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SME focus: Everything you need to know about the Budget and essential money matters

For October’s in-depth coverage of Irish SMEs, we looked at ways to balance a budget and where all that cash goes.

EVERY MONTH, TheJournal.ie turns the spotlight on a particular sector or aspect of doing business for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

These businesses make up about 99% of all Irish enterprises and are responsible for putting almost 70% of private-sector employees in a job, making them vital to the employment and economic prospects of the country.

For the Budget month of October, we looked at some key financial issues for owner operators when it came to earning, borrowing and spending money.

#The Big Idea this month came from Keith Harford, a small-business advisor and the brains behind cloud-based financial planning tool Cashflo Plan. Harford’s top tip was that there was nothing more important to a business than cashflow – and with that in mind, he recommended every company owner switch their browser’s homepage to their bank’s website to serve as a constant reminder

#How to Guide was all about getting the financial backing businesses need to grow. CompanyMoney’s Lar Burke told us that many SME and startup owners were let down by poor presentations or a failure to tailor their pitches to different potential financiers, whether they were pleading their case before a bank or courting the support of angel investors

Burke CompanyMoney's Lar Burke

#What I Learned featured pub owner- and accountant-turned Fine Gael TD Áine Collins, who said Ireland needed to have a “serious conversation about failure” in light of the nation’s economic meltdown. While in other countries, like the US, to try and fail could be worn as a badge of honour, Collins warned there was still a heavy stigma attached to business collapse here

Campaign Trail-Millstreet Áine Collins on the campaign trail with Taoiseach Enda Kenny Source: Fine Gael

#Business Poll took our readers through the key hits and misses for SMEs in Finance Minister Michael Noonan’s fiscal roadmap, then posed the question – do you think your business will be better off thanks to this year’s Budget? And the results showed there wasn’t a lot of positive sentiment out there, with 26% of respondents replying they expected to be at least slightly worse off – compared to 19% who thought things would be better now:

chart Source: TheJournal.ie

#SME Book Club featured Kieran McCarthy’s Family Business: A Survival Guide, which told us that if the Irish family business sector collapsed overnight the economy would immediately go with it. But helpfully the author laid out what business owners can do to stop that happening, like short-circuiting sibling rivalry and some other, common pitfalls

#Business Chart of the Month explored the slogan that Ireland was “the best small country in the world in which to do business”. By crunching the numbers and talking to some SME industry experts, we worked out that Ireland was in some ways a very competitive place to set up an enterprise. But there were also some major costs weighing domestic businesses down when compared to their closest European rivals

Forfas

READ: Everything you need to know about education and business >

READ: Everything you need to know about innovation and SMEs >

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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