Make your business an Olympic success

As attention turns to the 2012 Olympic Games, we consider how you can get your business off to a flying start and ahead of the competition.

Getting off the starting block … without jumping the gun

It takes years of hard work and perseverance for an athlete to make the starting line-up of an Olympic Games, and starting a business requires similar dedication. If you’ve got a great idea for a new business, it can be tempting to push ahead without allowing sufficient time for research and planning. However, the more forethought you can give to running your business, the more likely you are to succeed.

Before you get started, you will need to learn as much as possible about your chosen sector, the target market and your competitors, as well as any industry-specific regulations. You might even want to test the viability of your idea by initially running the business in the evenings or at weekends.

Of course, there are many other factors to consider, such as preparing a solid business plan, choosing the right business structure and raising the necessary finance. These are areas where we can help.

Overcoming hurdles

You are likely to encounter many hurdles throughout the lifecycle of your business, but one of the most common obstacles is securing the necessary funding. The key is to do your homework. If you’ve been refused finance through the traditional banking channels, research the alternative options such as business angels, venture capitalists and Government grants. And don’t forget, the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) supports lending to viable businesses with an annual turnover of up to £25million seeking loans between £1,000 and £1million.

Going for gold

Olympic athletes know that it is vital to stay at the top of their game, and to consistently strive to improve their results.

Similarly, once your business is successfully established you should build in the time to review your strategies. This includes anticipating what your competitors are doing, and constantly looking for new opportunities to develop.

We can help you realise your long-term business ambitions.

Passing the baton

The GB Olympic relay team will be under pressure to deliver a smooth transition in this year’s race, following the botched exchange in the 2008 Games.

Similarly, when it comes to passing on the business baton to the next generation, it is essential to plan carefully for a strategic exit.

There are some essential elements to ensuring a smooth business transition, including:

z The founder must create opportunity for those to come

z Recruiting and retaining the right workers is a key factor in succession planning

z Having come this far, the founder should announce his or her future plans. This gives key managers and family successors a clear path to the future and a definite goal.

We can help you to put in place an effective and tax-efficient succession plan. Email Gill Adamson for advice: