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New Financial Company for Small Business Owners

Bridget Holmstrom - Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Finance expert Bridget Holmstrom has set up a financial company to help Teesside small business owners keep an eye on their balance sheets

A woman who helped some of the world’s top hotels control their finances is now doing the same with businesses in this region.

Bridget Holmstrom spent years working with international hotels and senior management, advising how to manage finances and plan ahead.

Now she has returned to Teesside to help small businesses in the region prepare for growth.

Holmstrom has launched BH Financial Tuition to provide one-on-one advice, workshops and mentoring to help business owners and managers battle balance sheets and cope with cash-flow.

She said: “I’m on a mission to get everyone to understand what their figures are telling them. If you don’t understand the numbers and the bottom line, then you could be in for a nasty shock.

“A lot of it is down to fear – but the last thing any business should do is bury its head in the sand because if they don’t manage the cash-flow, they will soon run out of money.”

BH Financial Training, which is based at the Evans Business Centre in Middlesbrough, has already built up an impressive roster of clients including charities, logistics firms and a major food manufacturer. Holmstrom is also advising business managers who may have been asked to manage budgets and finances for the first time.

She added: “It’s very exciting to be now working with small thriving businesses here to get them to a position where they can really understand the numbers and indicators that will help their enterprises to prosper.

“A lot of people set up businesses with great ideas, experience and a wave of enthusiasm. But they need to keep their eye on the finances at all times, understanding balance sheets so they can identify trends and who their most profitable customers are.”

For 17 years Holmstrom worked in the hospitality trade. During this time she became an internal auditor and operations analyst for Inter-Continental, roles which took her across the world to help hotel and resort managers control and understand their finances.

She added: “It was a very interesting job which took me to some fantastic places but I always had my eye on returning home to set up my own business.

“It’s a good time to be advising business owners about finances because we are coming out of tough economic times and there seems to be a lot of movement within recruitment, particularly in this region, which is very encouraging.”

But as a finance expert, Holmstrom has some words of warning for businesses looking to grow too quickly.

She said: “With the economic outlook improving, we are at a very dangerous point with companies more willing to take risks.

“That’s a danger because as soon as you start to expand, your expenditure leaves much faster than your income.

“You always need to be aware of what your cash-flow is telling you and not run out of money.”