Our recent SME Barometer report highlighted businesses see the biggest opportunity and the biggest threat as two sides of the same coin – adapting to the new “normal”. This involves embracing the new ways customers are purchasing goods and services…increasing efficiency and reach through automisation and digitisation.
Katherine Broadhurst, Partner at Azets explores some positive steps you can take to seize the opportunity.
With more than half of SMEs expecting turnover and profit to increase in the coming 12 months, organic growth could be funded through cashflow. Minimising your working capital cycle to maximise operating cash enables investment without external funding and will provide ongoing business benefits during growth.
Ecommerce has been a significant source of growth in the last 18 months, which increases customer reach whilst also having the added benefit of securing payment on order – a double win for growth and cashflow.
45% of respondents to our SME Barometer survey said they will be investing more in the next 12 months. Some will have upfront requirements, for example for capital equipment or staff which need to be in place and operating before growth is possible.
External funding can come in many forms and has many sources, so it is important to understand your options and what works best for the type of investment. High Street Banks, alternative lenders and specialists such as Propel provide different options to enable you to assess which is the most appropriate for the type of investment.
Buying another business can accelerate growth by bolting on turnover or acquiring the products and/or channels to achieve diversification. Acquisitions can be more challenging than organic growth and integration is key, requiring investment in cash and time to maximise the impact on the business. However, the rewards can be greater and achieved more quickly.
Ensuring your investment is planned in a tax efficiency manner will maximise the profits and cash achieved. Seeking advice on reliefs such as capital allowances and research and development tax credits early will improve returns from any investment.
A trusted advisor, acting as a supportive but critical friend can add value to the process and help you to understand and access appropriate funding to ultimately help you achieve your goals.
If you wish to discuss how we could assist you, please contact Katherine Broadhurst, Partner at Azets on 029 2054 9939 or Katherine.Broadhurst@azets.co.uk.