How to grow a business
As the UK moves forward from lockdown restrictions, many business owners are starting to transition from ‘survival mode’ to capitalising on a resurgent economy, upscaling their businesses and increasing profitability. Not only does this mean more time and planning, but there are also many other factors to consider. We have put together a simple guide to help entrepreneurs who want to grow their business.
1. Be prepared for growth
“Knowing when to scale up a business can be quite daunting, especially if you have been going it alone for a while,” says Paul Beach, Director of Private Banking and Head of Executives and Entrepreneurs, Arbuthnot Latham.
“This is where your network can really come into its own, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem is full of networking events, mentors, advisors, and peers who have been through – or are going through – this transition. Having the right people around, both in and outside your company, will make a huge difference. Identify efficiencies in the business, including areas you can automate, which will help you spend time on the areas which need your attention the most. In the same vein, trust the people you employ – scaling up is a time to let go of the minutiae and focus on strategic development.
“Scaling up can also be exhilarating, but it’s important to remember why you started the business, what you were aiming to achieve and to remain true to your values.”
2. Find the right team to help your business to thrive
Making an honest assessment of the barriers to growth for your business is key in deciding who to bring in to help you achieve your goals.
Rob Stapledon, Head of Media Banking, Arbuthnot Latham, says: “We have seen many times over the years calls to hire expensive “rainmakers” to help take the business to the next level. Naturally, these people demand high salaries and there is a real risk that they do not deliver as hoped and/or damage your existing culture in the process. Most businesses saw significant growth at the outset because of the skills and qualities of the founders, but over time there is a tendency for these people to get bogged down in numerous tasks and roles that are not necessarily suited to them. Freeing up their time by bringing people in to do these tasks is generally more efficient and tends to re-energise the founders and propel growth in the business.
“It is important to be honest about your skills and qualities, as those qualities enabled the business to grow at the outset. These skills may have protected the business during the last 18 months; however, they may not be what is required to take the business to the next level. It takes a strong founder, or founders, to come to this conclusion. Bringing in a new managing director, allows the business to re-assess and get set for growth. The key is making sure that roles and responsibilities are clearly articulated and understood by all.”
3. Get the funding that is right for you
The correct funding is a fundamental consideration when growing your business. Andrew Rutherford, Commercial Director, Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending: “Businesses have been tested to their limits with the restrictions resulting from the pandemic. Business owners are now starting to see an increase in sales with many companies now in danger of overtrading from a relatively low base, which means working capital is now more critical than ever.”
Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending focuses on growth for small and medium-sized enterprises and mid‐market corporates: “Asset Based Lending is a versatile form of lending which leverages against all the assets in the business with facilities that grow in line with increased sales growth. Having more availability of cash and headroom in the business allows companies to have a competitive advantage over its peers and achieve superior margins through supplier discounts and investment into operating more efficiently, which in turn creates additional shareholder value.”
If you would like to find out more about how we help our clients, you can find out more here.
4. Invest in marketing
Marketing is a great way to increase brand awareness. It enables your business to reach more customers and gain a better insight into your audience and the industry. With the right systems and reporting, marketing will give you the opportunity to identify your barriers for growth, as well as benchmarking yourself against your competitors.
“Although brand remains a central element and businesses need to get that right, investment in marketing goes far beyond brand. The right marketing strategy can also help you better engage with your customers and attract prospects to your business.” Virginie Dafforn-Gorgemans, Marketing Director at Arbuthnot Latham, highlights the importance of looking at marketing strategy along the marketing sales funnel:
“Clearly defined objectives and integrating traditional and digital marketing can help drive revenues. Today, it is not enough to blanket email customers, but there is a real need to understand different customers and target them with appropriate communications, whether through email marketing or using other digital/traditional channels. I would also recommend measuring everything you do and to track attribution.”
5. Being tax efficient
Whether VAT, corporation or income tax; there are many considerations a business owner must appraise. There are, however, many ways to structure your finances to increase tax efficiency.
Why is it important to structure your assets tax-efficiently when you're a high-net-worth individual? Simply put, better tax efficiency helps you to protect and grow your wealth and enables better investment returns. The use of relevant tax allowances and exemptions can make all the difference in achieving personal financial objectives.
One of our wealth planners can advise you on how to be tax-efficient and how to measure tax efficiency to grow your wealth and achieve your short and long-term goals. If you would like to learn more, please click here.
6. Business protection
Often, businesses focus on the needs of their customers and shareholders, but what would happen to your business if a key business partner or colleague was unable to work? Business protection works by providing a financial cushion when you need it most. That cushion may be used to settle debts, replace profits, cover recruitment costs, or provide benefits to your employees or their families. It may even ensure you maintain control of your business in the event of a shareholder passing away.
However, your business is structured, it is important to review the risks and put in place mitigation strategies to reduce the impact to you and the future of your business.
Ensure your business is ready for the future – whatever it might hold. Book a consultation with one of our experienced and qualified wealth planners now.
Please visit our dedicated business recovery hub for more information positioned to help support your business and your teams, as you transition to a post-lockdown working environment.
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