Strategies for retailers to beat the cost-of-living crisis

Retailers are facing severe challenges in the current climate. The cost-of-living crisis has led to the vast majority of consumers cutting back on their discretionary spending, particularly for the kind of impulse and luxury items that many smaller retailers specialise in.

At the same time, with budgets so tight and concerns such as sustainability more prominent than ever, consumers have increasingly high expectations of the busine... Continue Reading

10 tips for better employee onboarding

Inefficient onboarding practices can lead to significant financial losses for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. Many employees either decline job offers or leave their positions within the first six months due to subpar onboarding experiences. This not only incurs recruitment costs but also tarnishes the company's reputation as an employer.

It's imperative to recognise that merely hiring employees is ins... Continue Reading

Selling to an Employee Ownership Trust

For business owners exiting in the current environment, one of the key emerging considerations is a sale that helps preserve the business’ ethos, values and, perhaps most importantly, workforce once the deal has gone through.

While attracting a strong valuation is, of course, still a primary concern for outgoing owners, an increasing number are placing greater value on ensuring the business is passed into the hands of a new owner... Continue Reading

Avoiding the pitfalls of first-time business sellers

If you're selling a business for the first time, there are several potential pitfalls to navigate in order to maximise sale value while ensuring a positive experience for the buyer. Here are five common mistakes that sellers often make and some guidance on ways of avoiding them.

Timing Is Crucial: While it's impossible to predict the perfect moment to sell your business, failing to plan ahead or waiting too long can... Continue Reading

Selling to an EOT – The Benefits and Challenges

While the current business climate may not appear welcoming for owners looking to exit, there are viable alternatives that offer significant advantages and sidestep some of the more challenging aspects of selling a business.

One highly favoured option in this regard is selling to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). An EOT represents an indirect form of employee ownership where a trust holds the controlling stake in a company on behal... Continue Reading

E-Commerce Tips for Small Retailers

In such a tough trading environment for retailers – and for small companies in general – SME retail firms will need to explore every available avenue to attract customers and generate sales that enable them to both survive and grow.

For some brick-and-mortar retailers, this may mean exploring e-commerce, or, if they already have online operations, expanding these to draw in a wide customer base and make the most of the post-COVID... Continue Reading

Management Buy-In: A viable acquisition model?

In contrast to Management Buy-Outs (MBOs), Management Buy-Ins (MBIs) are a less frequent mode of acquisition. While this process presents notable challenges, under suitable circumstances, MBIs can be advantageous for all stakeholders involved: the incoming management team, the outgoing owners, the financiers of the deal, and the target company.

This article outlines the essence of an MBI, enumerates its merits, drawbacks, and hurdles... Continue Reading

How to improve your brand engagement

A company can spend significant amounts of time and money developing their brand and building their image, whether that’s online or in-store. However, if they can’t manage to get noticed, then all this work might be something of a waste.

In order to make the most of your brand and engage potential customers, it is vital to get noticed and get the word out about what your business is all about. Creativity and originality are cru... Continue Reading

Buying a business? How to stand out from the crowd

Even in such a difficult M&A environment, it can be hard to stand out from other potential buyers when looking to acquire a business, particularly if you are a first-time buyer. The temptation might be to jump straight in with the highest offer you can muster, but this isn’t necessarily the best way to proceed.

Acquiring a business is no small endeavor; it requires careful planning, meticulous research, and strategic execution. I... Continue Reading

Struggling to exit? Seller financing may be the solution

As buyers struggle to raise the financing needed for acquisitions amid a turbulent economic environment, owners seeking to sell their businesses may find that their pool of potential buyers is smaller and that they are unable to achieve the kind of valuation that they’d expect. In this scenario, it may be useful for owners to think outside of the box and approach the process differently, perhaps by seeking to sell their business through an alte... Continue Reading

Four ways to grow value at your small business

Virtually every business owner, regardless of their company's size, shares a common objective: to expand their business and enhance its worth. Whether you are a new business owner focused on future growth or contemplating the sale of your existing venture, increasing its value is crucial to both aspirations.

When we discuss boosting your business's value, it may bring to mind lofty and intricate growth strategies that take... Continue Reading

Top social media tips for small business owners

As a small business owner, it is crucial for you to optimise your marketing efforts to maximise its effectiveness and attract as many customers as possible. After all, the success – and even the survival - of your business depends on it. The key to success lies in crafting the right advertising strategy.

In today's digital age, having a well-defined digital advertising strategy is imperative. Social media platforms provide a ... Continue Reading

Assessing a target business’ potential for growth

When examining a business you are considering buying, one factor will be paramount: what is its scope for growth? After all, an acquisition doesn’t make much strategic sense if it can’t deliver growth, even if growth is something that might take a year or more to achieve.

Reliably gauging the growth potential of a target business can be problematic, though, particularly during a pre-acquisition period in which the focus may be ... Continue Reading

Getting creative with acquisition financing

M&A activity is one of the only reliable avenues to growth available to business owners during the current economic uncertainty, with consumer sentiment low, inflation high and costs for raw materials, labour and energy all continuing to rise.

The problem is, amid such uncertainty, the traditional avenues for securing the financing required for M&A activity are more restricted, with lenders such as banks tightening their financing ... Continue Reading

The small business guide to chasing late payments – part two

In our last blog, we looked at the basic steps that small businesses can take when it comes to minimising the risks of getting paid late, how to chase up late payments and how to escalate the issue if a customer is persisting in not paying.

A recent survey found that three-quarters of SME owners say that they have cashflow issues a... Continue Reading