Developing your business and easing those growing pains

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Transitioning a business from its launch phase into a sustainable period of growth is an area where we can offer full support and help avoid insufferable growing pains.

A business plan incorporating forecasts and careful cost management should enable growth. An impartial review to ensure the growth is manageable and profitable, rather than damaging, is useful to the business owner at this stage. Overtrading or unmanaged growth can put pressure on staff and operating systems. This can result in poor, reactive business decisions being made that do not benefit the organisation in the long run.

Systems

Operating systems can become a patchwork of system add-ons that are not appropriately integrated. The result can be disordered, ineffective and frustrating. This is often compounded by an overreliance on staff who are then needed, from a knowledge and resource point of view, to hold the fragmented pieces together. We have seen these growing pains before in respect to financial operating systems. We can review existing systems to identify any internal control deficiencies and areas in which improvements can be made, and then provide advice on any new systems or offer an outsourced finance function.

People

People issues can become challenging where there is significant business growth. The change can be unsettling and certain personality types may struggle to take the growth positively, being overprotective of their roles, or resistant to embracing new working practices.

Growth in staff numbers can also bring payroll compliance and management challenges; here we can offer outsourced payroll services, or tax planning and identification of reward and staff benefit schemes, including share options that help ensure staff are fully invested and committed to the business.

Opportunities

As well as helping to ease internal growing pains, at the core of our services we offer external investment opportunities, sales and acquisition advice, and appropriate tax planning. On page 6, this is explained in more detail by my colleague, Corporate Finance Director, Mike Orton. We can advise on any growth that involves significant external, structural ownership or funding changes with tax planning for investors and business owners alike inbuilt.

Visibility of a business’s performance, recognition of the crucial KPIs and monitoring of them accordingly, whilst having a reactive attitude to emerging changes can be stressful. The insight of a business advisor can be invaluable in ensuring a confident, controlled step movement in the life cycle. At Mercer & Hole we have advisors on hand to support all next-step strategies; be they tax planning for exit, succession planning for next generation business owners or seeking external buyers or acquisition opportunities.

If you would like to discuss any of the above in further detail please contact me.

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