Small businesses require very different advice compared to larger organisations. When talking about small businesses we mean any business with a turnover from £10,000 to £5,000,000. Businesses in this size range have the same regulatory requirements and largely the same taxation issues to consider. Of course there is a huge difference between a business turning over ten thousand pounds and one with sales of five million pounds. However it is only above this turnover range (above £5.6m to be precise) that audits are required, tax breaks for small companies disappear and separation of the board from the shareholders becomes the norm.
Our experience, knowledge, services and fees are based exclusively on small businesses. These will typically be owner managed with direct control being exerted by one to four individuals. Our clients’ businesses may be long established or newly started; we cover a wide range of sectors; and are happy to work with every business owner whether concerned about environmental issues or not (though if not, we will gently try to convince you of the benefits!).
Cash flow is crucially important to small businesses. Growth itself can put tremendous strains on cash flow as debtors, stock or work in progress increase faster than creditors. Banks may be cautious to extend overdrafts and to get the best deals you will often have to be willing to pay suppliers promptly. We believe that preparing and monitoring a cash flow forecast is second only to reliable books and records in creating a successful small business.
Profitability is the key to the long term. We recognise that many owners of small businesses are driven by more subtle, diverse and interesting factors than simply a profit figure at the foot of a page of accounts. We also understand why some business owners are keen to expand their business whereas others want a sustainable balanced business that they are equally proud of. It is however upon us, as accountants, to have some degree of focus on business profits, if for no other reason than the fact that if profits aren’t enough to fund the owners’ lifestyle requirements then there will be problems ahead if actions are not taken. There are various techniques and actions that we can help you apply that will increase profits. We can also get to know the more specific requirements of your business, really understand what you are trying to achieve, and help you create, or indeed maintain, the business you really want.