will be out there on your own. Does the prospect faze you, or are you capable of taking it all in your stride?
3 Can you plan ahead for all eventualities?
Success comes sooner when you develop the practice of creating individual strategies for every eventuality: good times, bad times, in-between times. How do you rate yourself at planning ahead? Does it come easily to you, or is it something you will need to work at?
4 Do you get on well with people?
You may be the most personable person you know, but how does your personality stack up in commercial terms? You will be dealing with people on a regular basis at both ends of the spectrum: staff and customers. Can you be objective yet affable in your dealings? Can you learn to put self-interest on the back burner when required?
5 Is your spouse or partner behind you and your decision?
Having the unconditional support of your significant other is esential if you are to make a success of running a business in retirement. Will they feel left out or play an active part in the endeavour? Will there be arguments or agreement over finances? On the other hand, if like me you are now alone in your third-age journey, you may quickly discover that enter preneurship compensates in part for the loss of a partner.
6 Can you afford to invest in yourself?
Perhaps for the first time ever you are facing up to the prospect of investing not in tangibles such as a home or car, but in yourself. Can you afford to make such an investment at this time in your life? Even if you can afford it comfortably, do you really want to invest in yourself (no matter how modest the required investment), or would you rather keep the money in the bank? As with most things in life, you have choices, but only you can decide what is best for you.
7 Can you handle unexpected setbacks?
What happens when you meet the odd inevitable setback? Will you wonder what on earth you have let yourself in for, at what should be a less stressful time of your life? Conversely, do you possess the steeliness to convert apparent stumbling blocks into opportunities? Do you have the grit and enthusiasm to persevere and overcome in temporary adversity?
8 Do you understand the financial side of running a business?
If you were an employee during your working life, do you really have a thorough enough understanding of the financial side of running your own business? To bring yourself up to speed, are you prepared to take advantage of the abundance of free tuition that exists on acquiring commercial nous?
9 Are you ready to consider and make the most of change?
Your entry into the third age is a major change in its own right. Are you ready to consider the implications of adding to your altered circumstances by starting a business in retirement to make the most of change? Does taking this route cause you anxiety, or are you confident about turning the transformation to your advantage?
10 Do you have expertise that will set your business apart?
If so, consider yourself fortunate. Skills that are rare are always in demand and constitute the linchpin of a successful enterprise.
Sources of assistance on initial planning
If your objective is the profit motive as opposed to fun, you will need to get help with the initial planning. While you have several options at your disposal, I would recommend at this early stage that you start by contacting your local branch of a mainstream bank that in specialise in small business development. Arrange an informal interview with the appropriate executive, outline your personal aims, and give an indication of your current level of commercial expertise; then close this exploratory discussion by requesting their literature pack focusing on start-up support. Undertake this exercise before you settle on an idea for your retirement enterprise. It will give you a feel for what lies ahead, should you decide to proceed.
If on the other hand you consider that it is still early days, and too soon for a one-to-one dialogue, visit www.clearly business.com (a Barclays Bank online initiative), where you will find reams of valuable free information on managing your accounts, controlling cash flow, raising start-up finance, and much more besides. While you are there, you can also order a copy of ‘Starting and Running Your Own Business’, which will be delivered to your door within days. This comprehensive information wallet will provide you with a thorough grounding on the basics of planning an enterprise.
Finding ideas for a business
Start with yourself: where you are, where you have been, and where you would like to be. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Do you have a hobby that you can transform into a business?
Many retirees discover the inspiration for starting a business in the leisure pursuits that have provided interest and stimulation over the years. Let us look at some practical possibilities.
- Perhaps you enjoy dressmaking and have a talent for design and the creation of exclusive patterns. Is there a market in your locality for producing made-to-measure garments for busy women who just don’t have the time to shop?
- Does your hobby interest revolve around making and arranging flowers? If so, you might consider cashing in on the growing trend of servicing local retail outlets: plants for the exterior, floral arrangements for indoors.
