In my world

10 September, 2010
Page 16 

Amanda Perry is the owner of cupcake boutique Fancie in Sheffield.

I found myself in a bit of a predicament this month. I have two new stores scheduled to open and my architect has gone AWOL this is something that I was clearly not anticipating!

I had to decide whether to keep my fingers crossed that he returned or take the plunge and spend more time and money finding another architect and going back to the drawing board. I went with the latter when I found out there was a full-scale police investigation around the former's disappearance and there I was thinking he was just ignoring my calls so he didn't have to face the workload we were up against.

My heart goes out to his family and I hope they find him soon, but I now have to deal with the unexpected additional expenditure, not to mention stress, of starting all over again on a project that had already overrun by months!

Luckily, my bank manager was happy to help out. Apparently, in order for an existing small business to survive through a period of poor economy, they need to demonstrate effective management. For example, control of spending is something he said I do well, which is why I've managed to grow through a recession.

Successful small businesses that find themselves at this zenith of growth with their current tools, often then need financial backing to grow further. At this point, the bank needs to be the business' best friend. Fortunately, I've kept good relations with my bank, but I cannot help but think about SMEs that may not have been so fortunate, especially when unexpected costs arise such as forking out for a new architect.

Back to the new store and we are back on track. Fingers crossed, my new cupcake boutique will be ready in time; Sheffield is going cupcake crazy at the moment, so I don't want to let anyone down!

The hurdle I came across really highlighted the importance of good financial planning and putting aside funds for unexpected costs, because, let's face it, nine times out of 10 people never stick to their budget and aren't realistic with what things really cost. Three years ago, the Sheffield floods ruined hundreds of business premises and I bet the ones that bounced back were the ones that had emergency funds put aside for a rainy day no pun intended.

So that is the lesson I have taken from all of this: keeping money in reserve is of paramount importance, especially when your business is growing fast. Moving forward, I am now going to be sure that I am prepared for the unexpected, because you never know when it might occur.

I will always make certain I have an emergency fund set aside, that will be there for when I really need it.





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