Lloyds TSB Commercial, in association with Sage (UK) Limited, one of the UK's leading suppliers of business software and services, is offering new businesses a free and easy-to-use business planning tool.
Lloyds TSB has worked closely with Sage to create a business software programme specific for start-ups. It combines easy-to-use software with straightforward advice to help turn a business idea into reality.
Sage Planning for Business software guides people through the step-by-step process of planning and launching a new business venture. Providing guidance on every aspect of setting up a business, from producing a professional business plan to forecasting incomings and expenditure, as well as providing a task list of everything that needs to be done to launch and run a successful business.
John Maltby, Managing Director, Lloyds TSB Commercial, says drawing up an effective business plan is a critical part of starting up a business.
"Getting plans down on paper, especially for a new business, is about taking the inspired idea towards a tangible and exciting reality. In today's uncertain environment it has never been more important for businesses to plan ahead, not only to be prepared for challenges they may face, but also to be able to seize opportunities.
"In association with Sage, we're providing the tools and support to help new businesses through the planning process. This free and easy to use planning tool will help ensure start-ups are prepared and puts them firmly in the driving seat. It's vital that businesses get back to basics and take the time to plan."
As well as the complimentary Sage Planning for Business software, Lloyds TSB is also offering a free 90 day trial of Sage Start-Up - a day-to-day accounts package specifically designed for new businesses.
Sage Start-Up integrates with Planning for Business, to allow the user to track their business' progress against their plan. This means businesses can spot any issues that are developing as early as possible and take action to put things right. It offers help with understanding VAT schemes and invoicing, and includes a bank reconciliation feature. Sage Start-Up also helps businesses manage their time through the electronic diary.
Once the free 90 day trial is complete, Lloyds TSB Commercial customers will also have the option of subscribing to the service at an exclusive rate of only £6.99 plus VAT per month - up to 50 per cent less than it normally retails for in its first year.
One Sage customer, Kerrie Keeling set up A Woman's Touch as an interior and exterior decorating company in 2003 having spent seven years working for one of the City of London's leading investment banks.
Having completed a short decorating course at university and armed with the experience of refurbishing her own property, Keeling decided to leave the profession and start up her own decorating company.
Before using Sage Start-Up, Keeling ran the financial side of the business through increasingly complex spreadsheets. This format was adequate when the business was in its infancy and the financial set up was much more simple, however with 18 employees and multiple projects running concurrently, this method of financial planning became unwieldy and inefficient.
Lloyds TSB customers can also sign up for Sage Instant Accounts software - an accountancy package suitable for people who have experience running a business and have a good understanding of finance and accountancy. Lloyds TSB customers will benefit from an exclusive discounted subscription rate of £11.99 plus VAT per month.