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Your Business Line in action

(Names changed to preserve confidentiality)

Buck the trend - start a business

Our client - Mick had worked in cycle sales and repairs since leaving school. He wanted to set up an accessory and repairs outlet in his home town, believing the time was right. More people are riding pedal cycles and there was lack of personal service. His main problems were lack of business experience and finances.

Our response - Having agreed with Mick that he had a product / service that was needed, and that he himself had the potential to deliver, we worked with him in developing a robust business plan with clear goals covering everything from finances and cashflow to marketing and promotion. We also advised him on the importance of managing business risk with insurance, Limited liability status and correct terms and conditions for suppliers and customers. Insurance. Since he was unlikely to obtain bank funding in the present economic climate, we introduced him to a government back loan scheme with very favourable interest rates and helped in locating a suitable trading venue. He is now well on his way to running a successful business.

Look after the pennies

Our client

- a small, well respected firm of city solicitors whose overheads had reached 75% of their annual turnover of £1.75 million. General expectation in the solicitor sector is two thirds overheads, one third profit.Their accountants were not proactive. So help was sought from YBL.

Our response

- Together we looked at every item of overhead from rent, wages and insurance to untilities and stationery. We also made suggesting as to how to increase annual turnover. After easily achieving 10% deductions in overheads and a 10% increase in turnover, the results were quite dramatic- almost a doubling of pre tax profits. This enabled the partners to enjoy a better lifestyle and increased the overall value of the practice.

Cashflow crisis threatens business

Our clients

- the founders of an established company flooring business. Starting in the domestic market they now work as subcontractors to many of several leading leisure developers. As typical in this sector, speed of payment is presenting a problem. Severe cashflow problems have resulted - to the extent that the proprietors are actually using their own credit cards to pay staff.

Our response

- our clients are typical of many small business owners in that they spend all their time working in their business and not enough time working on their business. They had never had a written business or cash flow plan - nor professional advisers who had suggested one. We quickly identified a range of funding options open to them and assisted them to draw up a comprehensive business plan with a realistic cash flow forecast- essential for the funding application and to avoid similar problems in the future.

Going for growth

Our client

- Wendy runs a successful tea room from rented premises in a lively historic market town. She was keen to expand the business and learned that the two story building next door was soon to become vacant. Her husband is a successful builder well able to undertake all necessary conversion work. Her mother is an accomplished cook willing to join the business and her daughter Tamara budding artist who had just completed a course in complementary therapies.

Our response

- we undertook a SWOT analysis to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of expanding the tearooms and growing the business with an increased product range and an outside catering service. We also examine the viability of setting up an art gallery and complementary therapy clinic on the first floor. We worked out Wendy's capital and income requirements and helped her to draw up cash flow and profit projections, consider what extra staffing she will need and how she will market and promote her growing business. The expanded business is flourishing.