- Do you have nimble fingers and a flair for macrame, mosaic art, or both? With a little string, you can make belts or key rings; with a lot of string, you can make planters or wall hangings, threaded with tiny pieces of glass, stone, clay, or seed to create imaginative designs. These are ancient arts that are once again thriving. Could you supply local market traders? Ask around and show samples of your work.
- If your passion is for woodwork, you might decide to specialise in a particular item or items of furniture, or offer to build fittings to customers’ own specifications.
Can you transform your former work into a business?
Not everyone wants to return to the scene of the workplace, but for some it provides the launch pad for a third-age enterprise of their own creation. If you enjoyed what you did for a living, you might derive some inspiration from these factual examples.
- Retired carpet fitters frequently set up in business to service retailer and consumers alike; the retailers saves on labour costs and the consumer on price.
- Service technicians in consumer electronics often create a steady retirement income stream by offering a repair and maintenance service to both traders and the general public.
- Retired advertising executives regularly set themselves up as catalysts for matiching clients with, and introducing business to, advertising agencies.
- Retired book editors commonly venture into editorial consultancy, assessing scripts and advising would-be authors.
Are other retirees running businesses that inspire you?
Look around at what other retirees are getting up to in the way of running part-time businesses. You will find that some of them are involved in:
- answering services
- antique dealership
- bed and breakfast
- day care
- desktop publishing
- garage sales
- garden maintenance
- home handyman services
- import and export services
- information services
- insurance broking
- interior design
- online auctions
- painting and decorating
- sundry online ventures.
Several of the small businesses listed here make ideal thirdage ventures, because they offer flexibility in terms of how much commitment you want to make, and for most of them you can use your own home as the base. Let us look at a few examples.
Bed and breakfast
I have a retired friend in Colchester who runs a thriving bed and breakfast. He is now in his early 70s and, like me, widowed. As he owns his property, including all goods and chattels, his running costs are minimal. Apart from food, his only operating expense is the hire of a part-time cook, who also waits tables and does the housekeeping. His own involvement is minimal, allowing him plenty of free time to pursue other retirement interests. Why did he choose to run a bed and breakfast? Because he had occasion to stay in many during his working life, and reckoned he could do a better job than most of the establishments he visited.
If you were fortunate enough in your career to acquire skills that are always in demand, you would do well to consider setting up as a part-time consultant when you retire. Expertise is at a premium in all walks of industry and commerce, and isn’t always available for full-time engagement. Start-up costs are minimal, operating expenses next to nothing, and you can commit to as much or as little time on the venture as you please. Calling on old contacts to begin with, you can gradually build up an income-generating clientele who will value the wisdom that accompanies greying hair.
If you really enjoy tending your own garden, then why not try garden maintenance as a retirement venture? You can choose how many hours a week you want to work and you need virtually no capital outlay to start (you have probably already got most of the tools you will need). As more and more households now have both partners out working all day, with little or no leisure time, you won’t have any problem finding customers. Add to that those people to whom gardening is an abomination. They all need your services. Moreover, if garden design and planning happen to be your forte, there are increasing numbers of newbuild homes that will welcome your expertise.
Home handyman services
If you were a tradesman or have always been handy around the house, you could set yourself up to perform handyman services for those who can’t do it themselves or don’t have the time. Make it clear what you do and that you expect to get paid for your time – don’t just fix things for free. Save your customers money and build up a nice little income stream in your retirement years. If you already have the tools, you won’t need to invest anything and you can allocate your time according to your other interests. I have a brother-in-law (a retired colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force) who runs his own home handyman business. He loves it, and reckons he has found his true calling at last!
Evaluating and testing your business ideas
Here are some questions to help clarify your thoughts about a specific business you may have in mind.
- Is the proposed business something I will enjoy doing? (Think about what your favourite activities are and what you like to do by way of service to other people.)
- Does the business serve an expanding need for which there is no close substitute?
- Can I be so good at a specialised, targeted need that customers will think there is no close substitute?
- Can I handle the capital requirements?
