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Business insights

Information and advice to help your business going forward

We’ve put together a wide range of knowledge and insight for you – read up on plans, financial support, media and marketing and much more.

Making money work for you will mean something different to every business. It could mean finding the right finance products for your individual situation, tackling cashflow issues head on, future-proofing your business or learning digital skills to take advantage of a global market that’s never been more accessible.

We want to help you feel more knowledgeable and confident when it comes to getting the most out of your money for your business.

Here you’ll find articles that aim to put you in control – read up on business plans, funding options, managing cashflow, trading abroad and more.

Featured

Coronavirus help and support for your business

Managing your business through change

We know coronavirus is a source of concern for many people right now. We are here to help your business get through this challenging time – in whatever way we can.

We’ll keep this page updated with information about how to manage your money, provide help and support on cash flow and give you tips on staying safe from fraud. This information is correct at the time of writing, but keep checking back as things may change.

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  • Popular articles
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    Starting out

    Writing a business plan

    Your guide to a successful business plan

    A good business plan defines what you want to achieve and how you intend to achieve it. Our guide could help you write yours.

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    Starting out

    Business financing options

    How to use financing to grow your business

    Whether you’re learning what’s available or you’re plotting a winning pitch for investors, here’s how to use business financing to thrive.

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    Starting out

    Business start-up tips

    Our top tips for getting your company running

    Learn key strategies to keep your new business on the right track.

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    Managing your business

    Protecting your business idea

    Got a big idea? Find out how to protect it

    The Intellectual Property (IP) rights of your business determine the value of your idea, so a copyright, patent or trademark is essential.

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    Managing your business

    Business continuity and resilience planning

    Read our latest report to learn how you can include resilience planning in your business’ day-to-day activities.

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    International

    Considerations when going global

    Joining the ranks of the UK’s 232,000 SME export businesses offers huge and exciting opportunities – and unexpected challenges. So, what are the key things you need to consider when making the move?

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    Industry insights

    Open Banking opportunities and benefits

    What Open Banking could mean for your business

    Juliet Rogan, Co-Head of High-Growth and Entrepreneurs, looks at some of the opportunities that Open Banking could create for high-growth businesses.

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    Scaling up

    Build a winning team

    Make every position count

    Entrepreneurs share their thoughts on leadership, team work and balancing creativity with stability

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    Industry insights

    Importance of reviews and customer feedback

    Could online reviews help your business?

    Our survey of 2,000 customers and 500 businesses revealed the importance of online review sites to the hospitality and leisure sector.

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    Scaling up

    Knowing and understanding customer needs

    See your business through your customers’ eyes

    Professor Stelios Kavadias, Director at the Cambridge Judge Business School, explains how to look at your business like your customers do.

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    International

    Understanding global trade

    Exports and international trade explained

    We answer some of the most commonly asked questions on exporting – and cut through the jargon.

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    International

    International trade support

    Backing your business abroad

    Find out about the dedicated support, expert advice and banking services that could help make your business an international success.

  • Starting out

    Writing a business plan

    Your guide to a successful business plan

    A good business plan defines what you want to achieve and how you intend to achieve it. Our guide could help you write yours.

    Choosing a business structure

    Deciding the legal structure of your business

    Understand the responsibilities that come with business partnerships, limited companies and sole proprietorship.

    Setting up a private company

    Understanding your options

    Our tips will help you choose the right way to register your business, whether it’s using a formation agent, an accountant or registering the company yourself.

    Do I need a business bank account?

    If you’re using a personal bank account for your business, switching to a business one could save you time, simplify your business accounting and help you access business finance.

    A desk arranged with a desktop computer, laptop, smart phone and camera

    Digital skills to boost your business

    Tools and tips to make the most of digital

    Want to sharpen your business digital skills but not sure where to start? An online presence can give your business a real boost – as can being cyber savvy and staying safe online. Here are 5 ways digital can transform your business.

    Man placing a hand written sign in a shop window which reads opening soon

    Business financing options

    How to use financing to grow your business

    Whether you’re learning what’s available or you’re plotting a winning pitch for investors, here’s how to use business financing to thrive.

    Providing payment variety

    Payment solutions from Barclaycard

    To support your customers, it’s important that your business offers a variety of payment methods. Discover the benefits of doing this and how Barclaycard can help.

