Gaining a few extra £’s in January

This is the same for many businesses following the holiday season. For example, companies who operate in the services sectors will inevitably forego two weeks of turnover, whilst still incurring costs. Equally, wholesale businesses will go from peak to trough as their customers have no desire to purchase new stocks until they have released the cash tied up and sitting in the warehouses and stores.

Businesses within an ecosystem of supply and demand cannot be fully insulated from those around them, nor can the ecosystem itself be immune from macro-economic ebbs and flows and political grandstanding.  Across all levels, there are mixed messages that are being viewed by many as negative – such as:

  • Another £25bn of austerity cuts on the horizon
  • An expected increase in the cost of British Debt
  • A potential 15% increase in congestion charging in London

That said, it’s not all bad news:

  •     Figures released on 28 January 2014 show that growth is the fastest that it has been since 2007 
  • The confidence of the SME demographic is increasing
  • Interest is said to remain at 0.5 per cent (BoE Base Rate) for 2014
  • The latest British Chamber of Commerce survey is full to the brim with encouraging statistics

Overall, it would appear that things are on the up for businesses in the UK. That said, it is highly possible that you may need a kick-start following on from the holiday period to turn things around and get back in shape.

Will your business be strong and sustain its New Years’ push to become leaner and meaner, into February and beyond?  And how is that achieved?

The answer is careful, diligent and timely planning – such as:

  • Identifying potential growth markets, strategies for growth and funding required
  • Analysing the working capital cycle and your costs of capital
  • Developing an effective marketing strategy
  • Undertaking an analysis of your key markets and of those around you
  • Identifying areas of the business that can be made leaner
  • Considering if your present business model is still appropriate
  • Budget setting and financial forecasting

The list goes on but of course every business has its own needs, depending on what sector they operate in as well as the way they are run.

Sometimes we can do it alone but sometimes we need experts who can identify our strengths and weaknesses and show us where we improve. This might be in the form of an advisor, accountant or strategy expert – especially at this time of year, having someone to give you guidance on bad habits that can help you achieve your goals in the long run, is certainly something worth considering.

Think of it as a personal trainer; in January we need someone to help us get back on track and lose those dreaded pounds. In business, we might need some help and guidance in order to gain those Great British pounds!

By Jason Brookbanks, Senior Administrator at chartered accountants, HW Fisher & Company