Insight

Is your advisor accounting for business growth?

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Engaging a knowledgeable advisor can significantly enhance your business's ability to achieve sustainable growth and thrive in a competitive marketplace. Whether you’re looking to expand your business into new markets or grow your current capability, it’s crucial to have the right advisors to guide and support you.
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Growth and expansion can lead to exciting opportunities for your business. However, it’s just as important to have one eye on the obstacles that can arise on the path to long-term success. It’s critical to know whether your advisor is working with you to future-proof your business and plan for growth – or if they’re just ‘doing the books’. 

A trusted advisor should have a deep understanding of your business direction, resources, strengths, and capabilities and provide tangible advice and support to enable your growth goals. 

Scaling your business

During periods of growth, your business is evolving and often becoming more complex. You must be able to either scale up or down operations to support your changing business needs and that of the market. 

Your advisor should consider and account for the significant impact that growth could have on the day-to-day operations of your business, as well as the opportunities for growth. 

Can you currently meet the demands of growth? Is your advisor supporting your business to make processes and systems more efficient? Working with you to develop growth strategies, evaluating expansion opportunities, analysing market trends, or providing insights into new markets or customer segments are all ways in which your advisor can support your scalability.

Financial processes 

Your business needs robust financial systems to support successful growth. Implementing efficient processes and the right technology to monitor cash flow at the outset will help you make more informed decisions, deliver accurate financial forecasts and analyse financial statements to identify opportunities for improvement. A trusted advisor will be able to provide insights on cost reduction, profit margins, pricing strategies, and funding options to support your growth plans. 

Whether your growth plan includes expanding to new territories, a merger, acquisition, or sale, is your advisor in a position to advise on and help you navigate the various legal, taxation or regulatory requirements, while identifying the opportunities to drive your growth ambitions? 

Additionally, if your accountant isn’t diligent, they may not be up to date with new tax incentives or funding grants available to support your growth strategy. They may also be unaware of regulatory proposals or impending changes that could close off or open additional opportunities for your business. 

Working capital 

Strong cash flow is crucial when it comes to growth. Having a ‘cash cushion’ against unexpected expenses that can also be invested into the business to help fuel growth is key. At times of growth, you will have increased capital needs – so managing your working capital efficiently is essential to scale sustainably. 

Your advisor can provide guidance on effective cash flow management, access to working capital financing options, and strategies to mitigate liquidity risks. By addressing working capital challenges, your advisor ensures your business has the necessary resources to fuel growth initiatives.

Ultimately, your advisor should be able to holistically look at your business. Can they advise you on what working capital is required to support your goals and objectives? Are they advising you around ensuring you have the liquidity to make big moves when the time is right?

Opportunities and threats 

It’s a given finance leaders need to be across the threats and opportunities for your business. To help you achieve your objectives, you advisor should ask the right questions, prompt your thinking and, based on insights gathered, they need to know how these issues could impact your business so you can be ready to act. 

Every business faces challenges and potential threats that can hinder growth. An experienced advisor can help you identify and mitigate risks associated with financial management, regulatory compliance, technology, and market volatility. They can assist in developing risk management strategies, creating contingency plans, and implementing internal controls to safeguard your business's growth trajectory.

Your advisors can also help capitalise on your business's strengths. Whether through a comprehensive analysis of your financial performance, competitive advantages, or market positioning, they can assist in formulating strategies that leverage your strengths and capitalise on emerging opportunities. 

This shared responsibility is about ensuring you have the right specialist information to equip and guide you in making informed decisions about your growth potential, at the right time for your business. 

People planning 

The success of any business heavily relies on its people. An effective advisor will help you assess your organisational structure and align it with your growth objectives. 

By considering who you need on your team, your advisor will contribute to ensuring that you can attract the top-tier talent or specialist skills you may need at various stages in your growth, as well as retaining the talented team that you have created. When the time is right, they can also provide insight and advice around succession planning strategies for key roles.

Conclusion

Strategic business advisors play a crucial role in accounting for business growth. By offering specialised expertise and guidance, they help business owners navigate the complexities of expansion. From financial management to people strategies, working capital optimisation, scaling efforts, your advisors should bring a comprehensive lens to business growth. 

Whether you need advice around whether your advisor is providing you the right level of support, a forum to reflect on your business’s strengths and ambitions, or next steps, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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