Industry sector:

Fencing contractor: Loans/grants

It may be that you don't need to borrow any money to start up your fencing business. However, many new businesses do need to raise money to cover:

  • the initial start up costs such as buying a vehicle, tools and equipment and smaller items such as business stationery
  • working capital

Working capital

There will almost certainly be a period during the first few weeks or months of trading when your fencing business is establishing a name for itself and your sales are still building up to their full potential. During this period you may still have to cover expenses such as:

  • wages if you employ any staff, and your own living expenses
  • purchases of fencing materials and consumables like screws, nails, cutting disks and so on
  • running costs of a vehicle

Because your income from fencing work may not be enough to cover these outgoings during the early days, you will probably need to set aside some cash, or 'working capital', to tide you over.

If you need to ask the bank for a loan to cover your start-up costs and working capital, leave this entry in the cash flow empty until you have completed the rest. This will give you an idea of the shortfall between income and expenditure.

If your figures show that you're likely to need to borrow money, it's wise to check at an early stage in your planning that funds are available on terms that are acceptable to you.

Grants and other funding

You may be able to get some financial help in the form of a grant, possibly to cover the cost of any training needed.

If you're registered with CITB, the skills development body for the construction industry, then you may be able to get a grant to help with the cost of training your employees and developing your business. Note though that while hard landscaping is included on the list of construction activities for which businesses are liable to register with CITB (and pay the CITB levy), fencing is not included on the list. The Fencing Contractors Association (now the Association of Fencing Industries) successfully lobbied the government during the 1990s to have the fencing industry removed from the scope of the registration and levy requirement.

Grants from CITB are available to eligible employers for:

  • training apprentices
  • qualifying young workers
  • qualifying their existing workforce
  • getting skills registration cards for plant operators
  • training technical, management and professional staff
  • developing the business

You can find out more about the CITB Grant on the CITB website.

You can get information on grant aid and other types of funding available throughout the UK from the business finance and support finder tool on the website.

Grant aid varies considerably around the UK and some assistance may be available in your area to help you start up your business.

It is also worth contacting the business support unit in your local council if it has one. Sometimes local grants are available for things like helping new businesses in economically run-down areas. You can also use the tool on the website to help you identify any suitable sources of local and regional funding.