Cash flow naivety causes regret for half of business owners


A report by Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance has found that nearly 50% of UK business owners regretted a naïve attitude towards cash flow in their company’s early days.

64% of those who identified this as an issue admitted that they had overspent before gaining any profit, leaving them with a large debt to manage.

The data, gathered from 1,000 UK-based business owners, showed that many of these businesses said that their attitude to cash flow nearly ended their business. This was particularly true for those operating in business services such as sales and marketing.

As the owner of a start-up with a lot on your plate, it’s not surprising that something like cash flow can get pushed to the back burner. But healthy cash flow creates security, longevity and the chance to grow.

If you’re struggling to get to grips with your cash flow, take a look at these 7 steps to better cash flow management.

Funding options

Another regret that business owners expressed was their decisions regarding funding, with two in five saying they were wrong to start a business with the budget they had.

Of the different sectors, those in recruitment were affected most, with 62% saying they failed to take advantage of better funding options. This was followed by manufacturing (54%) and retail (49%). Those in the arts sector fared better, with only one in five saying they had regrets about funding in their early days.

For a lot of businesses, it was a lack of knowledge about the type of funding available that caused issues, with 27% saying they “didn’t know they could receive loans and grants”. More than one in four did admit that they had never actually researched the options available to them.

To help start-ups and new businesses get a better idea about the funding available to them, we have created The Ultimate Guide to Business Finance For Start-Ups, which explores the different funding options and some of the common mistakes to avoid.


In total, over a quarter of business regretted not creating a financial plan or forecast when they were a start-up. London-based start-ups displayed a lower than average level of regret about their financial planning, with only 22% feeling that not having a financial forecast had negatively affected their business.

The survey also showed that a lack of funding for marketing ranked as a major regret, with 27% of businesses saying they didn’t budget for this expense.

The managing director at Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance, Andy Dodd, said: “It’s fascinating to find out just how many businesses have lacked financial planning such as not forecasting or budgeting for key start up essentials such as marketing costs.”

Only 13% of UK businesses said they had no regrets about any of the financial decisions they made during their early days as a start-up.

If you’re a new business owner or you just need help getting your cash flow into shape, we can help. Call us on 0800 9774833 or get in touch to discuss your options.


Some of the funders we work with

  • Cynergy Business Finance
  • Team Factors
  • Castlebridge
  • Partnership Invoice Finance
  • Santander Corporate & Commercial
  • Roma Finance
  • InvoCap
  • Leumi ABL
  • Clear Factor
  • Praetura Invoice Finance
  • MaxCap
  • Aldermore Invoice Finance
  • IGF Invoice Finance
  • Accelerated Payments
  • Close Brothers Invoice Finance
  • Tradeplus24
  • Davenham Asset Finance
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Optimum Finance
  • Woodsford Tradebridge
  • Davenham Trade Finance
  • Giant
  • Skipton Business Finance
  • Nationwide Finance
  • Barclays
  • Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance
  • Haydock Finance Ltd
  • Time Finance
  • Ultimate Finance Group
  • Investec
  • Regency Factors
  • ABN AMRO Commercial Finance
  • Metro Bank SME Finance
  • PNC Business Credit
  • 4Syte
  • Blazehill Capital
  • Sonovate
  • Pulse Cashflow Finance
  • Kriya
  • Peak Cashflow
  • Berkeley Trade Finance Ltd
  • Merchant Money
  • eCapital Commercial Finance

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