Consulting Services

Building on the strategic services included in our Finance Director and Finance Department packages, our consulting services allow us to provide you with extra support through a specific challenge or to help you take advantage of a new opportunity. We provide the skills of an experienced Finance Director to your management team on an interim, part time basis.

 

Saving you money

Most small businesses don't need a full time Finance Director. You get all the skills and experience when you need it, but only pay a fraction of the price of a full-time role.

Hands on support

With 10+ years real life experience in FTSE 100 companies, we don't just provide ideas, we work hands-on implementing solutions that add value to your business.

Working with you

Whether you need a month or just a few days the best results come through working closely together - at your offices as an integrated member of your team.

Bespoke solutions

We know all businesses are unique, so rather than fitting the issue to a prepacked solution we provide solutions that are tailored to you. The only thing that's fixed upfront is our fee.

Examples

Here are some of the ways that your business could benefit from having the skill-set of an experienced Finance Director integrated within your management team on a part time basis or while you're working on something big:

Funding and investment

Whatever stage you're in with your business, we can help with getting the funding or investment you need in place to meet your goals.

Feasibility review - we start by reviewing your plans with you, bringing our expertise in financial modelling to build out a detailed three-way forecast of Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet and Cashflow so that we have a rigorous picture of how your plans will impact you financially.

Funding review - we then review your existing funding mix, and look at the options for new finance - including:

  • Selling existing assets or parts of the business that don't fit your future plans.
  • Selling and leasing back existing assets.
  • Business grants.
  • Loans - whether traditional bank loans or new "innovative" finance.
  • External investment - such as private equity investment or venture capital funding.
  • Personal investment - such as you introducing more of your personal capital into the business, or inviting your management team or key workers to invest.

Developing a business plan - having chosen the most suitable type of funding, we help you develop a professional proposal - incorporating the detailed modelling and forecasting from our feasibility review.

Helping you pitch - if you need us to, we can help arrange tender meetings and be there with you when pitching potential providers.

Our skills and commercial experience at each step helps secure the funding you need on the best possible terms.

Business Valuation

Having an accurate view on business value can be essential for a number of reasons:

  • Valuing your own business can underpin the case for new financing or help negotiate a price for new investors. Or for more personal reasons like retirement or estate planning.
  • Valuing another business is a key step if you're looking at expanding your operations by acquiring another company.

Since owner managed businesses don't have shares trading frequently, good business valuation involves complex modelling and expert judgement. With 10+ years expertise in Investment Banking and Trading we have unparalleled experience and expertise in complex valuations - so can provide you with the best possible service.

Productivity Enhancement

We have extensive experience in streamlining processes, improving automation and implementing better systems. If you need help getting your productivity to the next level:

  • We'll perform an in-depth review to identify the key performance indicators that accurately measure the productivity of your business. Whether financial or non-financial we'll incorporate them into our management accounts service.
  • Having established a baseline we use our expertise and commercial experience to identify the key opportunities for improvement. We'll bench-mark you against similar businesses or industry norms if needed.
  • We'll develop clear objectives and a detailed road-map for improvement. And if you want us to, we can roll up our sleeves and manage the implementation.

Improving productivity has a direct impact on your business's profitability. Well designed systems and processes reduce management burden - making your business work for you (rather than the other way around!). What's more they are one of the key ways of making your business more attractive to others - often process improvement is the best way of increasing your business's selling price.

Business Planning

If you're using our Finance Director package then you're already in a good place - we'll have worked with you to develop a detailed budget and financial forecasts and will be reviewing them regularly.

But sometimes more is needed - maybe you've got more ambitious goals for your business, or maybe your existing plans have been disrupted by technology changes, new competitors or other market forces.

Whatever the reason - we can help:

  • Clarify your goals, turning them into well articulated and measurable business objectives.
  • Guide your thought process using well proven strategic planning tools - making sure all options and opportunities have been explored.
  • Update our financial modelling to incorporate new plans, so that we can show you the financial impact the changes would have on your business.
  • Use the updated financial models to measure sensitivity and risks - and establish contingency plans where necessary.

Once we've finalised the plan we can help with writing it up, communicating it and developing a detailed project road-map for making it a reality. And we're always happy to help with the implementation if you need us to.

Our aim is to help you move forward with confidence in meeting your new business goals.

Acquisitions

Buying another business can be a way to turbocharge your growth. It can also manage risks by diversifying your business into new markets or product types.

