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360 Business Review Service
If you are the owner of a small or family business, then you should consider taking advantage of our free, no obligation 360 Business Review Service designed specifically with you in mind.
Drawing on our experience in advising small businesses throughout Scotland on everything from starting up through to passing the business on to the next generation, we understand how difficult it can be for owners to recognise and respond to new challenges and changing priorities when their entire focus is on running the business on a day-to-day basis.
This is where impartial advice from an external expert can really help – and that’s what our 360 Business Review Service is all about. Calling in one of our small business advisors for an informal, hour-long 360 Review meeting can help identify issues you may have overlooked and the steps you could take to resolve any present problems and keep your business moving in the right direction into the future.
There are key issues to consider at each stage in the development of a small or family business, so click on the most relevant links below for a better idea of what you should be thinking about now and the range of subjects you may wish to discuss in your 360 Business review.
Remember – we’re here to help you find the right answers to the questions you need to ask at each key stage in the development of your business, so why not book a free 360 Business Review meeting today by calling your nearest office or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Every new business starts with excitement and high hopes, but there are many practical measures you need to give serious consideration to if you are going to get your new venture off to the best possible start and sow the seeds for future success.
• Unless you are planning to self-finance the business yourself, have you drawn up a viable business plan – essential if you need to raise funding elsewhere?
• Have you identified every potential route to market for your product or service and developed a marketing strategy as part of your business plan?
• Could you benefit from guidance on the alternative sources of funding that could be available to you?
• What would be the most beneficial legal structure for your business – sole trader, partnership, limited liability partnership or limited company – and what would your responsibilities be under each of these options?
• If you need premises to trade from, should you lease or buy? If renting, would a short or long term lease be your best option?
• What protection can you build into your lease in case you want to end it early, whether to move on to more suitable premises or close the business?
• What precautions should you take before agreeing to a Full Repairing and Insuring (FRI) / Commercial lease? For example, getting a surveyor in at the outset to assess the state of the property and confirm whether or not the proposed rent is fair
You’re doing well and your business is growing … but which way now? Taking stock of the present position and future potential of your business in a 360 Business Review will help you decide on a realistic strategic plan to achieve what you want for the business in the months and years ahead.
• What are the key factors to bear in mind when deciding whether to concentrate on consolidation or build on what you have achieved so far by going for further growth?
• At this stage in the development of your business, should you be thinking about bringing in new partners?
• Do you have a business Power of Attorney in place? This gives legal authority to someone you trust to take care of the everyday running of the business on those occasions when it may not be possible to do so yourself – especially important for sole traders
• Could your future plans benefit from refinancing – perhaps by searching the market to find an alternative source of funding with better terms elsewhere?
• How can you be sure you’re operating in the most tax efficient way?
• Would your business be better placed for success by moving premises?
• Has your business grown to a position where you need to change its legal structure – for example, by becoming a limited company?
Business in trouble?
Regardless of whether your business is in its infancy or has been firmly established over many years, any small or family business can run into trouble at any time – often through external economic pressures beyond your control. So what should you be thinking about if you see the writing on the wall, and what are your options if it becomes impossible to carry on?
• Is it time to consider insolvency or receivership?
• What exactly is involved in winding up a business or business partnership?
• Could you still save the business by restructuring, perhaps by bringing in a new partner?
Passing the business on
It is never too early for the owner of a small or family business to think about what will happen to the business when the time comes to take more of a back seat or retire altogether.
After all, there is much to consider…
• Do you have children? Do you want them to become involved in the business … and, just as importantly, do they want to become involved?
• How can you ensure the business passes on seamlessly without incurring avoidable tax liabilities for your successors?
• If you have no family successors or partners willing to take over, would your best option be to simply close the business or try to sell it on as a going concern?
• As an alternative, how much do you know about the benefits of passing the business on to the safe hands of your staff through an employee benefits trust?
• When was the last time you examined your Will and Power of Attorney arrangements to make sure they have kept pace with the current needs of your business?
Inherited a family business?
However well succession arrangements may have been planned, taking over the reins of an established family business can be a daunting task. Your immediate priority might be to ensure business continuity by consolidating relationships with existing customers and suppliers but, sooner rather than later, you will have to formulate your own plans to take the business forward – an ideal opportunity to talk things over with one of our specialist small business advisors in a 360 Business Review.
• If you’ve taken over the running of the business with other family members, have you reached agreement on ownership structures?
• How much do you know about resolving family disputes or control issues within the business through family councils, mission statements or family assemblies?
• When should you start thinking about how the next generation might succeed to the business after you?
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