Steven Mugglestone

The more I learn, the less I know

Breaking News: A firm of accountants prepared to take their own business advice to adapt & grow:

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I have always been told by colleagues that a person who seeks to take professional advice from themselves has a fool for a client, but we have to admit that when it comes to advising our clients on how to survive, thrive and grow in these uncertain economic times, we have been taking note and acting on our own advice.

We are an SME and, we believe that we can successfully change and adapt to the challenges of a changing world and economic uncertainties.  This is exactly what we advise our clients to consider.  So, we recognise that really we should practice what we preach and carry out our own advice for our own business.

Below, therefore are actions a business could take to adapt, grow and thrive, in the current depressed economy, but it is also advice and a business lesson that we have also put in place, to help ourselves to adapt, thrive and grow, and guess what, it works.

Joint Ventures and collaboration

Finding new business is tough at the best of times and the appeal of expanding your products or services can be very challenging when banks decide that lending is no longer their core business. One solution is to look for productive partnerships that offer complementary skills, products and services to yours. This does not need to be a formal joint venture, but with a bit of imagination and negotiation, it could give both parties the clout to chase business as one bigger force.

Recently we have worked to develop innovative and cost effective (cheap) online accountancy systems with Sage called http://squeezeonline.co.uk as well providing sales growth, cost reduction, financial and legal support through a joint venture called http://vivifigrowthgroup.co.uk/.

The business world is getting smaller

International trade, both importing and exporting is becoming more and more important within the Midlands and throughout the UK and is no longer exclusive to the largest blue chip public companies.  Many SME businesses are seeking to offer their products and services to overseas customers and markets. A weaker pound is not a bad thing if you think you can capture new custom by selling abroad to developing markets. The risks, in many cases, might not be as great as you think.  Setting up a sales person or agent paid upon commission and promoting your products and services overseas is not as risky as many first believe and it will open the possibility of huge markets and potential.

We are developing our own overseas support services, advice and international contacts as we seek to help our clients reach valuable potential new markets.  We are also doing this by becoming a member of http://www.uk200group.co.uk/ and tapping into the opportunities, experience and knowledge of independent legal and accounting firms throughout the world.

Sometimes you have to prune to grow

Every gardener understands that to ensure that your roses bloom and prosper you do have to carrying out some pruning.  There is always a need to consider this for a business and even more so in depressed market conditions, especially now.  Markets change and the future success of a business may require concentration on one, possibly new or maybe core area and the cessation of another area needs to be considered for the overall success of the business.  The decision should not be shied away from.  Redundancies are never an easy decision, but SMEs can cut staff as a strategic move to grow the business in a new area and go on to future success and growth. We have faced these challenges, but recognise that those decisions meant that the business could move on and grow.

Do what you do best

Sometimes a business owner forgets what got them started in business in the first place.  The chances are it is actually what they do best. Cutting back on additional services does not have to imply business failure, if it means you are putting effort back into your core offering.  Many business advisers note that it is wise to get back to basics and keep the business healthy during difficult times.

Thinking strategically and looking at ways you can adapt your business can reap rewards for owner managed businesses, even in difficult times.  We understand that we need to adapt and that involves embracing technological changes, which we are doing, as well as providing professional services that clients really need.  We also recognise that we have a wealth of experience and expertise to share with our clients, gained from working within the largest of firms, tackling varying issues and challenges and as hands on finance directors, facing major projects.  But when it comes to being asked what we do best, our answer is simple, “the same as the top tier firms of accountants and advisers, only cheaper.”

Social media, cloud sourcing and network marketing

Some of the fastest-growing initiatives in the SME community are through the use of social media, such as Twitter and Linked-in as well as networking events. Whether formal, online, offline or not, the consensus is that it is still good to talk and share experiences – especially if you are a struggling SME. Networking is an important part of business development.

We take this very seriously through social media, LinkedInBlogs, Twitter as well as directly with our professional contacts, clients and associates.  We believe it provides us with invaluable contacts and resource for our own clients, through associations like http://www.uk200group.co.uk/ as well as providing opportunities and access to potential new clients and the more and more businesses that are considering working with an independent but experienced and innovative entrepreneurial firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers such as ours.

…… and sometimes to increase sales, offer better and wider services, whilst keeping costs low, mergers are a great idea as well, Hayles and McGregors Corporate become MGC Hayles

Steven Mugglestone BA FCA,
Finance Director Services

MGC Hayles, Entrepreneurial Chartered Accountants and Business

enquiries@mgch.co.uk

Connect, call, talk, email, contact us, send a messenger pigeon and arrange a discussion, review and free meeting.

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Written by Steven Mugglestone

October 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm

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