    A close-up of a laptop keyboard, a tablet and a pen on a desk

    Cashflow forecasting

    How a good forecast can benefit your business

    A cashflow forecast is a useful tool – it can warn you of challenges ahead, help you achieve steady growth and steer you through a downturn.

    Business start-up tips

    Our top tips for getting your company running

    Learn key strategies to keep your new business on the right track.

     Green shoots are growing in a row of glass test tubes in a lab

    Start up with purpose

    Putting social purpose at the heart of your new venture

    How social impact makes good business sense.

    11 tips on how to start a business

    What you really need to know when getting your business off the ground

    Read our 11-point guide on how to set up a business to help you get up and running.

  • Scaling up
     People relaxing on the beach.

    Considerations when going global

    Joining the ranks of the UK’s 232,000 SME export businesses offers huge and exciting opportunities – and unexpected challenges. So, what are the key things you need to consider when making the move? 

    Conquering the cashflow challenge

    Cashflow is the 'lifeblood' of any business, so you need to keep on top of it to safeguard your growth.

    A locked padlock.

    The funding ecosystem explained

    How to use venture capital and venture debt to scale up your business.

     Plates of blueberry cheesecake.

    A taste for growth

    Loan opens doors for dessert dining chain

    We helped ambitious entrepreneurs Kaspa’s open a new store and expand their ‘sweets and treats’ franchise.

    In the frame

    New technology helps boost capacity.

    An investment in new technology and infrastructure lets Blackburn-based manufacturer SAS Chairframe grow.

     A person tying their shoelaces on a wooden plank with a bag and mobile phone placed on top of the plank.

    The High-Growth balancing act

    We’ve interviewed four successful entrepreneurs to find out how they make health and wellbeing a priority for themselves and their employees.

    Seven things to know about cashflow

    Learn more about this important aspect of business success

    Cashflow is something you often hear people talk about in relation to growing their business, but what does it really mean? From how it’s calculated to why it’s important, here’s a rundown of what you need to know in order to understand, and master, all things cashflow

    Serial entrepreneur and business founder Jules Coleman.

    What I know about cashflow

    Resi co-founder Jules Coleman tells her cashflow story

    We catch up with serial entrepreneur and business founder Jules Coleman who tells us the cashflow story behind one of the UK’s leading architectural practices

    Colleagues having a meeting around a desk in the office.

    Learning from business failure

    Learning lessons from adversity

    Failure is difficult but it can be a good thing. Learning to turn setbacks into something positive can be transformative, empowering and beneficial for your business.

    Planning your business exit

    Helpful tips to plan your high-growth exit strategy

    With the value of mergers and acquisitions of UK companies exceeding £200 billion in 2016, here are some key factors to consider when planning your exit strategy.

    Runners on the starting line

    Survival of the fittest

    What are the secrets to beating the competition? A panel of experts, who’ve all enjoyed great success in getting ahead, share their experiences.

    People playing ice hockey.

    Being competitive in business

    Don’t let your competitors drive you to distraction

    Ben Fletcher, entrepreneur, angel investor and founder of Fast Growth Icons explores the good, the bad and the ugly side of competition.

    Build a winning team

    Make every position count

    Entrepreneurs share their thoughts on leadership, team work and balancing creativity with stability.

    Growing and expanding your business

    Doing well? How to expand

    We run through some of the main things to consider if you’re planning to expand, hire more staff or seek major investment.

    Entrepreneur Tania Boler, who launched the Elvie Trainer.

    Entrepreneurs uncovered: Tania Boler

    How Elvie is changing the way people think about women’s technology

    Tania Boler talks about the challenge of bringing Elvie Trainer, the award-winning smart Kegel exerciser, to market and her passion for technology to improve women’s lives.

    Entrepreneurs Uncovered: Cassandra Stavrou

    How Propercorn went from cement mixers to supermarket shelves

    The premium snack entrepreneur talks about the importance of self-belief when founding a business and how she ensures her company culture attracts a talented team.

    Entrepreneurs Uncovered: James Watt

    How BrewDog became the punk beer brand for the people

    The founder of the fearless brewery talks rebellion, risk-taking and how keeping customers at the heart of his business has been the key to success.

