4 tips for SME success

As part of Small Business Advice Week we are running a series of articles with helpful advice and tips for SMEs. Today, Lisa Conway-Hughes highlights how to help your business succeed with these four quick tips.

Quicktips

My clients are always asking me how to financially plan for their business and the same questions are always raised.   What if the worst happens?  My business may be sustaining my lifestyle now but how can I make sure it also secures my future?  I feel really reliant on a few key members of staff, how can I ensure that they know I appreciate them and that they are not poached by a rival business?

Here are some things to think about to make sure your business is as robust and profitable as you hope:

1. Motivated staff?

Attracting, keeping and motivating key staff may be just what you need to propel your business to the next level.   It is important to find out what makes your staff tick and motivates them to go that extra mile for your clients and customers.   Show your employees you care by getting creative with a benefits package that doesn’t need to cost the earth.   A company share incentive scheme for example could be what your staff need to make them feel appreciated.  Or security for their families should they die or get ill.   A good benefits package may be just the ticket to make sure that your staff don’t accept that job with a competitor.

Find out more about employee benefits.

2. Pension super powers

Pensions are not often thought of as a useful tool to help your business grow.  Depending on your circumstances, retirement planning can be used to buy your office, loan money to you company and are the most tax efficient way of getting money out of your business.

See if your pension can have super powers by having a pension review with someone independent.  If you haven’t even begun to properly plan your retirement, perhaps this is the impetus you need to give you a kick start.

Find out more about pensions and auto enrolment.

3. Bomb and bullet proof your business

You’ve insured your pet, your home and even the dishwasher.  Have you insured against your ability to always be able to run your business?  Be honest with yourself, how long would your business survive without you or another key person? A financial safety net can ensure that no matter what the future holds, that your business can continue to go from strength to strength.  It guarantees that your company has the right amount of cash in the bank when faced with an emergency.

Find out more about protecting your business.

4. Start now!

Have you done a business will? What would happen to your business when you are no longer here? Don’t assume that what you want to happen, will actually happen.  It’s also important to understand your exit strategy for the business and to prepare for the tax implications.  Sitting down with an adviser to plan this regularly will save all sorts of complications in the long run.

Whether you’ve been in business for years, or you’re just starting out and exploring the idea of working for yourself, it’s hard to be an expert in everything.  That’s why it’s a good idea to seek guidance from an independent financial adviser – someone who can help you with the financial matters that are the foundation of every business.