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Making your business an Olympic success

April 2012

As attention turns to the 2012 Olympic Games, we consider how you can get your business off to a flying start and ahead of the competition with these Olympic-inspired tips.

Getting off the starting block … without jumping the gun

It takes years of hard work and perseverance for an athlete to make the starting line-up of an Olympic Games, and starting a business requires similar dedication.

If you've got a great idea for a new business, it can be tempting to push ahead without allowing sufficient time for research and planning. However, the more forethought you can give to the task of running your business, the more likely you are to succeed.

Becoming an Olympic success requires focus, determination and a long-term view. It can take years of hard work, long hours and plenty of stamina to build a successful and profitable business - as well as a robust planning strategy.

Before you get started, you will need to learn as much as possible about your chosen sector, the target market and your competitors, as well as any industry-specific regulations. You might even want to test the viability of your idea by initially running the business in the evenings or at weekends.

Of course, there are many other factors to consider, such as preparing a solid business plan, choosing the right business structure and raising the necessary finance. These are areas where we can help - please contact us to discover how we can help to get your business off the starting blocks.

Overcoming hurdles

You are likely to encounter many hurdles throughout the lifecycle of your business, particularly during the early stages. But with careful planning it is possible to overcome these barriers.

One of the most common obstacles facing businesses today is securing the necessary funding. The key is to do your homework. If you've been refused finance through the traditional banking channels, research the alternative options such as business angels, venture capitalists and Government grants.

And don't forget, the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) supports lending to viable businesses with an annual turnover of up to £25m seeking loans of between £1,000 and £1m.

Going for gold

Olympic athletes know that it is vital to stay at the top of their game, and to consistently strive to improve their results.

Similarly, once your business is successfully established you should build in the time to review your business strategies. This includes anticipating what your competitors are doing, and constantly looking for new opportunities to develop your business.

We can help you realise your long-term business ambitions. Please contact us for a strategic planning review.

Passing the baton

The GB Olympic relay team will be under pressure to deliver a smooth transition in this year's race, following the notorious botched baton exchange in the 2008 Games.

Similarly, when it comes to passing on the business baton to the next generation, it is essential to plan carefully for a strategic exit from your business.

There are some essential elements to ensuring a smooth business transition, including:

  • Commitment - The founder must acknowledge that the business has to continue in order to create opportunity for those to come
  • Investing in the best - Recruiting and retaining the right workers is a key factor in succession planning
  • Approaching the finish line - Having come this far, the founder should announce his or her future plans. This gives key managers and family successors a clear path to the future and a definite goal.

We can help you to put in place an effective and tax-efficient succession plan - please speak to us for advice.

Let this year's Games inspire you to go for gold and realise your business potential. Please contact us for advice on finding a winning formula to take your business forward.

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