Starting and running a small business is an incredible challenge in its own right. Entrepreneurs have a nearly laughably diverse range of responsibilities that they need to tend just to operate. However, entrepreneurs don’t go into business dreaming of mere survival. Success means growing, competing within their industry, and taking on much larger and better established competitors to become an industry leader.
All posts by Will Roffe
UK businesses are facing increasingly turbulent business forecasts as Brexit negotiations have progressed, and as analysts examine the possible repercussions of a potentially unfavorable deal. The Bank of England recently warned that EU businesses are not doing enough to ensure that they can keep operating in a post-Brexit UK, and that this may lead to a significant loss of financing resources for businesses in the country.
While most entrepreneurs are limited to disrupting and advancing a single industry in marginal steps by their resources or interests, others are determined to push humanity forward as a whole. Some, like Elon Musk, aim to do this by simultaneously transforming multiple industries, while others, such as Boyan Slat and others with fewer resources, pursue more targeted projects with the aim of triggering global change. Arguably the greatest of these visionary super-entrepreneurs is Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, and briefly the richest man in the world early in 2017 when his net worth broke $90 billion US dollars.
On October 5, former Conservative MP Paul Uppal was appointed as the United Kingdom’s first small business commissioner by business secretary Greg Clark. The announcement was received warmly by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) national chairman, Mike Cherry, who has worked with Greg Clark on the idea of this role for some time.
In recent years, major hacking events from the heartbleed vulnerability in 2014, to the WannaCry ransomware attack earlier this year have highlighted the need for better cybersecurity. More than previous events, however, the recent Equifax data breach illustrates the extent of this problem, and the threat it represents to businesses all over the world.
It’s common knowledge that business owners need to cultivate a good relationship with their bank if they hope to succeed in the long term. What many entrepreneurs aren’t aware of, and need to know, is that they might well need another financial relationship to secure their competitive edge. In cash flow situations that banks aren’t ideally equipped to handle for their clients, they’ll often refer business owners to an alternative financial institution, like Fifo Capital.
Cash flow problems are by far the most common cause of small business failure. Avoiding and managing those issues is one of the most important responsibilities that entrepreneurs have, and the one that they’re often most poorly prepared to deal with. Careful accounting and strategic financial planning are critical to any business’ survival, but there are issues that even this won’t help to address.
Though the 2008 global financial crisis didn’t drive Australia into recession, the evolution of banking practices since then have affected how banks interact with their small business clients. Most notably, large financial institutions have competed with each other to integrate technology that increasingly automates and streamlines their services. In many cases, this has meant expanding the capabilities of online banking to better serve small business customers. While many of these changes have had positive effects for small business, they’ve also left some notable gaps.
Businesses need financing for a wide variety of reasons, whether it’s to upgrade equipment, acquire stock, increase their production capacities, or to expand into a new location. Without third party financial support, growth can quickly become next to impossible. Unfortunately, getting access to those funds isn’t as simple as showing up and asking for them.
The capacity for growth that a business has is traditionally limited by the amount of investment it can apply to that purpose. Franchising is a great way to get around this issue quickly by harnessing the capital and labour of franchisees on behalf of your brand. The franchisee invests the capital for the new franchise, while also accepting most of the risk associated with that investment. Financially, this makes growth a significantly lower-risk endeavour for the franchisor than it might otherwise be. Despite that, however, businesses can’t afford to let their franchises fail.