Geared up for growth: How to get your business firing on all cylinders

1 August 2022
By Jennifer Priestley, Director, Maple Accountancy

After more than 30 years as a director and even longer advising companies on their finances, people frequently asked me “what makes a company successful?” and “what makes it grow?”. My answer is quite simple: Profit.

This might sound like I’m stating the obvious. But I’ve known countless companies that have great products and services, but don’t seem to be able to make any money.

Profit isn’t just the reward, as important as this is. It’s also a sure sign that the company is viable, is healthy and the potential is being realised, while providing the fuel for further growth. Financial performance is even more important now that growth is harder won, and outgoings are often rising faster than the revenues coming in.

Getting under the bonnet

Why does the potential often fail to translate into profitability? Some businesses lack a clear enough understanding of their costs and cashflows. Others find themselves chasing turnover and market share at the expense of margin and return.

Beyond these common issues are any number of individual stories. The fault lines aren’t always immediately clear. That’s why it’s so important to get under the bonnet to find out what’s running well, what needs tuning and what needs repair or replacement. For example, you can find that one part of the company is performing above expectations and has huge potential, but the cash needed to sustain profitability and growth is being swallowed up by lossmaking operations elsewhere. Stripping out the deadwood would be the obvious answer. But this can be sensitive, especially when this is the core of the business or what it was originally set up to do.

Judging the numbers

Management Accounting is often seen as a dark art. But what it comes down to is the engine check and tuning I described earlier. Typical questions include what parts of your business have the strongest performance potential and should therefore be the main focus for investment? Does your business have sufficient finance to sustain growth? If not, how can it secure it? How vulnerable are you to potential threats ahead?

Who should be providing this financial insight? Many accountants offer some kind of management accounts alongside their auditing services. But what actually materialises is often no more than a one-page print-out generated by off-the-shelf software. This takes little or no account of the ins and outs of the company, nor its future potential and vulnerabilities.

Some companies have Finance Directors, but this can be a strain for many. We see a lot of businesses that have the demand and resources to justify employing an FD for say one or two days a week, but not full-time. Moreover, as excellent as many FDs are, they may lack the helicopter view of developments outside, as well as inside the company. They may also be reluctant to deliver difficult messages to owner directors. A clear case in point would be telling them that a highly cherished or original part of the business is no longer viable.

Trusted partners

We can help. Here at Maple Accountancy, we have decades of experience of helping clients realise their full potential. As a client, we can help you to create a springboard for faster growth and overcome any obstacles on the way. If you’re the racing driver, you can think of us as the engine designers and mechanics.

Our Business Growth Accelerator services are designed to provide the financial insights you need to track performance, target investment and maximise returns. Alongside in-depth analysis, you’ll benefit from advice and support from a dedicated client manager. Our client managers take the time to get to know your business and your team. This enables us to become an extension of your business and deliver what really counts.

You can opt for one of three Business Growth Accelerator packages: Sprint, Momentum or Turbo Charge, depending on the size, complexity and growth trajectory of your business. The enhanced options allow you to benefit from more frequent input and additional services in areas such as cash flow management and ‘what if’ scenario planning. For many clients, this offers the benefits of having an FD, without the cost of employing someone full-time.

Boosting business

We’re proud of the boost we’ve given to our clients. We can bring the outside-in view based on market benchmarking and experience of what works across multiple clients. We’re also not afraid to deliver difficult messages if this will make a difference to the performance of the business.

But don’t just take my word for it. Our website includes a range of testimonials and case studies from longstanding clients – please see our reviews. In coming blogs, I’ll be looking more closely at some of the client stories. I’ll also be delving deeper into what it takes to survive and thrive in today’s fast changing business landscape.

In the meantime, if you would like to know more about our Business Growth Accelerator services, please feel free to get in touch:

T: 01332 207336

Maple Accountancy is a firm of expert Business Advisors offering accountancy services, tax and business advice to owner-managed and family-owned businesses.

All clients are individual, and we tailor our service to your needs. Use the site to find out what makes us different and understand why you should appoint us.


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01332 207336

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