Getting a business up and running is tough. Unfortunately, even once the business is established, the hard work doesn’t stop there. One of the key challenges faced by small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) is how to grow a business in a manageable way that doesn’t place too great a strain on the finances or workforce.
That’s why, when the time comes to grow your business, you need to make sure that you have the best possible support network available. More often than not, SMEs turn to accountants – especially those like Harwood Hutton with with corporate finance expertise –for advice on how to grow sustainably. There are so many reasons why professional advice can be invaluable when planning business growth.
According to the Federation of Small Businesses, accountants are one of the most used sources for business support among small businesses, coming ahead of lawyers, banks, local authorities, growth hubs and Local Enterprise Partnerships.
This result is hardly surprising when you consider that a qualified accountant has years of training and examinations under their belt, not to mention years’ worth of experience advising clients and undertaking continuing professional development.
Taken together, this means accountants are some of the best-placed people to advise businesses during times of change and growth, as they can offer financial, strategic and business planning insights.
Accountants also have a wide range of business contacts that small and medium-sized business owners can leverage, meaning that accountants can act as a one-stop-shop when it comes to any questions you have about your business and how to make it more successful.
An understanding of what makes your business tick
A good accountant can help your business grow by identifying the key drivers of your business. For example, an accountant can hone in on your business’ finances and cash flow and also help identify which sales and marketing channels are the most effective. Equally, accountants are well-placed to provide advice on how to keep costs down in your business and how to keep up with the competition.
As many businesses are at risk of failing during their first few years, having a helping hand to guide you through your business’ strengths and weaknesses will enable you to identify how best to grow your business, while avoiding common pitfalls such as poor cash management or overtrading, which can be very expensive mistakes to make if they are not caught early.
Assistance when raising finance
If there’s one thing a business needs to grow it is money. However, finding the right source of financing can often cause headaches. In a world where various types of financing are available – from traditional bank loans and credit cards to invoice discounting, crowdfunding and angel investors – it can be difficult to know what financing options are right for your business.
This is where accountants can really earn their corn. Leveraging their in-depth knowledge of financing methods, including raising debt and equity finance, an accountant is well-placed to tailor financing solutions to your business according to your cash requirements and growth plans.
Harwood Hutton, for example, offers a service called Fit4Funding, which provides structured business support for SMEs who want to grow but are not sure where to start. The service includes advice on topics such as understanding the basics of business finance and the different types of development finance, how to plan and forecast and how to pitch to potential investors or backers.
Keeping you compliant
Tax legislation in the UK is incredibly complicated. As a result, it’s perfectly understandable that business owners won’t always have the knowledge at their disposal to keep up with various filing deadlines and tax compliance matters.
Thankfully, accountants are here to provide this specialised advice. They can provide assistance with a range of taxation services, including:
What’s more, by keeping your accountant in the loop throughout every stage of your business’ growth, you can make sure they’re aware of all the possible expenses that could attract tax relief come tax time, which could save your business cash in the long run.
Manage change the right way
However you’re looking to grow your business – from launching a new product range, buying a new office, changing your business’ legal structure, or hiring more staff – an accountant can provide in-depth business, financial and taxation advice and guidance on a huge range of topics.
Written by Adam Stronach
Contact us if you’re looking to successfully grow your business
I always get quick, clear and definitive responses from the Harwood Hutton tax team – commercial answers to commercial issues.Robin Berry – Morgan Management
Right from the outset Harwood Hutton gave us direction and great advice – and that advice has evolved over the years as we’ve grown. We’re both medium-sized companies providing a bespoke service – one furniture, one accountancy – and the relationship works.Andy McCarron, McCarron and Co
I’m deeply impressed with Harwood Hutton’s extensive knowledge of tax arrangements for residential and commercial property landlords.Qadeer Ahmed, MD, ABA Finance
They really took their time to understand what was important to us and our business and the expertise we required. Whoever we speak to at HH, we get the same fantastic response and technical input. It’s a real partnership.Edward Finch, group MD, MRIB insurance brokers
I have worked with the directors at Harwood Hutton on a number of mutual client matters over many years. The reassurance of their clear, commercial and focussed advice is one of the main reasons I regard this as one of my most valuable professional relationships.Frank Wessely, Partner, Quantuma LLP
Harwood Hutton never seem to rest on their laurels. They are always seeking out new avenues and ways to improve their offering. A very forward-thinking company with staff who are always well briefed and who approach each task with drive.Karl Austen, MD, Surefoot Communications
We have engaged Harwood Hutton in several areas of structuring, including VAT issues, decoupling an SPV from a group structure and HMRC clearance for a transaction. The team have exceeded all expectations by being proactive, measured and very thorough.Adam Fawsitt, Director, FHT Limited
We moved to Harwood Hutton as they delivered a succinct and professional proposal. If anything, we have been more impressed post-move. They are a fantastic company to work with. They do truly differentiate. They have the skills and capabilities of a mega firm but with a personal service.Edward Finch, group MD, MRIB insurance brokers
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