Our top tips for creating your Cash Flow Forecast:

If this figure is negative, it means that you are anticipating your expenses will be greater than your revenue in that period; conversely, if the figure is positive, it means you are anticipating your revenue to be greater than your expenses and to deliver a profit.

If you use our free template, your net cash flow for each month and for the year as a whole will be automatically calculated for you.

Be realistic in terms of how many sales you expect to make While it is great to be ambitious for your business, it’s important to be realistic. Particularly in the early stages of trading, you may find that you aren’t able to make as many sales while you’re focusing on building up awareness about your product or service. It’s always better to make conservative estimates and over exceed your targets, than find yourself over committed or under prepared.

These tips have been prepared by our Business Advisers and loan assessment team to help you understand some of the key things that will strengthen your application:

Plan for seasonality and base your figures on a range of typical scenarios (like quiet or busy periods) Seasonality doesn’t affect everyone in the same way. For example, if you’re starting a business in an area that has a booming tourist economy in the summer months but is very quiet during winter, this should be reflected in your forecasted sales figures and costs. But even if seasonality doesn’t affect you in this way, every business goes through quiet periods (with less sales) and busy periods (with more sales). Depending on your fixed and variable costs, this may create more or less pressure on your cost base during this period.

Think about the promotional activities you’ve got planned and the sales you expect these to generate. If you expect one of your promotional campaigns to deliver a high volume of new sales during a key month, you should try and reflect this in your numbers. Equally, if there are certain periods where you won’t have a large marketing budget in place, think about the impact this is likely to have on your sales.

These tips have been prepared by our Business Advisers and loan assessment team to help you understand some of the key things that will strengthen your application:

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