- Can I learn the business by working for someone else first?
- Can I operate as a ‘hollow’ operation (that is, an operation in which many jobs, such as manufacturing and packaging, are outsourced), without a factory and with a minimum number of employees?
- Is the business product or service one that I can test first?
- Do I consider a partner who has complementary skills to mine or who can help finance the business?
Fine-tuning the evaluation process
At the top of a blank sheet of paper, write the name of an activity you would like to pursue. (If there are several options and you haven’t yet made up your mind, create a separate sheet for each alternative.) List all the businesses you can think of that are related to the activity, and then list all the relevant products or services. Use your imagination and jot down every conceivable contender. Refine the list to those businesses that do better in bad times (one may be appropriate for you).
For the purposes of illustration, let us hone the runners even further to just three examples from the list featured above in ‘Finding ideas for a business’: bed and breakfast Home handyman services Garden maintenance. You can now make a comparative evaluation using the checklist in Table 7.1, or better still your own checklist. Rank the business ideas on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest, as in Table 7.1. This kind of analysis can help you gain objectivity in selecting your business.
Once you have decided what business you want to start, try doing the following.
Home handy man
Can I do what I love to do?
Can I fill an expanding need?
Can I specialise?
Can I learn and test the business first, without major investment?
- 1Construct a for-and-against list regarding characteristics of the business. On a blank piece of paper, draw a vertical line down the middle of the page, and annotate on one side all the pluses and on the other all the minuses. Sometimes this technique can help to clarify your thinking.
- 2Then write down the names of at least five successful businesses in your chosen field. Analyse what these concerns have in common and list the reasons that make them successful.
- 3Talk to several people in your intended business. Don’t be afraid of the negative aspects. Instead, seek out the pitfalls: better to confront them now than after you open your doors.
- 4Write down the information you glean.
- 5Observe the competition that isn’t doing well and analyse the reasons.
Learning the ropes
Before you even start to think about running a business, start thinking about how to become completely qualified.
- The best way to become qualified is to go to work for someone in the same business – even if only for a few weeks.
- Attend all the classes you can on the subjects you need, for example, accounting, technology, and selling.
- Read all the appropriate how-to books you can locate.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek help from the most successful people in your intended business.
Test-marketing a particular idea
You now need to consider whether there is a quantifiable demand for your product or service. The best way to establish that is to dip your toe in the water with some basic test-marketing. For example, you want to set up in business using your work skills to get two bites at the cherry, like the retired carpet fitters and service technicians mentioned earlier. Here is what you do.
- 1 Create an outline for your idea.
- 2 Select your catchment area of operation, highlight the traders you wish to service, and draw up a list of the residential areas where you think your direct customer base lives.
- 3 Bounce your idea off your local public-sector small business advisory initiative. (The initiative will go under different names according to where you live. Check your local phone book or ask your local council for more information.) Armed with a well-reasoned outline, you should not find it difficult to persuade the advisory body to cover the printing costs of a small run of two-colour flyers.
- 4Produce your flyer, mail it to the traders, and deliver it by hand in the residential areas.101
- 5 Call on each trader individually and make a short presentation for intended service.
- 6 Call on a small random sample of the residential areas to sniff out potential interest in your idea.
- 7 If there is a product or produce involved, do all of the foregoing but also spread some samples around and endeavour to gauge the reaction. This isn’t rocket science but what you have to do to eatablish demand at a low cost.
Doing some research to iron out the wrinkles
Even if the results of your test-marketing fill you with confidence, it is good practice to undertake some additional research to check whether there are still a few wrinkles that need to be ironed out before leaping headlong into the marketplace. There are several ways you might do this, but here is one that worked for me, and it cost me nothing. I visited the best search engine of them all, www.google.com, to find out everything I could about the feasibility of my idea.
I did this before I launched my part-time self-publishing venture (on which more at the end of this chapter) and located six superb articles, which saved me needless anguish later on. In one of these, I discovered that I could do most of the work on my domestic computer, thus occasioning only minimal outsourcing. This particular article also knocked back some other ham-fisted notions I had been harbouring about getting the business up and running. All of this I could equally have gleaned by conversing with a start-up consultant, but doing it that way would have set me back several hundred pounds.
