Frequently Asked Questions
Unsurprisingly, many of the questions we are currently being asked relate to steering a business through the COVID19 pandemic and resultant recession, and you will find more about this on our Business Rescue page. However, many successful businesses were actually established in a recession – FedEx, Groupon and Microsoft to name but a few – so we make no apologies for gearing our Q&A page as much towards start-ups as to problem solving, and even including some questions around potential growth!
“The optimist sees opportunity in every danger; the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity.”
– (Sir Winston S. Churchill)
Your Business Plan is the most important part of your business. It is the road map or blueprint for your business and will be thoroughly examined by prospective lenders or investors. It should therefore be a comprehensive document that provides a detailed description of your business idea and how you intend to bring it to market. It must contain the personal background, experience and specialist knowledge of all partners, directors or key personnel and demonstrate an understanding of business concepts such as market awareness. It should also contain detailed financial forecasts if investment or borrowing of any nature is required.
There are plenty of template Business Plans available free of charge on the internet and you could try to write a Business Plan yourself. Indeed, if you feel confident in your writing abilities I would encourage you to formulate the basis of a plan. However, I would strongly recommend that your final Business Plan be written by a professional who will be able to ensure that it contains everything necessary to convince an investor or lender that you are a good risk. Even if you do not intend to apply for funding it would still be beneficial to use the services of a professional to make sure you have covered all bases and included things like a full SWOT (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats) analysis and disaster recovery plan, as this will give you the best possible chance of your business venture succeeding.
The full amount of research necessary will depend upon the type of business you want to go into. For example, if your business involves manufacturing your initial research should concentrate on whether it is worthwhile manufacturing your product yourself or whether it would be better initially to look at finding a company to manufacture it for you. The generic research applicable for all businesses is the SWOT analysis. This should include an assessment of the competition you will face and will help you determine whether your idea is likely to be profitable.
There are a number of government backed schemes available such as Bounce Back loans and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). We will help you to source a lender through one of these schemes if they are appropriate to you. There are also traditional funding methods available if your business requires additional financial assistance. We will work with you to examine all the options available to you to ensure your business has the best possible chance of surviving the pandemic. Be aware that borrowing on its own is not necessarily the best way to ensure survival. We can also look to implement cost cutting and other measures to reduce overheads to a sustainable level until such time as trading conditions improve.
Corporate financial planning and commercial mortgages are an integral part of our services and we will source a suitable lending partner for your business based upon your circumstances, aims and objectives.
There is no set formula to say what your annual spend should be but it is generally accepted that a business should spend between 6% and 10% of annual turnover on marketing activities. A new business may spend significantly more in the first couple of years and an existing business can also spend significantly more to promote the launch of a new product or service. The important thing is to set a budget, stick to it and monitor the return on investment as much as possible. Targeted advertising will allow you to work out an actual return on investment, but it is harder to gauge the effectiveness of generic marketing expenditure. Be careful not to let your desire to promote your business become a drain on your financial resources.
The recruitment of staff members is very much down to the individual business owners, but we can help in the selection process by partnering you with an HR (Human Resources) specialist. Once your team is in place we can then create and deliver a bespoke induction and sales training programme to ensure your products and services are promoted and sold in line with your company’s expectations and requirements.
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Have any questions about our service? We would love to hear more about your business and help fulfil it’s potential.