More than half of Australia’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are applying for funding without a business plan and two thirds without a prepared cash flow forecast, according to new research.

The State of SME Funding Report also reveals that SMEs believe funding will dramatically lift their business confidence with 45 per cent of business owners expecting more than 50 per cent growth after receiving funding.

Mike Boorn Plener, the author of the report and Founder of Business Connector in Sydney says it’s not uncommon for SMEs not to cover all bases and do their homework when seeking funding.

“We sit with businesses every week that are floating a proposal to the capital market or to a bank without having thought through fundamentals like revenue strategy, serviceability, return on equity, and many other essentials.

“Most business owners only seek funding once or twice in the life of the business, so the basic skills required to applying for funding is not always practiced.”

Stuart Zalunardo, Acting Head of SME at St.George said SMEs were the unsung heroes of the Australian economy and employed over five million people. St.George is a big supporter of SMEs and believe it’s really beneficial for business owners to know the nuts and bolts of a funding application process.

“We want to help SMEs prepare their business in the best light to gain funding so they can start, prosper and grow their business. To help SMEs become successful in their funding application, we’ve compiled a list of top tips,” Stuart said.

St.George’s top-tips for accessing funding

  1. Prepare a business plan – Develop an up-to-date business plan and summary to ensure that your financial projections in the plan match your funding requests
  2. Prepare a cash flow forecast – Prepare a cash flow forecast to identity how much funding you need, when you need the funding, how the business can repay any loan required and how long it will take to repay the loan
  3. Have your paperwork in hand – Make sure you have all your paper work ready including a list of personal assets, your tax returns, bank statements and superannuation funds
  4. Shop around – Do your research to find the best form of funding for you. Events such as Funding Connector can give you great insights into ways to secure funding for the growth and expansion of your business
  5. Present your skills – When meeting with the investor, ensure your business knowledge, skills are spot-on and with your application. If it helps, ask your accountant to go with you.

About the research: The SME Funding Report is a snapshot on funding for the Australian Small to Medium Enterprise community, based on data collected from 200 business leaders in the SME and start-up community.

Click here for the Full Report

For more information or interviews, please contact

St-George-Start-SomethingDianne Edwards
St.George Bank
P: 02 9236 3521
M: 0421 623 014