Have you ever considered bringing in a financial adviser to help your business, either for a one-off assessment or on an ongoing basis? Many small and medium-sized enterprises are hesitant about this because of the cost, but if you’re willing to treat it as an investment and you choose the right person, you could make a great deal more money than you spend.
These are just some of the areas in which an expert could sharpen up your business practices and set you on the road to real success.
One thing that young businesses tend to struggle with is financial planning – many fail altogether at keeping up with the projected cost analysis that everyone is encouraged to do when creating a new business.
We indeed live in a complicated economy where there are a lot of unknowns, nevertheless, it is possible to make predictions which help a great deal when allocating spending and deciding which areas of the business to focus on. An expert financial adviser can be a great help with this and you’ll know that you’ve got a good one when you find yourself learning from the process and improving your abilities.
Is your business paying more tax than it needs to? Unless it’s a very simple operation and still very small, the answer is almost certainly yes. Financial advisers can often do a significant amount to reduce your tax burden and they may also be able to simplify the way you approach your tax responsibilities, making it easier for you to handle the paperwork and keep up with reporting requirements as you move forward. Sometimes they can help you to restructure aspects of your business to make them more tax-efficient, and even small changes in this area can make a significant difference to your finances over the long term.
If you’re successfully building up a capital reserve and you want to make it work for you rather than just sitting in the bank earning a typically low rate of interest, an experienced financial adviser can help you to find good investment options and spread your money across a range of assets to keep your risk profile low. A strong investment profile can, in turn, improve your attractiveness to lenders, giving you increased financial flexibility. Although it’s perfectly possible to invest by yourself and avoid any major risks, mot people who do so fail to generate anything like the returns that an expert can secure.
Understanding the competition
The best financial advisers don’t just look at what’s happening in your business, they assess the financial health of your rivals and the market sector you’re in. If you’re in a position to consider takeovers, they help you to identify interesting possibilities, and they can also put you in a stronger position in negotiations by giving you a better idea of the leeway available to the people you’re dealing with. it can be difficult to attach hard numbers to the way this affects your business but over time it’s often where they prove themselves to be most valuable.
Finding the right adviser
A lot of people come to articles like this hoping to find a convenient list of who the best advisers in the business are, but unfortunately, that’s not something that can be done, for two reasons. Firstly, it would change all the time. Secondly, different businesses need different things – it’s all about finding what’s right for you. A good place to start is by looking for somebody with a strong reputation in your sector. Most advisers have a speciality: Lady Barbara Judge is known for her experience in the finance sector, the energy industry and the tech sector. You should also look for somebody whose communication style complements your own, so you can be confident that you fully understand each other, and someone whose track record advising other businesses fits with the specific ambitions you have for yours.
Although it’s not as good as getting tailored financial advice from an expert, you can also get some help of this sort from the government, the advantage being that it’s free and accessible round the clock. The government’s Finance and Support Finder, set up to help growing businesses whose owners are still finding their feet, is particularly useful, and you can always turn to HMRC for advice on basic tax matters as long as you bear in mind that it is not their aim to help you pay less.
As a one-off investment, bringing in an expert financial adviser usually pays for itself pretty quickly, and one of the things your adviser can do is let you know how often you’re likely to need help like this in the future. Sticking with the same adviser over time means you’ll have somebody around who already knows the ins and outs of your company and can deliver exactly what’s needed to help you succeed.