In business as in life no one person can be all things to all people. Business owners often find themselves thinly spread as they try to cover all bases, particularly those in the small or medium sized enterprises (SME) sector. Your business may be at a transition stage in its growth cycle whereby you no longer have the time to cover all functions but don’t require someone senior full time. This is where we can help.
At AHK we have significant experience in providing strategic advice to business owners from various sectors across a wide range of topics. Our services range from providing scheduled support on a regular basis (e.g. one day a week) to call-off support if you want a sounding board for new ideas or simply to talk something through before important business decisions are made.
In the current economic climate, businesses across a wide range of sectors are experiencing tough trading conditions and finding themselves in financial difficulties. Often these are businesses that have solid underlying fundamentals but circumstances have moved against them, sometimes through no fault of their own.
The most importance step for businesses that find themselves in this position is to seek professional advice, and the earlier the better. No business likes to find themselves in this position but the longer they fail to recognise or accept the difficulties they face the more difficult it becomes to turn the business around.
At AHK we have a wealth of experience in all aspects of restructuring across a wide range of sectors. Once contacted we aim to quickly identify the problem areas and placate any pressing creditors (e.g. bank, HMRC, suppliers). We will work alongside management to develop separate solutions for the short, medium and long term whilst negotiating with creditors in tandem. Our ultimate objective will be to put the business back on a solid footing for the benefit of all stakeholders.
The world of finance has changed dramatically since the financial crisis and the days of easy credit are gone. However that does not mean that there isn’t credit available, it means businesses have to get smarter when applying for finance and also explore alternative sources of finance if traditional sources are no longer available or are prohibitively expensive.
Other businesses may already have finance in place but its structure is no longer suitable for their requirements. Time and time again we see businesses with inappropriate finance arrangements in place, whether it be using overdrafts instead of term loans, taking on expensive credit instead of using cash reserves, or having multiple finance arrangements when they could be consolidated into a simple solution.
At AHK we can assist you with your financing needs by reviewing your situation, advising on suitable financial structures, source finance from our extensive network of contacts and assist in preparing supporting information for the lender in an appropriate format that ‘ticks their boxes’. Our ultimate aim is to put in place a financing solution that meets your requirements whilst minimising your risk and saving you money!
Cash Flow Management
‘Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity but cash is king’ – never has this saying been more true than in recent times where lack of cash liquidity has seen many businesses go to the wall.
You pay bills out of cash, not profit and so it is very important that businesses understand and carefully manage their working capital requirements (i.e. day to day funding needs). Indeed, working capital can often be businesses cheapest source of finance and having too much money tied up in Debtors and Stock can be inefficient and expensive. At AHK we will help you understand the working capital cycle of your business and work with you to optimise your levels of stock, debtors and creditors.
If the business is under significant cash pressure we can help you negotiate with your creditors. We can assist you in preparing daily, weekly or monthly cash flow templates to ensure you understand what funds are available to pay creditors and enable you to agree payment plans that are robust and realistic.
Like business plans, financial projections are an absolute must for anyone thinking of starting up a business or for any business that is serious about its growth ambitions and want to succeed in the current economic environment. Short term thinking can result in quick gains followed by a lot of pain as is all to evidence in the banking sector at present.
If you are planning to expand your business, enter new markets or undertake large capital expenditure programmes it is critical you understand the financial requirements and implications of such plans. Financial projections are also a great budgeting tool which you can use to compare against actual performance and understand any variances.
At AHK we will assist you in preparing a set of financial projections that will enable you to make informative decisions about starting up or expanding your business. All our projections are built from the ground up and so will be totally bespoke to your business. They are also very user friendly so you can try out different scenarios on your own (basic computer competency required!).
Like financial projections, preparing a business plan is an important step for anyone starting a new business or undertaking major changes to an existing business. Aside from the important benefits it brings to you, often they are a pre-requisite when seeking grant or bank funding.
A well prepared business plan will focus the mind and ensure no pieces of the jigsaw are missing. It should set clear objectives; identify areas of risk and mitigate against these; identify customers, suppliers, competition; help determine pricing levels and most importantly give your business the best chance of success.
At AHK we have the knowledge and expertise to ensure your business plan covers all key areas and provides a robust platform to launch your business from.