From start-up to scale to exit
For those thinking of starting a business or recently launched seeking guidance
Starting and running a business is as much about you as it's about what you want to offer people. For start-ups we begin with you; examining what you bring, what your strengths and weaknesses are, but most importantly - have you thought this through? Is this a cosy, romantic daydream of an idea, or have you considered the life-changing realities of relying on yourself to make a comfortable living and relinquishing the safety net you once had? An exciting prospect, but a scary one. Millions have done it, two out of three don't last, but that last third know the realities and can help make yours a success.
Then we tackle the easy stuff! We'll cover research, writing a business plan, budgets, raising money, locations, leases, staffing, taxes, how to attract customers, getting your branding and marketing right, making a profit, online presence, and, most importantly, potential pitfalls and problems. How we look for them, solve them and learn from them.
For those wishing to take their small venture to the next phase or turning your part time gig full time
Have you outgrown your home premises or considering turning your part time gig full time? It's a brave move and one of the boldest steps you will ever take in your life, especially if you have a family and depend on a reliable income. We'll examine this in detail, putting you and those most important to you at the forefront of the decision making process.
Staff - Wondering whether you need an extra hand? You may require to hire. Ask any business owner, staff are the number one cause of stress and doubt. Evolving from sole owner to responsible employer brings its own obligations. Staff contracts are fundamentally important - the wrong one could cost you more than just your business.
Taxes - VAT, PAYE, corporation tax. What do you pay and when? You need to do your sums now to prevent upheaval later down the line. Careful attention to pricing your goods, understanding profit margins and cashflow in the present will provide a less anxious future when the tax bills arrive at your door.
Operations - Scaling up operations is a mammoth task. Writing every procedure down to ensure a consistent customer experience and then implementing training to ensure it runs as you want, to ensure your brand's reputation. Even something as simple as how you answer the phone needs recording, communicating and checking it's been understood. It can bring in customers, or lose them forever.
The Law - Complying with the Health & Saftey Executive, Food Safety, road traffic legislation, GDPR and any other regulations applicable to your line of business. We'll go through the fine print together to ensure you're covered.
Leases - Are you contemplating the end game for your business? You should consider it before you even begin. Many things determine how you exit a business, whether successfully or if the worst case scenario comes to pass. Your lease/s will play a major factor. The attention to detail you pay, the negotiating you undertake, and the eventual signing of those wordy documents will live with you for years to come. Get them right.
For established businesses looking to improve, grow or seeking advice on any area of running your business
For those looking to improve certain areas of their business or to scale. Going back over the basics to improve margins and those business owners wanting to take full advantage of resources available to them to bolster their profitability in areas such as HMRC, social media, accounting, P&L, ePos and online sales, adding revenue streams and value to your brand. Maybe you're seeking advice on dealing with a landlord or how to interpret and implement a new piece of legislation or system to your business?
We will examine your business top to toe, look for any areas of improvement or advantages to be seized upon, and discuss next steps - adding another location, franchising, scaling up production, selling or planning on an exit strategy. You shouldn't just be thinking about now and 6 months from now, but 6 years from now. We will put a plan in place to cover whatever eventualities you can foresee, those we can't and adapt and manage your business accordingly. Did you predict Covid and the resulting economic shutdown? Was your business robust and financially secure enough to close and ride it out? At the core of all my advice is financial security for your business and for you. Everything we examine and put in place has these pre-requisites in mind. Because living hand to mouth is not good enough. Your business is a part of you, and you are worth more than that.