    Winning at work

    Get expert advice and inside knowledge with our podcast series, Winning at Work. Forbes, in partnership with Barclays, brings you some of the most innovative, forward-thinking entrepreneurs whose game-changing approaches have helped to redefine the way we work.

    Entrepreneurs uncovered: Fran Bishop

    How a pair of patent leather shoes led to a children’s wear chain

    Owner of The Pud Store – and Apprentice finalist – Fran Bishop talks about how working as a barmaid and a formative childhood experience helped shape her as an entrepreneur.

    Entrepreneurs uncovered: Alex Klein

    How a quest to demystify technology led to a build-your-own computer

    The creator of the Kano computer kit talks about his fascination with what makes technology tick – and about how to explain it to others.

    People placing post it notes on a table.

    Barclays Scale Up UK Programme modules

    Key areas to achieve growth

    Members of the Cambridge Judge Business School outline the core modules of the Barclays Scale Up UK Programme.

  • Industry insights
    A sign board outside a property that says 'let by'.

    Buy-to-let limited company market

    Room for growth in the limited company buy-to-let market

    Two pigs in a field.

    Supplying Asian markets

    Looking further afield for growth

    A booming middle class in Asia could present a longer-term opportunity for British farmers and growers. 

    Space to grow

    An online retailer presses ahead with expansion

    Online retailer GJ Boon goes from strength to strength with a new warehouse purchase bringing storage space and a clearer vision.

    Two decades of television

    Producing greatness

    Discover how we helped Zig Zag grow into an internationally recognised and award-winning television producer.

    A lady hold a pen and paper with a glass on the table.

    Industry analysis

    What’s happening in your sector?

    Our quarterly roundup of industry news, views and highlights, covering a range of topics from economic performance to environmental issues.

    A mobile phone in the palm of a hand.

    Importance of reviews and customer feedback

    Could online reviews help your business?

    Our survey of 2,000 customers and 500 businesses revealed the importance of online review sites to the hospitality and leisure sector.

    Rolls of hay in a field.

    Trends in landed estates

    The professionals’ view

    Read our latest report on current trends in the landed estates sector and what you should consider for the future.

    A hard hat on a kitchen worktop.

    City Life Developments

    Opening the doors to success

    Barclays funding and support gave property developer and investor City Life Developments the confidence to adopt a high-growth approach.

    A lorry driving out of Metcalfe Farms factory.

    Three generations of farming

    Building a family business

    Discover how we supported Metcalfe Farms to expand and diversify.

    Machinery in a factory with sparks flying.

    Business property development finance solutions

    Reaping the rewards of a shared understanding

    The local expertise of our relationship team made them an attractive proposition for property developer Wildbrook Investments.

    Wine bottles in a wine rack at a vineyard

    Business development strategy solutions

    Long-term strategy for a vineyard in an old pig farm

    Property investments helped Bluebell Vineyard Estates improve its visitors' facilities, to complement its award-winning wines.

    Luxury tipi tents in a field.

    Financial solutions for family run businesses

    Luxury camping keeps it in the family

    A shared passion helped us back Brambells Glamping, to keep Buildings Farm a family affair after 4 generations.

    Buy to let changes for businesses

    The buy-to-let market continues to adapt to change

    Regulation, benefit and rule changes continue to alter the buy-to-let market.

    'Open' shop door sign.

    Open Banking opportunities and benefits

    What Open Banking could mean for your business

    Juliet Rogan, Co-Head of High-Growth and Entrepreneurs, looks at some of the opportunities that Open Banking could create for high-growth businesses.

    Barclays Agriculture Fund

    Helping farmers grow and diversify their businesses

    Our £200m fund is available to help farmers invest in infrastructure, Agri-Tech or diversification into new revenue streams. There are plenty of ways the fund could help to increase efficiency and long-term sustainability.

    How agri-tech can help UK farming compete on the world stage

    Oliver McEntyre, our National Agriculture Strategy Director, explores how innovations such as precision agriculture and robotics can help boost productivity and exports.

    Intermediaries and technology

    How are digital lending platforms affecting brokers?

    Acquisitions fuel accountancy firm’s 15-year growth plan

    Supported by new specialist finance lending

    Helping RPG Crouch Chapman fulfil its growth ambitions

    Buy-to-let investor plans long-term growth

    Making the most of new borrowing options

    How more flexible loans are helping property investor Tom Regis to grow his business

    Eggs in a factory.

