Set up a new Business
Setting up a new business should be an exciting time in your life, it’s a time of new opportunity and of growth. It is, however, easy to get swept up in the excitement and forget about the little things, those solid foundations that will ultimately make or break your business down the line.
Elliot Johnson has over 20 years’ experience with helping clients setting up and structuring their new businesses. We can ensure that you leave no stone unturned, and that all the basic and fundamental tasks (also known as the boring stuff) are done thoroughly and properly giving your business the best possible chance for success in the future.
We will help you:
- Design a realistic and well written business plan;
- Identify and build relationships with key suppliers;
- Structure your business in a way that leaves room for organic growth;
- Identify key skills needed, and the gaps in your own skill set that need to be filled;
- Hire competent staff to fill these gaps;
- Reach out to and build relationships with key clients/customers;
- Build relationships within the local business community;
- Write your Articles of Incorporation;
- Create marketing strategies;
- Arrange finance or investment.
In the UK, 80% of new businesses fail within the first 18 months. With Elliot Johnsons help, you can ensure that the basic legwork is done properly and ensure that you have the best possible chance to avoid your business being just another statistic.
Setting Up New Finance
There are various ways in which your current finance arrangements may be placing an unnecessary strain on the cash flow of your business, and it could be that your current arrangements are a major contributing factor to the difficulties you’re experiencing. You could be:
- Underfinanced from the very start. If you where unable to secure adequate funding at the start of your venture, the lack of available cash may well have placed pressures on your business. Whilst these pressures may have been manageable at the beginning, we have found that they often become barriers to growth or can become key problems when the business faces a difficult trading period.
- Factoring pressures. If you factor, the current funding may have changed over the course of time. The agreement may simply be too expensive or that you are not getting the advance you believed you would because of policy changes by your provider. This will starve your business of necessary cash flow.
- Withdrawal of facilities. Our experience is that traditional lenders are happy to lend when your company is profitable, but often withdraw their support when things become a little less rosy; of-course this is when you need their support the most. It’s as if they where offering you an umbrella in the summer, just in case it rains, then taking it back when winter comes.
Elliot Johnson can help with all these problems. Through our partners in the factoring and lending sectors, we can ensure you have the best available deal for your business to keep your cash flow healthy.
Additionally, our sister company Business Recovery Funding offers crisis lending. BRF give you back the umbrella that the banks and other traditional lenders take away when it starts to rain. BRF makes lending decisions based on the future viability of your company, and don’t require personal or company credit references. For more information call 01491 822 624 or visit www.brfunding.co.uk.
An inescapable fact of doing business is that without a healthy cash flow there is no way of being successful. You may have a great product/service, an outstanding team lead by highly capable management and backed up by a stellar business plan and marketing strategy; but if your money is going out the door as quick as it comes in then your business won’t survive for very long. There are many reasons you might find yourself in this situation, but by far the most common is one or more bad debts draining your cash flow.
At times like this you’ll often find yourself thinking: if only I could get some sort of holiday period from these bad debts, I could raise the funds I need and dig myself out of this hole. So often this is true, and a holiday period from your debts would in fact go a long way to solving the issues. We at Elliot Johnson know this because we’ve been successfully negotiating these sorts of arrangements for our clients for over 20 years. It’s technically called a moratorium, and it’s so fundamental to the restructuring process that it’s the first thing we look to achieve for our clients, no matter how complex the case and no matter how much intervention they need to turn their business around.
You never know how much help you’ll need until you call or email us, but if it is as simple as obtaining a holiday period from your creditors, without the threat of further legal action, then we could have your business back on track sooner than you think.
Manage Your Creditors
In our 30 years of experience, we have realised that one of the biggest challenges Directors face when their company goes into financial crisis is the constant demand to your time made by Creditors. When the phone starts ringing at 09:00, and doesn’t stop until 17:00, there is simply no time to run your business effectively.
This leaves you with three options:
- You can deal with the constant stream of calls from your creditors. Whilst this may buy you some respite from your debts, it prevents you from running your business effectively. This leads to lower revenue and increasing cash flow pressures, which in turn leads to increasing debts which leads to even greater cash flow pressure and higher demand on your time from Creditors. We call this the vicious cycle, and once you’re in it it’s almost impossible to break on your own.
- You can ignore your creditors and focus on running your business. This option may seem to avoid the vicious cycle, but your Creditors aren’t just going to go away. Until you deal with them, they will keep demanding your time and will become increasingly more agitated; all the while interest and fees are piling up and your situation is getting worse and worse. Eventually you will either be forced to deal answer the phone, and enter the vicious cycle, or an upset and ignored Creditor will start proceedings against you.
