Skip to content

Entrepreneurs Panel

Laura Tenison
Michael Oliver
Jeremy Roberts
Richard O'Sullivan
Charlie Mullins
Steve Purdham
Brian Hay
Tony Caldeira
Debbie Pierce
Julie Meyer
David Pollock
Jennie Johnson

Cash flow problems

Jeremy Roberts

Joined forces with Tim Bacon in 1996 to set up Life Restaurants, which launched the Via Vita restaurant chain. They opened the Living Room on Deansgate in 1999 -the first of a 13-unit chain that their company, Living Ventures, sold in July 2007 for £28 million – and did a deal with The Restaurant Group in 2005 which saw the pair take control of the Est Est Est estate, since rebranded as Blackhouse Grill and Gusto.

Question: 

I run three restaurants but I’m having some cash flow problems and the bank has turned a loan request down and won’t increase my overdraft. How can I raise some cash to tide me over?

Answer: 

As long as your issue is truly shortterm ask suppliers with whom you have a good working relationship to increase your credit terms temporarily to tide you over. Offer to pay them interest and put the
arrangement on a formal footing – it will be cheaper than the bank and they will appreciate your honesty rather than simply squeezing them by just not paying them.

If your problem is a little more long-term, you might consider asking to convert some of your supplier debt to a formal loan with appropriate payment terms to smooth out your cash flow.

Similarly, if you owe the VAT man you can speak to them about an arrangement – they are far more helpful than they used to be!

  • Kathryn Parsons, co-founder of Decoded, started with little more than faith and determination, but four years later it’s grown into a global business. Ahead of her appearance at Accelerate 2015 in...

  • Author, writer and marketer Ryan Holiday on how entrepreneurs need to interpret failure.

  • Sue Vizard, business coach and author of Jump Start: The Start-up Book for Your Dream Business, looks at some of the questions solo entrepreneurs should ask themselves.

  • Ian Wright, founder and chief executive of NonExecutiveDirectors.com, is bringing together SMEs and NEDs - without the hefty recruitment fees.

  • Former professional golfer turned entrepreneur Colin Stevens has had a busy 18 months. The Better Bathrooms founder has increased turnover at the firm, secured a multi-million pound investment and...

Five Minutes With

David Hughes sums up his entrepreneurial career to date thus: four spectacular successes and two failures. He founded the sports retailer Allsports and achieved turnover of £180 million before a vicious price war meant decline, administration in 2005 and a sell-off to rival JD Sports.

It took Richard Shonn, managing director of 151 Products, three years to find a warehouse big enough for his requirements.