    Adding eggs to their basket

    Borrowing against potential

    Barrow Farm set up an eggs business following a 100% loan from us, and close relationship with its Agricultural Manager.

  • International
    The Bandra–Worli Sea Link bridge in Mumbai, India. The city is visible in the background

    The secret to international expansion

    Doing business on the international stage can seem daunting, but for many entrepreneurs, overseas expansion is a vital part of their business journey. 

     Books leaning on a bookshelf. The spines feature country names

    Becoming an exporter

    10 tips on selling overseas

    Taking the step to becoming an exporter is exciting, if a little daunting. These tips from the Department for International Trade (DIT) could help. 

    Workers at a fish market

    Understanding global trade

    Exports and international trade explained

    We answer some of the most commonly asked questions on exporting – and cut through the jargon.

     A small fruit shop in an exotic country

    International trade support

    Backing your business abroad

    Find out about the dedicated support, expert advice and banking services that could help make your business an international success.

     View from an airplane window

    Export tips from successful businesses

    How to make international trade work for you

    Three SMEs explain why they looked at international markets, the challenges they faced and how we helped them expand overseas.

    A woman sorting through boxes in a warehouse.

    Tips to start exporting

    Could it be time for you to start exporting?

    Simon Spinks, MD of Leeds-based luxury bed maker Harrison Spinks, discusses the importance of exporting.

    Road sign in an exotic location displaying country names

    Planning for Export Success

    Make sure you cover all the bases

    Becoming an exporter is a big step and along with the advantages there are potential challenges and risks. 

     Sun rising in the sky behind the wing of a plane

    Grow your export business

    Top tips for expanding overseas trade

    Some things to think about if you’re considering expanding your export business, and where you can get help and support. 

  • Managing your business
     Colleagues sitting around a table in the office having a meeting.

    Seven key skills for the evolving job market

    Preparing for the future

    Problem solving, leadership, adaptability and creativity head the core transferable skills employers look for in future, according to research from Barclays LifeSkills.

    3 quick invoicing tricks

    A guide to help you speed up invoicing

    From tracking invoices on the go to linking payments directly to your bank account, here are some easy ways to help you reduce invoice admin.

    Protecting your business idea

    Got a big idea? Find out how to protect it

    The Intellectual Property (IP) rights of your business determine the value of your idea, so a copyright, patent or trademark is essential.

    Two colleagues having a conversation in a server room.

    What does GDPR mean for your business?

    Complying with General Data Protection Regulation

    Is your business up to date with the EU’s unified framework of personal-data protection?

     A line of printed circuit boards

    Understand cybercrime and fraud risks

    Keep your business safe online

    Find out how to protect your business against impersonation fraud and invoice fraud, and help save yourself from loss of business and reputation damage.
    Explore our videos or watch our webinar.

    A man building with wooden blocks and a pair of glasses on the table.

    Using data-driven strategies to grow your business

    Are you utilising data to fuel business growth? Read our report to find out how data can help your business get into shape for expansion.

    The benefits of a data-driven strategy

    Embedding insights into your business

    The benefits of a data-driven strategy

    How the intelligent use of data in your business – and by your employees – can help you gain a competitive edge.

    A parasol in the sand on the beach.

    Planning for business disruption and recovery

    5 tips to help cope with the unexpected

    Unforeseen circumstances or factors outside your control can hit your business when you least expect it, but you can still plan for the worst with these tips.

    A rack of uniform clothing.

    Business continuity and resilience planning

    Read our latest report to learn how you can include resilience planning in your business’ day-to-day activities.

    Are you falling asleep on the job?

    Tackle your business worries

    The challenges of running a business are enough to keep anyone awake at night. Boost your resilience by addressing these potential concerns.

    Inspiring books and podcasts

    8 entrepreneurs recommend the content they can’t put down

    Taking a holiday is the ideal way to relax, recharge and find new inspiration. We hear from 8 of the UK’s top entrepreneurs about the unmissable books and podcasts that keep them tuned in when they’ve clocked off. 

    Budget 2018

    What it means for your business

    How will the Budget 2018 announcement affect your business? Read more about what’s been released in the latest statement.