Getting to the heart of running your own business
Your route map is starting to take shape, and this is where the hard work begins. You should now be thinking in terms of getting to the heart of running your own business by engaging in further research and development before you arrange follow-up meetings with the bank and the small business advisory initiative, after which you ought to be making provision for appointing an accountant and solicitor (if required). The closer you get to what will make your enterprise tick, the more readily you will be able to access assistance from the professionals. There is much still to be done, but lots of assistance is available to help you get there. At the end of this section, I will direct you to an online source offering free tuition on most of the essential aspects of running a business, as well as to a public-sector offline source that may cost you a little but is worth the investment. Let us start, though, with a suggestion for the template of your all-important plan.
Creating your business plan
Not everyone likes writing reports, and that basically is what your business plan will be: a report. It will be the instrument that not only keeps you focused on your goals, but also attracts any external investment you may require. Borrow a book on the subject from your public library and learn from an expert. In the meantime, here are some of the basic elements you will want to include.
- Explain exactly how your business idea works in practice.
- Describe your objectives.
- Define the marketplace.
- Research the competition.
- Produce a clear account of your product or service.
- Explain the key aspects of your sales policy.
- Develop a strategy to market the business.
- Crystallise the strengths and weaknesses of your idea.
- Make out a case for financial assistance.
- Show how you will fund the business.
- Describe the market, its characteristics, and the current trends.
- Show precisely where your product or service fits in.
- Summarise the overall content and position it accordingly.
Deciding your business status
You have a choice of routes, and the eventual decision will largely depend on the nature of your retirement business.
Becoming a sole trader
If you are planning to work on your own, your best bet is to become a sole trader. It is the simplest way to own a business and will keep your legal costs to a minimum. You will need to tell the Inland Revenue of your enterprise (unless no revenue is involved). As a sole trader, all the profits from the business will be yours. On the downside, any debt you take on board will also be your responsibility.
Forming a partnership
If you intend to invite other people to become involved as principles, you might want to consider setting up in partnership. This is similar to operating as a sole trader, except that all of the costs and profits are shared between the partners. A partnership can also allow the responsibility and work to be equally shared, which can lessen the pressure on you.
Whatever you decide, draw up a partnership agreement to protect your own interests, bearing in mind that all debt incurred is an individual and collective accountability. Partnership agreements should always include provision for:
- partnership shares;
- partnership property;
- restrictions to protect other partners; and
- comprehensive termination provisions to protect ongoing partners.
Forming a limited company
A limited company is a more complicated form of business ownership. As a director of a limited company, you won’t be personally responsible for the debts of your business, as a company is separate from its owners. You will pay yourself a salary just like any other employee. However, running a limited company entails very specific rules and regulations, and will require the assistance of a solicitor and accountant. Initial set-up costs will be higher than for a partnership or sole trader, as you will need to register with Companies House and submit regular financial statements.
Choosing a trading name
Choosing a trading name is a crucial exercise that you will need to address as soon as possible. It can make or break any business. List as many ideas as you can before deciding on the name your enterprise is to trade under. Getting it right from the start is essential – you don’t want to have to change it after a few months. The secret is to adopt the KISS approach (keep it simple Simon/Sarah).
There are a few house rules to become familiar with before proceeding further. In essence, the ideal trading name should meet these requirements.
- 1The core word of the trading name should have no more than seven letters. Preferably, it should have five letters.
- 2The core word should have no more than three syllables. Preferably, it should have two syllables.
- 3The name should look and sound right.
- 4It should fit the purpose of the enterprise.
- 5It should be legally acceptable.
Using your own name is quite all right and makes sense if you are setting up as a consultant of one type or another. But keep it simple. Don’t say ‘Humphrey D. Lestocque Insurance Services’, but rather ‘Lestocque Insurance’. That is, use the core words to best effect. (Note: the first and second requirements mentioned above do not apply to trading names based on your own name.)