But it's essential that you don't overpay, take on hidden risks, or risks that you can't mitigate. Using our expertise in business valuation and funding as the cornerstone, we can help with:

  • Acquisition search - helping you find your ideal target business.
  • Commercial due diligence - using our valuation expertise to review the company's commercial attractiveness to you, before negotiations begin.
  • Funding - helping you choose the most appropriate funding source and help you secure the best terms. So you know how much you can pay.
  • Financial due diligence - once negotiations with your target company have began and there's greater access to their financial records we can help identify financial risks and arrange specialist financial due diligence reports.
  • Working with other advisers - you can take advantage of our network to put together a team of professional advisers to guide you through the purchase.
  • Integration - we can see you through the post acquisition period. Take advantage of our expertise in systems and process engineering to help integrate operations.

We can save you time and money by identifying and eliminating poor deals. We give you an edge in negotiations through our expertise in valuation. And we provide the support and energy needed to get the deal closed.

Preparing to sell

Most owner managers want to sell their business at some point in the future - maybe to retire or maybe to invest their capital into something new.

There's huge benefit in planning your exit in advance:

  • Getting the maximum value involves creating a business that can run itself, with a confident management team and high quality systems and processes. The sooner this is started the sooner you get to enjoy the benefits of a business that works for you, rather than the other way around.
  • Paying attention to capital gains tax and inheritance tax sooner rather than later gives the most opportunities to take advantage of tax reliefs.
  • Taking advantage of tax incentives around employee share schemes and profit sharing schemes. Not only does this protect your business value from the risk of losing key staff - it brings earlier benefits through common goals and improved motivation.

Our Tax Planning services, Productivity Improvement services and Employee Rewards services put you firmly ahead of the game.

As you get closer to the point where you want to sell:

  • Our business valuation service can give you a clear picture of the value you can hope to get when selling - including identifying any further steps that can be taken to drive up value.
  • We can help identify who you might sell to - surveying other businesses in your market, as well as advising you of the options for selling to your management team or to family members.

You've worked hard to build a successful business - our aim is to help you make changes that maximise the business's value to others and get you the best possible selling price.

Business Turnaround

There are many reasons why a business can find itself in difficulty. Even businesses that seem to be doing really well - growing rapidly and making profits can find themselves in difficulty from over-trading if they've got their cash management wrong.

If you've found yourself needing to turn around some or all of your business then there are two things that can be enormously beneficial:

  • Financial Expertise - whatever the root cause, getting things back on track almost certainly needs the analytic skills, technical knowledge and experience of a seasoned senior finance professional.
  • External Perspective - a fresh pair of eyes, detached from the background history, can bring the fresh insights that are needed and inject new energy to finding the right way forward.

We can help by providing both - giving you reassurance that if there's a way forward we'll find it.

And, in the worst case, where our analysis shows you'll be unable to meet your debts as they fall due, we can work through the options available with you; ensuring that you and any other directors are protected against inadvertently entering into wrongful trading, fraudulent trading or misfeasance. We help you protect yourselves from the personal legal implications that go with this.

Of course - we'd much prefer that none of our clients needed us for Business Turnaround. Usually problems (especially around over-trading) can be averted sooner by helping you focus on cashflow forecasting and working capital management. The services in our Finance Director package are designed to identify issues early on, and we provide the expert advice to help deal with them before they develop into problems.

Employee Rewards

Making sure your employees are engaged and share your motivations as a business owner can be the key to accelerating your business performance. We can help with:

  • Finding ways to fairly measure profitability against individual managers and their responsibilities, incorporating this into your management accounts.
  • Measuring the detailed sales information that lets you properly measure the contribution of your sales professionals.
  • Further developing your budgets and forecasts so that individual managers have clear and unambiguous targets, and so that you know the financial impact this will have so you can set appropriate performance related rewards.

In helping you set rewards, we can advise you on the different schemes available, what's normal in your industry, and on how to structure rewards so that they're as tax efficient as possible - both for you and your key staff.

Managing your finance function

It may be that your business has reached the size where in-house bookkeeping is best, but you're finding managing the process to be a burden. We can provide part-time management of the team, including training and development, ensuring processes are well designed and performed diligently and that you're making the best use of available technology and automation.

Non Executive Director support

Everyone can benefit from a fresh pair of eyes - bringing an external perspective and a different set of skills and experiences. This is exactly what a good Non Exec adds to a board of directors. It's also one of the key reasons we include the Quarterly Review meeting in our standard Finance Director and Finance Department packages.

However if you need more frequent support and advice we can join your management meetings on a more regular basis.