We pride ourselves on “Making the numbers work” for the success of your business, but also speaking in a plain language that ensures you are able to interpret the numbers in your accounts for key decisions, development of the business and achievement of your goals.

It is with this vision we developed our Business Mentoring Programme. Eight key steps that enable any business owner to plan, measure, develop and improve.

In this article, we share how we have specifically supported the development of a service business.

This was a business, by their own admission, that had stagnated, wanted to grow but were struggling, did not know who they wanted to work for or how to build a team of good people.

We discussed the programme and within a few days we were kick-starting discussions.

From the planning step, we identified the business owner’s real reason for wanting to be in business and broke this into short term and long term goals. Using one of our thought provoking templates, their team were also able to identify, profile and understand the pain of their ideal client.

From this initial work, we were then able to agree some key performance indicators to establish as targets for the collective focus of the team. With our One Page Business Plan, we helped to identify the activities required day to day to achieve these objectives.

We then analysed the business to help the owner and his management team to understand the real numbers in their business. Yes they knew their turnover and profits, but we took them deeper to truly understand the numbers that drive their success. For example, the number of new prospect meetings and their conversion rate to clients, plus their cost per client acquisition that was reflected in their margins.

With further measurement against the previous years and by comparing the numbers with similar business in the UK, we were able to identify areas where performance had dipped or highlight areas for improvement, to then at least match the industry norm.

One moment of reality for the owner was when we spoke around the valuation of his business. We considered many of the valuation models and in summary, identified that the valuation in reality today was much lower than he considered. We identified three key actions to help him improve the valuation of his business and give him more chance of achieving that return on investment when he comes to sell (which was one of the goals!). For example, how does he make the business less reliant on himself? What further systems or processes need to be developed or improved? How can technology help him to innovate?

Today, we are reviewing the business and running a sensitivity analysis to identify how further improvements could be made in the future. Once agreed, these will form part of his Business Improvement Plan that will identify the practical steps that can be taken going forward.

Once this has been agreed, we will then revisit the planning stage to ensure the goals and objectives are still the same and we will continue to monitor the ongoing performance of the business and its people. We have just been asked to consider a remote FD role for this business, as they do not need a full time person, but need the expertise to support their team and continue highlighting the right numbers for management.

If you can relate to part of this case study, then our Business Mentoring Programme may also be suitable for you. For a no obligation discussion, please contact us.

Sage Accountant Partner Logoiris kashflowFreeagent