Did your company start like this?

15th August 2018

My son Stuart has a brilliant brain.

Now, I know that many parents would say that about their children, but in my case I have empirical proof. 

He has a Ph.D. in solar physics – something to do with plasma storms on the sun. As you can tell from my last comment, when he talks about his area of expertise, I don’t understand a word of it!

In any case, he recently set up a company dealing with scientific programming, with two of his equally brainy friends.

The knowledge these three have in their area is second-to-none, and the service they are providing for their first clients is, no doubt, outstanding.

But when it comes to running a business….. Let’s just say it’s not their forte. 

Our conversations on this subject tend to go like this:

“Stuart, you need employer’s liability insurance.”

“What’s that!?”

“Stuart, you need to think about pensions.”

“Really!?”

I have drafted myself in to set up payroll and accounts for them, as well as take care of other financial and administrative issues, while the three guys take care of their clients.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because Stuart and his friends are a classic example of a certain type of entrepreneur. 

They are technically brilliant at what they do. 

But the business side of things is not their skill set, and they’re not particularly interested in it either.

Luckily, I’m around to set up things correctly for them. But if I wasn’t, there is no doubt that their business would end up struggling at some point in the future.

Not because they offer a bad service – quite the opposite – but because no business can run smoothly without basic systems and processes in place. 

Systems like - 

• The ability to forecast your cash flow, so you know how much money you’ll have to spend next month

• A process to ensure your invoices are paid on time, and promptly chase up any late ones

• Monthly accounts, so you can easily see where your business is doing well financially and where you’re struggling

• Checks to make sure that the payments you’re making are correct

…and many more.

As founder of Insight Associates, I see lots of businesses that were set up without some of these basic systems and processes, 10 or 15 years down the line.  

They are the lucky ones, because they survived.

But the owners are usually stressed out of their minds, because their finances are a mess. 

Without all those systems, they are not sure exactly how well their company is performing financially, and so find decision-making hard.

They don’t always trust the numbers they’re shown, they have no idea how much money will be in the bank next week or next month, and often they have experienced – or are on the verge of – some awful financial disaster, like an unexpected tax bill.

They don’t feel in control of the company they own. 

And growth is bumpy, instead of fast and furious. The company can’t grow beyond several million pounds, because its systems can’t handle it. 

All that can be avoided, when you set up your company’s financial systems correctly from the start.

But that rarely happens. 

So if you set up your company all those years ago, a bit like Stuart did – with an excellent service to offer, but very little interest in financial management – let’s fix it now.

It’s not too late to institute robust financial systems and processes…

…So you can do the work you love and focus on growing your business, while the company functions much more smoothly. 

Just hit ‘reply’, and let’s get the ball rolling for you.

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