There is a lot in a name: get it right from the outset.
Financing your business
You should give prior attention to how much money you need to get started. In fact, you will have to consider very carefully whether you want to enter into any business that entails a considerable financial outlay, at a time in your life when it might be unwise to embrace that sort of commitment. This could discolour your entire business plan; if it will cause you to worry, don’t do it. Conversely, if you are converting a lifetime hobby into a business, your investment will probably be very small.
Possible sources of finance include:
- 1personal savings;
- 2insurance policies;
- 4spare equity in your home;
- 5friends and relations;
- 6a bank loan; and
- 7public-sector assistance.
It is highly unlikely that your bank manager will demonstrate much enthusiasm about handing over hard cash on the strength of a business proposal from a retiree without evidence that there is other funding in place.
Your first port of call should be to the local offices of New Deal 50 plus. Listen to what they have to say, and, if they offer you assistance in any shape or form, take it. Next, pay a visit to your local council’s business development unit, where (assuming that your plan is sound and the proposition viable) you may gain access to grants or soft loans that aren’t normally broadcast at large. Now you can go to your bank manager...
Deciding your location
Where you locate will depend on the nature of your retirement business. You must give consideration to premises as you put together your business plan and initial budget. You will need a shop if you are to be a retailer, or a nest factory if you are to be manufacturing something or other in small way. For both of these eventualities go first to the public sector, where you might be offered what you need at a peppercorn rent. Try, though, to locate at home. For most third-age enterprises, a home base is a distinct possibility; it conserves cash and is quite acceptable to most funding sources. If you need a separate phone line or a ‘head’ office, make appropriate provision in your budgeting.
Staffing your business
Will you be going it alone or will you need staff? Only you and your business idea will determine that. If you need assistance, go first once again to the public sector. They will identify trained personnel (or cover training costs) and provide employment grants where appropriate.
Managing your accounts and cash flow
Do you have basic bookkeeping or accounting skills? If not, consider taking an evening class. Even if you are going to use an accountant, you still need to know the rudiments so as to be able to exercise financials control over your business and manage the cash flow efficiently.
Allowing for taxation
Taxation isn’t a subject we need to delve into so early in your potential adventure, but it would be prudent to make some allowance for its ensuing inevitability. You should be thinking in terms of:
- 1income tax;
- 2National Insurance contributions; and
- 3VAT (in the fullness of time).
Preparing your accounts
Should your business turnover (total sales) before expenses fall below £15,000 for a full year of trading, you won’t be required to provide detailed accounts. Instead, a simple three-line summary will suffice. For example:
Less purchases and expenses
Marketing your business
There is no mystique about marketing. It is all down to common sense and practical application. Ignore the hype and concentrate on the essentials:
You might also need to think about:
- public relations
You will find ample practical training online or offline. (See the subsection ‘Acquiring general business skills’ below.)
Engaging in e-commerce
Unless you intend to take the cyberspace route for marketing your business, put e-commerce (selling on the internet) on the back burner for now. When you do get around to it, don’t rely on it as your primary medium for sales. Use it initially for the purpose for which it was invented: as a channel of information, both receivable and deliverable. Doing it this way provides you with two valuable operational devices: the facility to receive information opens the door to ongoing market research, while the facility to deliver information electronically presents you with a cyberspace marketing application.
Using the internet search facilities, you can keep tabs on your competition, source valuable applications and software for free, and keep a constant lookout for new ideas. Using the Net as a marketing application, you can create a powerful website to:
- promote your product or service;
- foster loyalty;
- answer prospects’ questions;
- provide them with additional information;
- attract customers; and
- capture email addresses to build a list of potential cusomers.
You can do all of this and, if you go about matters in the right way, you can achieve your objectives on a limited budget. I recommend that you use the free facility at www.freeservers.com to create your first commercial website. You won’t need hypertext mark-up language (HTML) skills, because it is all point-and-click – as easy as ABC.
