BUSINESSES that want more from their bank manager than an overdraft or loan can take advantage of a tailor-made service from Lloyds TSB.

The bank has come up with RouteMap, the most hands-on of four packages that have been specially designed to meet the needs of the country's three million small to medium sized enterprises.

Lloyds TSB says it recognises that 450,000 of them cease trading every year and 45 per cent of start-ups fail within three years.

Much of this can be attributed to the failure to plan ahead.

RouteMap provides not only a comprehensive look at the business at the outset, but regular reviews.

"We want to make it easier for people to set up a business and we want to halve the number of businesses that fail in the first three years," said Dave Shenton, business partner manager at Lloyds TSB in Salisbury.

"We used to have a relationship with a customer that focused on money transmission, lending and products, but customers need varying levels of help and that's why we now have RouteMap and the other three business services."

Mr Shenton, who has been with the bank for 26 years, works through a series of modules with customers, who may be start-up businesses or ones of up to £2 million turnover.

The modules include Your Definition of Success, which establishes what you want your business to achieve and helps you set targets to achieve your goals.

Other modules include your market, looking at the relationship between your business and its customers, competitors and suppliers; being the best, looking at how your business fares in comparison to others; finance, looking at turnover, profit margin, stock turnover, debtors and creditors; 'you' analysis understanding what makes you successful and focusing on how to build on this and efforts, learning how to best use your time and skills to achieve success.

At the end of the exercise, a diagnosis will be arrived at of the issues and opportunities facing the business.

"We ask them what they are looking to get from their business and what help they want from the bank," said Mr Shenton.

"Everyone is different some want a very close relationship and others don't. We work with them by putting an action plan in place and together we work towards solutions.

"These can include traditional products or innovative solutions or an introduction to professionals, such as human resources specialists.

"Our sole aim is to make businesses more successful and help them achieve what it is they want to achieve."

The service costs £600 a year, including VAT, and is tax deductible.

More information on RouteMap is available from any Lloyds TSB branch or by logging onto