- You can try and do both, juggling the demands of your Creditors and of your business. The net result of this is neither gets done properly, and you end up in the vicious cycle anyway but with the added pressure of upset Creditors threatening procedures.
Clearly both the demands of your business and your Creditors must be met. It is also clear that to try and do both together is a recipe for disaster. Whilst this situation may seem untenable at first, but there is an answer.
When you engage Elliot Johnson, we take over all negotiations with your creditors thereby relieving you of this major pressure. This allows you to get back to doing what you do best, running your business! With renewed control over your operations, you can raise vital funds to inject cash flow back into your business. With Elliot Johnson’s help, you can break the vicious cycle and make your business profitable again.
You may think that this is similar to structuring a formal or informal debt arrangement, but there are key differences. When we speak about managing your creditors, we are primarily talking about the firefighting exercises that you are no doubt dealing with on an almost daily basis at the moment. We take this pressure off of your shoulders, whilst we look to get in place a more structured arrangement to clear your business of debt and get you back in the black.
Building a business is very much like building a house, in that if you don’t start with solid foundations then it will eventually crumble. One of these foundations is your business plan. A well-crafted business plan:
- Covers a span of one, three or five years;
- Details your vision and goals and how you expect to achieve them;
- Helps focus and develop ideas;
- Helps identify priorities, and cut out non-priorities;
- Provides a benchmark for the performance of your business;
- Helps your team share your vision and can build motivation and commitment.
Without a well-crafted plan:
- Your business may lack direction;
- It will be harder to determine whether your business is on its way to long term success and growth;
- You may waste time on non-priorities;
- Your team may not fully understand your goals and ideas, and so struggle to help you grow your business;
- You will find it difficult to attract finance, investors or high-level management candidates.
At Elliot Johnson, we have over 20 years of experience aiding new and established businesses in carrying out their vision for the future. A vital part of this process is helping them create the clear, well written and realistic business plans that are one of the vital foundations for success. We provide this as either a stand-alone service, or as part of a larger business support and coaching package.
Contact us either by phone or email, and allow us to share our experience and expertise with you to build your brand and your business.
CVA & Liquidations
Whilst we always try and help our clients to avoid formal insolvency procedures in the first instance, sometimes it is unavoidable. The first thing any of our prospective clients should realise is that there is no shame in these procedures, they are simply legal tools and are there to be used when needed. In fact, many of those at the top of the business world have been through these procedures more than once in their careers.
With that being said, there are still dangers and pitfalls that many people who go into these procedures need to be aware of; and whilst insolvency practitioners are usually very good at what they do, their statutory obligations to your creditors can sometimes prevent them from making you aware of these pitfalls before they arise. Elliot Johnson, however, are not Insolvency Practitioners. Our sole obligation is to you and your company. This allows us to guide you through the insolvency processes with a view to protecting your position.
In Liquidations, Elliot Johnson can fill the vital role of being a buffer between yourself and your chosen IP. We will help you prepare your accounts and affairs to avoid any unnecessary personal liability that may arise.
With CVA’s, Elliot Johnson can help negotiate the deal and prepare your statements, giving you the best possible chance of securing a CVA deal you can afford and helping to avoid the CVA failures that are all too common in todays insolvency landscape.
Structuring Debt Arrangements
Contrary to popular belief, most directors of companies in crisis situations fully intend to pay off their debts. The problem comes when the debts mount up, and the demands for payment are coming in thick and fast. When you find yourself in this situation there is often very little you can do to get out of it, no matter what your intentions.
Pressure is the key issue here, pressure created by multiple payment deadlines that your cash flow simply does not allow you to fulfil. Even if you do manage to pay some of your creditors off, this can decimate your cash flow and leave you in a worse position than you started. This pressure prevents you from running your business effectively and the decreased cash flow prevents you from getting in stock and supplies, which in turn creates more debt and even more pressure. Sometimes all you need is some breathing space, a relief from the pressure and a little more time and money to get everything sorted.
At Elliot Johnson, our negotiators are experts at getting you this breathing space and this extra time. By talking directly to your creditors, we can negotiate a restructured arrangement; whether this is through an informal arrangement or a more formal CVA. Your money won’t go out as soon as it comes in anymore, and the relief will allow you to get back to business proper. You’ll be able to bring in more funds and eventually pay off your debts. With our help, you can turn the situation around, and run a profitable business again.