Taking the cyberspace route
More and more retirees are turning to the internet as a vehicle for operating a small business from home – and with good reason. Start-up costs are minimal (free if you choose to become an affiliate of a global concern) and the bulk of the chores are handled automatically, thus freeing up time to develop the enterprise.
While operating a home-based internet business is a solitary occupation, you will be in good company, because there are millions of you out there in cyberspace. Very soon it won’t seem so lonely. You will strike up friendships with all sorts of people you are unlikely ever to meet in person, and you will experience generosity on an unbounded scale. You will be the receiver of freely given advice and practical assistance concerning suitable businesses, affiliate programmes, websites, virtual office suites, domain-name services, e-zines, mailing lists, email facilities, bulk mailers, auto-responders, advertisement tools, and the like – for much of which software you won’t be asked to pay.
This is the wonder of operating as an international networker. Show willing and you will get lots of help and encouragement in your quest for success. For detailed information on taking the cybeerspace route, refer to my book Starting an Internet Business at Home (Kogan Page, 2001).
Acquiring general business skills
If you are short on general business skills, you will need to get up to speed as quickly as possible to make the most of your enterprise. Below you will find valuable online and offline avenues of training. Choose one and apply yourself before you launch your business – even if you are just doing it for pleasure.
Go to www.myownbusiness.org, an ultra-professional nonprofit website, where you can access completely free of charge a high-calibre online training course on how to go about setting up a business in retirement (Fig 7.1).
The course comes complete with 12 wide-ranging lessons and 33 powerful sound bites (in a variety of digital formats) from successful entrepreneurs, with interactive feedback for each session. You get all of this without having to invest a penny. It covers in depth all of the elements we have just touched on. Even if you aren’t on the internet at home, you
can still access this comprehensive course for free at your local library. As it doesn’t require online participation, you may download or print out the entire programme to study at home in your own time.
Online learning is extremely useful for getting up to speed on theory, but if you are really serious about pursuing a retirement business on a hands-on basis, I would suggest that you put yourself down for one of the many business start-up programmes sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions. Don’t be put off by the maximum age cut-off point. If you are sufficiently persuasive, you will gain admittance. I did, and I did so because, no matter how much you think you know about commerce, you can never learn enough.
Here is an example of a typical syllabus:
- new business planning;
- markets and market selection;
- product identification;
- computer training;
- support systems for start-ups;
- financial planning;
- public-sector funding;
- private-sector funding;
- sourcing proven ideas; and
- legal aspects.
It may cost you a little to participate, but it will be money well spent if your heart is set on starting a business in retirement, whether for fun or profit.
Crucial questions to ask your professional advisers
Armed with all of this intelligence, you will be more than able to field questions from your professional advisers — but here are some crucial ones you might want to ask them.
- 1What are my legal obligations if I opt for sole-trader status?
- 2Explain to me the significance of individual and collective responsibility for debts incurred in a partnership arrangement.
- 3How much will it cost me to set up a limited company?
- 4Will I need more than one director?
- 5Must I produce an annual return even though my turnover is small?
- 1Which accounting books should I keep?
- 2Are there different accounting procedures according to business status (sole trader, partnership, and limited company)?
- 3What records should I maintain for taxation purposes?
- 4How much do I have to be turning over before I register for VAT?
- 5How much will you charge me for the annual audit?
Your bank manager
- 1Can you provide me with an overdraft facility?
- 2If not, what are your best terms for a small business loan?
- 3What are your charges for administering a small business current account?
- 4If I get lucky and want to place money on deposit, what is the best rate of interest you can offer me?
- 5How often do you need to see management accounts (monthly, quarterly, or half-yearly)?
Your public-sector funding contact
- 1Do I qualify for a small business grant?
- 2Can you offer me a soft loan facility?
- 3Tell me about employment grants and how they operate.
- 4What are your rental terms for office and factory accommodation?
- 5Can I obtain a training grant?
- 6What else can you offer me?