The Design Cycle Part 3 – Budgeting, Finance And IP

On Thursday 30th April Fashion-Enter held part 3 of their N17 Creative Callings series of seminars, entitled The Design Cycle Part 3, Budgeting, Finance and IP.

The seminar was conducted on Zoom and was delivered by Nigel Rust, one of Fashion-Enter’s Specialist Advisors who specialises in financial management and business strategy. If you have just started or are looking to grow a business in the Tottenham CEZ area, then please get in touch and we will advise on how N17 Creative Callings, supported by the Mayor of London and the European Social Fund, can help you and your business. Contact Esme:

The seminar was opened by CEO Jenny Holloway, who spoke about the N17 programme and how it is helping local creative talent to develop and implement their business ideas.

A quick round of questions from Nigel established that the participants were in fashion but there were also participants from the fine jewellery sector and even a writer.

The first section took the form of an overview of the essential elements of financial management (sub-titled ‘The Things You Need to Do’) – product costing, recording and reporting your finances, budgeting and forecasting, and financial discipline. Jenny Holloway was able to reinforce the need for financial disciple and budgeting from her own experience.

Nigel then went on to cover a range of important financial management topics in more detail and shared tried-and-tested templates on screen to show the audience how to put things into practice in an easy-to-follow way. Including:

  • Product Costings, going through a template for costing the materials and production for each product and working out the margin based on the relevant price. The use of ‘Cost Plus’ and ‘Market Pricing’ was also explained;
  • Profit and Loss (P&L) – how to look at whether you are making money, what a P&L report looks like and how to budget for various costs in the business. This included a look at how business costs such as taking on a studio or employing an assistant affects the P&L and how to use a P&L forecast to help take important business decisions;
  • Cash Flow – having explained the importance of keeping an eye on cash flow, Nigel went through a template for a cash flow forecast. He also looked at various business models and how cash flows work for each model (wholesale, e-commerce, bespoke). And, of course, how to work out when you need funding for the business and tips on how to manage cash flow;
  • Book-keeping – again looking at a simple template for recording income and spending. Also discussing the use of online accounting packages;
  • Accessing Finance – The financial part of the seminar was wrapped up with an explanation of various ways of funding a business: Friends and family; equity; loans; crowdfunding. And how these are typically used by creative businesses at different stages of business growth.

The seminar concluded with a section on Intellectual Property and how to protect it. The main types of IP were explained. Web links were shown for useful online resources for things like Trade Mark registration, Copyright and the Intellectual Property Office. The British Library was also plugged for its work on supporting businesses with IP questions.

Throughout the seminar participants were able to jump in with questions. And the possibility of one-to-one support beyond the seminar was highlighted.

Feedback from the attendees included:

“I learnt about differences between cash flow and P&L, for example.”

“All the spreadsheets and step-by step-information was really useful.”

“Very informative and a refresher.”

“I found out that the British Library has free sessions on IP.”

“The info on IP was most relevant to me.”

“I learnt about cash flow examples and explanations.”

“Nigel spoke in straightforward and concise terms, and made the topic of finance and IP easy to digest, the session was also a good length of time to cover all the sections in enough detail without being to long-winded or too short.”

“Learning how to bookkeep. Jargon-free and not shamed for not knowing basic terminology.”

“I would like a 1-1 session with Mr Rust, but would need to develop my ideas further.”

“Thank you so much for this seminar. It was really useful.”

“I really enjoyed the course, great especially during quarantine and would recommend.”

“I have found this session extremely useful and I am really grateful that you have given the opportunity to enjoy it free of charge.”

“Thank you very much. I find N17 Creative Callings an excellent initiative and I have been wanting to join these session since they started a few weeks ago.”

“Many thanks. Nigel was a great speaker, the most helpful/insightful session thus far from N17 Creative Callings.”

For more N17 Creative Callings seminars tap here.