As an insolvency practitioner, I can often find the route for a company in dire financial difficulty is quite clear and well defined. Perhaps this is because I have been doing the job for a few (cough) years.
However, a more frequent problem for businesses, businesses that I may not get to see in my day job, is how to make more money tomorrow than they are making today.
The reasons for wanting to make more money are many. Further investment may be required to spur the business on and the banks will not support it. It might be that it is a family business of second or third generation and there are just too many mouths to feed.
SME owners are quite often tied up in the operational side of the business and the task of strategic planning is usually the last job of the week. In addition, the owner may simply be out of practice.
Separating yourself from the business at this stage is essential. Take a good look at it as if it belongs to someone else and find fault or, if you cannot, find areas you would improve. You will be surprised just how easy this task is when you imagine it belongs to a competitor.
It would do no harm to ask a friend to assist in this process. Of course, if you are a hard-working, driven business owner that has no time for friends, there are plenty of business advisers who will accept payment for this service! Do not be afraid of asking your current advisers, accountant or solicitor for example, for some input.
There are plenty of techniques you can use to plan the change to allow the business to make more money. I like to design the end result and plan the path that allows the business to get there.
You could obviously spend your hard-earned money on self-help books. I find some of them inspirational whilst others are designed to part you with your cash.
Making more money from a position of strength can often be easier than it first appears. The ultimate road map to the future of your business will rest with you.
John Cullen is a Partner at Menzies delivering business turnaround and insolvency services to SME businesses. For more information about our turnaround advisory services contact John by email at JCullen@menzies.co.uk or by calling +44 (0) 29 2044 7510