Planning

The is4profit planning section contains guides and articles to help small business owners with every element of their strategic planning, from creating an effective business plan to managing risk and preparing for growth.

Should You Franchise Your Business?

Should You Franchise Your Business?

Simply put, franchising is a business model which looks to expand a business idea and its goodwill by licensing the right to use its trademarks (IP) and brand to an independent entity whilst also providing an operating system and support.  There are many benefits to franchising but what is involved and is it the right option for you? Why would you franchise your business? It can be an effective way to grow your business brand when you do not have the capital or personnel to expand yourself. Accordingly, a franchisor can indirectly invest in its business and spread the financial risk, but share the gains and knowledge of a successful commercial idea. As such franchising can be a very cost-effective route for scaling-up a business, provided that you can demonstrate that your business is succ... »

Accessing and Maximising Entrepreneurs Relief On A Company Sale

Accessing and Maximising Entrepreneurs Relief On A Company Sale

It is often on a disposal of a business where tax considerations can have a considerable impact and with good planning, business owners can achieve a tax efficient exit. Entrepreneurs relief (“ER”) is often the key consideration for shareholders in achieving such a tax efficient exit and this article summarises some of the common tax issues and opportunities that business owners should consider in preparing for an exit. Entrepreneurs relief – what is it? ER provides for a 10% rate of capital gains tax on qualifying disposals up to a lifetime limit of £10m. This is clearly an attractive rate of tax for UK resident individuals and ensuring that this relief can be utilised as well as maximising use of the lifetime limit are key considerations to business owners on an exit. Accessing entrepren... »

How to Create a Culture of Innovation

How to Create a Culture of Innovation

Innovation can be surprisingly easy to cultivate, provided that you’re giving it the conditions it needs to thrive. Without innovation, any business will be left in the dust. The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity, and the seeds you need to plant may already be dormant in the minds of your employees. By making small changes that encourage a creative mindset, your employees will naturally feel compelled to share their ideas. Keep the conversation channels open If you want the gears in someone’s brain to turn, you’ll need to ask them questions. If workplace conversation is strictly limited to the tasks that need to be completed, no one will be inspired to explore new possibilities. Keep everyone talking. Have meetings frequently, and encourage feedback. Show your employees that the... »

Small Business Expansion: A Checklist

Small Business Expansion: A Checklist

When running a small business, it is hard to determine what is important and whether the costs are justified. As you look for investment or begin to scale up, these issues can become ever more important and may slow your development down. There are several things every business should have in place, regardless of its infancy and these are just some of the key factors to consider: Good advisors Paying for a good lawyer and accountant often seems a lot when you first start out, but they can save you much more in the long run. When you are ready to invite in investment, expand or sell your business their paperwork is absolutely the key to your success. Choose those advisors carefully though because they must understand you and your sector. If you need specialist advice, make sure they have ex... »

A Beginner’s Guide to Business Energy Buying

A Beginner’s Guide to Business Energy Buying

Whether you’re a business owner just starting out, or an already-established small business considering switching energy suppliers, getting to grips with energy buying if you haven’t done so before can be a difficult and time consuming process. For example, data from Utilitywise found that one in five business owners struggle to understand their energy bills. The survey revealed that 23% of business owners don’t double check the accuracy of their bill due to time constraints and a further 23% simply trust that it’s accurate even without multiple checks. Many small business owners simply don’t know where to begin. There are four key areas that small businesses should consider as a starting point to better energy buying and these are: comparing prices and charges; evaluating service levels; ... »

How to Handle a Period of Growth in Your Business

How to Handle a Period of Growth in Your Business

So you’re experiencing a growth period in your business. A new product launch was successful, marketing continues to generate profits and sales hit the roof as you take on more high value clients. This is promising sign that your business has done something right. You are profitable and on the road to high flying success, congratulations. Things may operate smoothly at this time but with the growing number of enquiries building up and your customer base expanding, an inevitable question presents itself… Is your company ready to face these challenges and, if not, how can you overcome them to sustain long-term growth? At this point there are several steps you can take, as the business owner, to ensure the day-to-day running of your business operates smoothly. Step 1. Avoid potential pitfalls... »

How to Create Long-Term Value in Your Business

How to Create Long-Term Value in Your Business

When running a business, it can often feel like you spend all of your time on day-to-day tasks, focusing on making instant decisions to deal with problems as they arise. However, to truly add value in your business, you need to take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and assess what you can do to achieve real growth. Of course, this is easier said than done; but this article should give you an idea of where to start. What is a valuable business? A truly valuable business is normally a perfect combination of three elements; Growth Profitability Security To achieve this ‘holy trinity’, it is normally necessary to plan a medium- or long-term strategy; creating value in the short term will usually need outside investment. However, despite these three elements providing the cornerstone of... »

3 Major Challenges for Businesses Going Global (and How to Overcome Them)

3 Major Challenges for Businesses Going Global (and How to Overcome Them)

If you’ve seen a measure of success locally, it might be time you consider taking your small business further. Operating internationally is exciting and provides countless new opportunities. Going global gives you access to faster growth, diversification, and a much wider customer base. But going global comes with many challenges, some of which might offset the gain. You need to know if your company is ready to face those challenges, and how to overcome them when you do. Is your small business ready to go global? Deciding whether your small business is ready to go global will take a lot of insight into both your business and the international markets. The following questions can serve as a guideline in making your decision. Have I built a solid foundation at home? If your answer to t... »

How to Develop a New Product: A Guide for Small Businesses

How to Develop a New Product: A Guide for Small Businesses

Constant innovation is the key to staying ahead of your competitors as a business. When you think you have hit upon the next big idea for a product, it is tempting to rush through the development process in order to see it hit the market as soon as possible; but this stage needs to be carefully planned, in order to minimise the inevitable risks to your business. It is important to note that a ‘product’ a company offers does not have to be a physical good; whether it is a new insurance package or windscreen wiper, the development principles are the same. In this article, we assume you have already hit upon inspiration for a new product; it is not a briefing on coming up with an idea, but rather a guide to the equally challenging process of bringing it to market. Can I bring my idea to marke... »

A Small Business Guide to ISO 9000

A Small Business Guide to ISO 9000

ISO 9000, a series of standards for the manufacturing and service industries, can help your business greatly. Not only can you use the industry-wide standards to improve upon your own processes, you can improve your image amongst current and future customers too. If this is the first time you’ve heard of ISO 9000 – or ISO 9001, the standard against which your business will be certified – never fear. In this article we explain exactly what this set of standards is, outline the benefits it could bring to your business, and go through some of the costs entailed in setting up such a system. What is ISO 9000 and what are its benefits? Set up by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), ISO 9000 is by far the most widely recognised set of quality assurance standards in the world,... »

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