Business Administration & Cloud Accounting Services, Kerry
You have taken the exciting decision to start up your own business. You’ve got a commercial idea, and investors who believe in you. Now what you need is a Finance Business Partner who knows their way around the legal, regulatory and financial hurdles you will inevitably encounter as you start to grow your business.
Success in business depends on many factors. It’s important at the outset to have a clear vision of the business proposition and critically analyse the assumptions implicit in the ‘Theory of the Business’. These assumptions form the basis for a business plan from which Revenue and Cost models can be created. A Financial plan identifies projected income streams and associated costs. These are used to create cash flows projections and predict the working and long term capital requirement of the business. The business plan will also identify the sources of funds, long term investor capital, bank finance, crowd funding. These assumptions form the basis for making good financial and business decisions.
What you need from your Finance Business Partner:
- Decide on the most suitable structure for your business – sole trader, partnership, or limited company
- Prepare a strategic business plan, revenue model, cash flow & financial projections, create operating budgets
- Assess your finance requirements, advise on the best sources of finance and draw up the necessary proposals
- Establish a good working relationship with your bank and investors
- Complete and file registrations with Company Registration Office and Revenue Commissioners
- Deal with company secretarial matters such as director and shareholder meetings
- Set up an accounting system to track income & expenditure, record assets & liabilities in compliance with statute
We have the skills and experience you need to make a real difference to the development of your business.
- Once your business is up and running, we see our role as actively:
- Helping you manage and improve the financial health of your business
- Providing services like Payroll & HR support and monthly Management Accounting, to support your growth
- Plan your personal investment portfolio, help you provide for your retirement & manage your taxation burden
If you need to raise loan finance we can offer helpful advice and support with loan applications. It is common for loan providers to request financial and cash flow projections particularly for longer term, higher value loans and where your business does not have a trading history.
Before you start your own business you should ask yourself the following 11 questions:
- Why do you want to start your own business? What are the advantages & disadvantages?
- making your own decisions, you can make your own impact on the world
- you can profit from the success of the enterprise
- flexible working hours
- you can do the work you like and pay others to do the work you do not like
- irregular income
- unexpected setbacks
- longer working hours
- you will be responsible for losses
- What product or service are you providing?
- What is your market for this product or service?
- Have you carried out market research?
- Who will your competitors be?
- How will you provide your product or service?
- Does your product need to be manufactured? If so then you will need premises.
- Do you need equipment?
- Will you need staff?
- Will you need finance for your business?
- Who will be your suppliers and customers?
Growing the business
When expanding your business you will be faced with many issues to consider including the following:
- Employing staff – Recruiting the right people at the right level of experience is essential to the success and growth of your business. TOC will support you to implement good HR practices and procedures, draft employment contracts & Staff Handbooks. You also have access at favourable rates to Solutions Recruitment, Kerry’s leading recruitment agency.
- Suppliers and purchasing – Re-negotiate your terms with your suppliers as your trading volumes increase.
Efficient stock management is a vital component of a growing profitable business. Holding stock and work in progress ties up valuable cash, and incurs costs in warehousing, personnel, transportation and insurance. Even service industries have stock issues that must be managed effectively to contribute to the operating and capital efficiency of the business.
Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing will be an essential element in growing your business.
If you are too small to have your own marketing department here are some ideas for improving your performance.
- Make sure your products or services are distinguishable from your competitors’
- Monitor your competitors’ marketing activities, and change your own as appropriate
- Have a marketing plan – and follow it!
- Work to get a regular stream of new customers
- Respond quickly to customer complaints, investigate the causes and fix the problems
- When you lose a customer, contact them and find out why
- Uncover customers’ needs. Find out what they really want from your business
- Keep advertising expenditure within industry norms. Over-advertising smacks of desperation, under-advertise and no-one knows who you are
- Search for new markets for your products or services
- Keep your existing customers aware of all you can offer
- Actively look at new products or services
- Keep your sales forecasts and statistics up to date and distribute them to appropriate employees
- Make sure that staff who come into contact with your customers or clients have high morale and present a positive image of your company and its products and services
- Use your remuneration structure to motivate and reward sales people
- Invest in sales-focused training for your non-marketing staff (show them how they can have an impact on sales)
- Evaluate the performance of your sales team and provide training where needed.
Non – Core Operations – As you grow the business, outsourcing non-core operations may become increasingly attractive.
Cloud Accounting – Why not look at the potential of Cloud Accounting. At TOC we can deliver our accounting services on the cloud. This takes away the hassle of backing up and managing complex databases, worrying about failure of your computer systems. Our cloud accounting facility gives you access to password protected purchase order systems with Creditors Ledger, sales order and invoicing systems with Debtors Ledger, bank reconciliations, full General Ledger reporting with Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet, and all for less than €20 per month. The big benefit however is the always on access by our skilled accounting staff to your system which allows us to remotely access your dataset and fix any accounting bugs as they arise.
Link into a Finance Business Partner – Businesses now routinely outsource processes from cleaning to customer enquiries. Other typical areas include: payroll administration, human resources administration, recruitment, marketing, information and IT systems and goods delivery. TOC offers a full suite of outsourced services from payroll & HR (Paybond.ie) and performance appraisal & analysis (monthly management reporting) to talent recruitment (Solutions Recruitment Ltd).
As your business gets off the ground, it is important to have a strategy for dealing with contingencies or disasters that may arise.
Disasters take many forms, including ‘natural’ causes such as floods or storms, and ‘man-made’ calamities caused by human error or sabotage. Careful preparation will minimise the impact on your business, so you should act sooner rather than later. Here are some of the areas to consider:
- IT and information protection.
- Hazard avoidance.
- Contingency plans.
- Emergency routine.
Remember that being prepared could make all the difference to the well-being of your staff and the long-term survival of your business. Even if the worst doesn’t happen, you will reap the benefits, by reducing your vulnerability to everyday risks and improving confidence.
It is no longer sufficient for organisations to measure just past performance. In recent years, there has been a growing awareness that budgeting and forecasting have become a core competency to plan and manage the success of the business.
At TOC we can help by:
- Preparing Business Plans and Cash Flow Forecasts
- Managing the process for gathering forecasting data (budget, revised budget, etc)
- Perform data modelling and manage complex budget rules
- Manage the budgeting process
- Prepare the operating budget and forecasts
- Prepare reports that compare forecasting data with actual results
- Carry out “what if” analysis with simulation of alternative scenarios
- Strategic planning to enhance profitability and shareholder wealth.
- Advise on appropriate business structure and operational plans to achieve business objectives.
- Business succession and exit mechanisms.
- Profit distribution.
- Employee remuneration and participation schemes.
- Identification and monitoring of key performance indicators to assess business performance.
- Identifying areas where added value or alternatively reduced costs can be achieved
Every business has a strategy, it just that many business people don’t realise what it is. We work with our clients to define their business strategy so that it can be clearly enunciated to customers and staff. It is important to have a clarified strategy so that the business can react coherently to environmental changes. If you are making profit, it is important to know why.