To achieve success in business, you must be clear about what you are trying to accomplish. Look at the service or product you wish to offer in terms of the marketplace and you can then assemble the components – the premises, people, finances, marketing effort, processes (operational details) required to reach your objective.
We can help you define or revisit your vision and turn it into a practical strategy. The next step is to create a written plan and test it with financial projections – you can then modify your approach in full knowledge of the resource constraints you have to work with.
To stay afloat and prepare for the future, business owners must prepare for all likely eventualities. Actions by competitors, changing demand patterns and technological developments are just some of the forces outside your control that can impact on the business.
One of the most important aspects of your preparation is cash flow planning. Failure to keep track of cash flow and to act to deal with forthcoming cash famines is the major cause of business failure.
We can work with you to create cashflow projections and advise on cash management to help keep the business cash-positive. We can also advise on cashflow software and create templates for you to maintain.
Benchmark your business
Do you stand out from the crowd? Would you like to find out how your business performance compares to your major competitors and industry sector?
We can provide a report covering the major profitability and performance issues in your business. And we can show you how your working capital management compares to your peers.
Benchmarking your business can give you targets to aim for and processes to improve on. Whatever the result, you know where you stand – and what you need to do to compete.
The essential management information pack
So what really matters in your business? Most businesses can produce reams of data from their accounting and other systems but not much of it is usable information.
This service is designed to identify the key drivers and critical issues in your business and build a reporting structure which gives you mission critical information in a format that you can use.
And we don’t just leave you with the information, we show you how to interpret it, what it means to your business and what you can do with it to improve performance.
Profit improvement programme
Did you ever get those reports from school – “could do better”? Well, it’s probably also true of your business.
We can help you to identify the blockages in the processes, the things that make your business tick but are neglected, the avoidable cost burden and the cash lock-up in working capital. And we’ll set targets with you for improving the key performance indicators in your business.
We’re provocative, tenacious and determined that you shouldn’t settle for second best. It’s no good writing a report and then walking away leaving you to find some benefit. We want to work with you on implementing the changes required to improve your profits.
Expertise by the hour
All businesses go through stages of growth and as your business grows, the need for financial expertise does too. But it’s often too early to employ a financial director or full-time financial controller. You wish you could just have someone to help – one or two days a month would do, but not all year.
With our expertise by the hour service you can have regular financial advice, interpretation of your management accounts and a friendly opinion when you need it. Whether it is a regular board meeting or a one-off project that you need help with, the Riley partners and managers can help.
The comfort of knowing that you can have the finance directors opinion without having the finance director means that you can get on with running your business, secure in the knowledge that when you need help, we’re only a phone call away.
Planning guide for the new business
So there you are, just about to step into self-employment. You’ve got your idea, know the technicalities of your business. And you’re comfortable with what needs to be done, itching to get out on the road or into the factory. But hold on, there’s some stuff that needs to be done, decisions to be made about how to trade; alone, with partners or as a company. And there’s all that tax stuff too – the more you ask, the more complicated it all becomes and all you want is to get on.
Well fret no more. The Riley Planning Guide to the New Business is available here. It’s full of good common sense advice, practical information and should be invaluable as you start your business. OK so this stuff isn’t the most exciting read in the world, but it’s important, mission critical information that you need before you step into the brave new world you’re about to create.
Plan on a page – where are you, where are you going, how will you get there?
Have you ever seen one of those business plans, you know the ones – half an inch thick, glossy covers, normally stored under a pile of other useless documents in the bottom drawer? Probably prepared for a finance application or when the business was about to start and never read since. What’s the point?
A business plan is something that must live – be visible, change, constantly provoke you into action and enable you to make clear decisions.
We developed our Plan on a Page workshops to offer just that. An approach to business planning and decision making that starts with a one day workshop and ends with a one page summary of what your business is trying to achieve. The whole process offers a challenging and thought provoking approach that challenges the accepted norms of your business, why it works and what you want it to be; the systems, problems and projects are laid out for you to work on. And it identifies gaps in your thinking, highlights objectives that are unsupported by systems and processes and gives you a framework to hang business change around.
According to our customers it’s also fun, a new way of looking at the business and a focus for the key team members to work on.
All businesses need money. It may be provided by the business owners, the suppliers, the bank, leasing, hire purchase and others. It’s most likely be a mixture of all of these. But for many, the mix of finance is a product of historical accident and not a result of a careful analysis of the optimum mix.
Should your borrowing all be through a bank overdraft? A term loan? Leasing, factoring or invoice discounting? Should it be secured?
Whether you need money to finance a new project, to cope with an unanticipated operational requirement or just want to be sure that you have the best borrowing structure, we can help with a Riley Financing health check.
Survey after survey shows that the number one problem faced by businesses is staffing. Having the right people in place in a business is critical to its success. But in a small company where everyone is busy, the departure of a key person or winning a new contract often means that someone has to be found at a time when everyone’s busy – and then it’s easy to take a short cut which can prove costly in the longer run.
Riley recruitment aid can help you through the processes that can ensure a successful outcome – defining the job, drafting the advert, sifting through the CVs, preparing and taking part in structured interviews, obtaining references, making the offer. And it continues beyond that. You need to have a well-designed induction process to help your new team member get off to a good start, and we can follow up with visits a month or two later to ensure that things are working out from both sides.
To find out just how we can help, contact us today!
Family business issues
Family ownership can bring great advantages to a business – but it can bring major problems, too (see our articles on the topic here).
Management guru Peter Drucker has said that “before the situation becomes acute, the issue of succession should be entrusted to someone neither part of the family nor part of the business.” And not only succession!
We have worked with many family businesses to help with the delicate emotional balances that have to be struck in keeping both the family and the business on track. Whether you believe you need advice on succession issues (‘who’s going to take over from Dad?’) or in dealing with the many issues that can arise, speak to us. We can advise on specific one-off matters or can act as external ‘directors’ through our expertise-by-the-hour support.
To achieve success in business, you must be clear about what you are trying to accomplish. Look at the service or product you wish to offer in terms of the marketplace and you can then assemble the components – the premises, people, finances, marketing effort, processes (operational details) required to reach your objective.┬áWe can help you define or revisit your vision and turn it into a practical strategy. The next step is to create a written plan and test it with financial projections – you can then modify your approach in full knowledge of the resource constraints you have to work with.