Hiscox Informed Roundup: Alternative funding for SMEs, business plans and VAT changes

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Welcome to our weekly roundup of the most popular articles from our social magazine app, Hiscox Informed. From understanding new VAT changes to knowing how important your business plan really is, this week we take a look at news impacting your small business.

More than a third of the UK’s 4.9m SMEs don't have a business plan, so if your small business falls into this category should you consider going back to basics and writing one now? Start Up Donut discuss both sides of the argument: a business plan might be a waste of time if you’ll just toss it out the window at the first unexpected challenge, but if you take the time to write a short “success plan” then it could be well worth your while.

If you’re thinking about starting your own business, you’ll likely turn to friends, family and colleagues to manage the challenges ahead. Talk Business Magazine examines the importance of collaboration when starting your own business – a worthwhile read to uncover the tips and tricks to networking and engaging with like-minded entrepreneurs to challenge your ideas.

Has your small business been denied funding from a bank? If so, you may be in the 65% of SMEs that believe banks should be required to refer small businesses to alternative lenders after rejecting funding requests. This week Start Up Donut takes a look at the implications of the government enacting such requirements and asks if it could lead to much more responsible lending to start-ups.

Crowdsourcing is changing the start up industry, but it’s not only funding that’s been raised via crowdsourcing. A new website, Ideas To StealToday is a platform that encourages people to share ideas they couldn’t make work themselves – giving entrepreneurs a pool of ideas at their fingertips. Springwise shares more details on the platform and how it could change your business brainstorms.

Business Matters Magazine takes a look at how next January’s change in VAT will impact your small business. One big change to be aware of: businesses will be required to charge VAT in the EU country of the consumer rather than the seller, which could offer a much more level playing field between you and some of your international competitors.