Partner Ian Fraser helps business owners with legal, financial and property solutions every day. So he knows how important it is to plan for every scenario.
The banking crisis of 2008 showed just how suddenly the rug can be pulled from under the feet of even the best-managed business.
Almost overnight businesses were denied bank loans and it was a wake-up call to many. Those with the foresight to have contingency plans will have weathered the storm better than others but the difficulties are far from over : the latest figures from insolvency specialists have made sober reading, with more businesses in Scotland facing financial hardship this year than last.
The statistics, from corporate rescue and recovery practice Begbies Traynor’s Red Flag Alerts Report, detailed 13,640 examples of firms experiencing significant financial problems in the second quarter of this year – up eight per cent compared to 2014. And the warning lights are showing particularly for construction companies, supermarket suppliers and independent retailers.
The good news is the number of firms going under fell by 42% and with careful planning it is possible to future-proof an enterprise and save making a drama out of a crisis.
Pagan Osborne has been advising small or family businesses for more than 250 years and has seen clients through the bad times and the good.
We fully understand the unique challenges businesses face, particularly in the current difficult economic environment, which is why we have developed a specialist no obligation 360 Business Review to help anyone operating a small or family business take stock of their current situation and look ahead with confidence.
It’s important that things are evaluated regularly, before problems escalate, and that warning signs are not ignored.
Things to consider which will help put the business on a more secure footing include:
• Taking full advantage of all the opportunities available to reduce the business tax burden and boost profits
• Reviewing your current business plan and legal structure, thinking about alternative sources of funding or options to refinance that may help develop your business further
• Reflecting on your trading premises and current commercial lease arrangements, including costs and the extent of your liability as a tenant
• Making sure there is a clear strategy for succession in place, being mindful that clear instructions are left regarding who should take over the reins and ensuring tax liabilities are avoided for your successors
These are just some of the points to consider, but every sector and business is different and requires individual attention. Make sure you get advice early to ensure your business is in the best position to face whatever the future may bring.
If you'd like to arrange for a free 360 Business Review of your company, call us on 0131 624 6820 (Edinburgh) or 01334 475 001 (Fife) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.