Firefighting: what to do when things go wrong
Contributed by: Berley

Fixing problems

We understand that running a business isn’t always a smooth road. Sooner or later you’re going to come across a hurdle as every business does. The inspirational success stories you hear come from the businesses that fought through the rough patches and came out changed for the better. The trick is knowing what to do and that’s where Berley can help. As specialist small business accountants, we have been providing business and financial advice to our clients for years.

Here are some of the most common problems businesses face and their solutions.

Uniqueness

Once upon a time, an entrepreneur was a rare thing. In recent times, business startups have become commonplace, and standing out from the crowd has never been more important.

You need to understand exactly what makes your product stand out from the competition, and show it to your customers. Perform a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) to see what’s separating you from everyone else, what makes your business strong and what’s keeping it from growing. If you don’t know, then you should be reworking your product or branding until you do. Customers don’t just buy a product, they buy a brand, and you need to make sure yours is the strongest.

Business plan

There’s a reason why investors won’t even consider you without a good business plan. Planning for the future is necessary to ensure the health of your company, and it comes with its own set of benefits. As well as helping to manage your resources and cash flow, they can also be quite reassuring. It’s satisfying to tick the empty boxes next to your goals as you reach them, to know that you are doing the right thing.

The market and industry are always changing, and your plan should do the same. A business plan is not a shackle chaining you to a single path, but rather a guide that helps direct you as you move forward. A well-made one can help you to understand your market, focus your strategies and make realistic financial plans. For example, by looking at your financial targets you can identify which products are meeting your goals and which areas of your business need more attention.

Make sure you have an idea of where your business should be in a years’ time, in 5 years time, and measure it against the progress you’re making. If you’re struggling to look at the bigger picture, seek some specialist advice. We can help you with making a plan and – more importantly – sticking to it. Look at a business plan as an opportunity to show off what you’re going to do to everyone watching, and then prove that it’s a realistic set of goals.

Online presence

Operating a business in this age without an online presence is akin to running a company without doing any marketing whatsoever. It’s vital to get word of your product out there, and the fastest and most efficient way to do it is online.

Developing and refining a website, posting on social media daily, creating blog posts to drive people towards your website, these are all things that seem like they can be achieved relatively easily. However, it can be very difficult to build a following and convert them to buyers without some help. If you’re willing to invest, consider hiring specialists that can bring advanced SEO techniques to help get you rank higher in search results. Of course, outsourcing comes with a cost. We can assist with managing your business expenses so you don’t overspend.

Leadership

You can delegate responsibilities, you can outsource tasks, but at the end of the day you are the leader of your company. You need to set the example, and be aware that the effects will trickle down through every level of your business. Though you may not see these effects immediately, several years down the line they will come to the fore.

Solving a problem in leadership is difficult, because often it requires changing yourself. It’s not uncommon to start a business without experience in many of the associated areas, such as hiring, finance and HR, but what so many entrepreneurs fail to realise is that you can change this. If employees complain about work conditions listen to them, take their opinions in and act upon them. If you find yourself losing money in excess stock, then look at your finances, understand your sales and business months, figure out what and when you are selling. Every successful entrepreneur in the world has at least some of these skills, but none of them were born that way. Starting a business is as much an opportunity to improve yourself as it is to improve the world.

Fix the source, not the symptoms

Many would claim that a lack of cash is the leading cause of business failure, and in a way that’s true because financial collapse is the end of many an entrepreneur. But running out of money is more often an effect rather than a cause: the cracks in a business will show long before the cash flow dries up and these issues are what cause money problems in the first place. The best way to solve most problems is to go straight for the source rather than deal with the symptoms, and business is no different. By dealing with the root of the problem you can ensure they do not pose an issue going forward. See tackling issues as a way of improving, not as a chore that needs to be sorted out.

For those facing financial problems, our business finance solutions can help you source seed capital for your startup or funding for business growth.

You need a hero

Sometimes it can feel like a superhuman effort to drag yourself up and keep going. We know what it’s like because we’ve been in the same position. Berley is founded by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, and we understand the problems facing a new business and what needs to be done to sort them out.

To find out more about how Berley can help your business, give us a call on 020 7788 8261, or fill out our Online Form.