Marginal Gains

Forget January tax mayhem and focus on financial planning

As you all know we had a big push to make our January; and that of our client’s, so very different many others who might be scrambling around looking for paperwork and panicking over what tax is due and whether they can afford it.

One final comment on the note of tax returns; watch out for the change in penalty structure kicking in very soon whereby more information can be found here.

We want you to look forward towards the end of the current tax year so are thinking of 5 April 2022 and putting our efforts and thoughts into focusing how we better get money out of the business for YOU rather than focusing on pleasing the tax man this month.

We’ll soon be sharing some food for thought but if you want early access and want to be ahead of the game with this exercise then get in touch with your account manager today.

Operationally

So COVID is still lingering but there is; albeit limited, still some support out there with local councils expected to see the financial support come through imminently and more information can be found here.

Ignoring COVID for a minute, when was the last time you reviewed your suppliers and considered:

  1. What do you need to cut
  2. What do you need more from i.e. ask for early payment discount or even cash back
  3. What do you need to spend more on to generate more value

One client alone this week has taken step 2 and will save £000’s this year as a result of one single conversation!

Those business new years resolutions already suffering?

Be it individually; or as a business, we all need routine and accountability and I’m sure we can all relate to that from a fitness perspective.

Once you have both – BOOM!

Get in touch with your accountancy manager if you want help overcoming the January blues with some very quick and easy strategies to help you do so.

P.S. They do not involve meditation though I believe that also might be useful.

P.S. More information on our
client awards very soon …

Marginal gain %

Marginal gains – 1% can be all that it takes! (Part 1 of 2)

When Sir David Brailsford took over the British Cycling team in 2002 as performance director, we had only won 1 gold medal in our 67-year history.  Add to that, in 110 years, no British cyclist had ever won the Tour de France and top bike manufacturers refused to sell bikes to the team for fear that it would damage the company’s reputation!

All of that changed from 2004 onwards when the British Cycling team won two golds at the Athens Olympics followed by 7 out of 10 gold medals at both the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and London in 2012.

British Cycling riders then went on to dominate the Tour de France, winning six of the following seven Tour De France.

Improve component parts

This extraordinary success has been well documented but how did they achieve it?

Sir David Brailsford was credited with introducing one the most talked about ingredient of this success – the philosophy of ‘marginal gains’. By breaking down everything that went into competitive cycling and finding ways to make small, 1% marginal gains to every component part, an aggregated increase in overall performance was achieved.

Marginal business gains

What worked for the British Olympic Cycling team can also work for you and your business.  Not by breaking down everything that goes into competitive cycling, but by breaking down everything that goes into running a successful business and finding ways to make small, 1% marginal gains that lend towards success.

We have been practicing this philosophy in business ourselves for several years and we bring the approach to life in the different elements of our ‘Insight’ client support package.  Brailsford used data to analyse and redesign the bike seats to make them more comfortable, whilst discovering that rubbing alcohol onto the tires would give a better grip. He re-imagined the secondary impact that small actions could have.

Reimagine your business insights

Now imagine you started looking at your numbers slightly different and made some minor changes to the way you think about them i.e., rather than looking at staff as an expense, consider them a knowledge base upon which you can quickly establish flaws in processes that with improvement, could improve profitability.

We applied this scenario to our own business by internally drilling down to profitability per transaction for work completed. But we didn’t stop there, because we went on to look at the staff member doing the job, the industry in which the client was based, the nature in which the work was received and time of the month it was received i.e., was it always at the end of month?

There were so many areas ripe for subtle changes right at our fingertips that might be otherwise be ignored because of their minimal isolated benefit. But by combining multiple improvements together, the impact began to feel more monumental.

Facing realities

We had to really challenge ourselves as well and face some brutal realities. For example, by tracking phone calls we were able to identify and develop significant improvements to the way clients were handled. By enabling the team to answer queries at the first point of call, we gained both time and cost efficiency as well as alleviating the frustration of being passed around for the client – just being honest! We also started adding more answers to the most commonly asked questions on our website to reduce phone call volume and move towards the ambition of delivering a hybrid 24/7 service for clients for time when the office is closed.

Where are your 1% improvements?

What information do you already have at your fingertips which; with some assistance, you could turn into 1% improvements in your business? Sometimes you just need a fresh approach or new set of eyes to help build out and identify the key metrics and drivers within your business that are most likely to identify change that will help drive your business forward.

Marginal Gains facing up to a new set of challenges

Clearer skies?


As the clearer skies but colder days approach, business owners are now facing up to a new set of challenges.

For those who engage us to do you bookkeeping, you will notice that we are tweaking this service offering to reflect this by providing some further insights upon completion of your bookkeeping work.

This should hopefully help you spot opportunities and have more valuable conversations with you account manager should you wish to as we look to make our clients more resilient to whatever might lie ahead.

Take a look at one of our latest blogs here whereby we stress the importance of the data right at your finger tips.

Aside from this, with furlough having ended and repayments for Government-backed loans having commenced, we must now start taking action with us sharing more insights below.

Marginal gains are the way forward

Workshops

We recognise that the business world has changed massively; and potentially never more so than over the past 18 months or so and we want to help you make some small subtle changes in your business.

In order to do this, we will be running a series of workshops starting in January that take you from extracting more from your existing business to having it exit ready as you are potentially sat on a rough diamond; that with a little polishing, could be something very special.

If you want more details just click below.

I’d love to know more about the workshops

Finance

Having access to enough cash is always quite high on the agenda and this month we are sharing more insights around the Business Recovery Loan Scheme.

For a summary at a glance click here or alternatively for a more detailed breakdown just click below.

Tell me more about the Recovery Loan Scheme

Speak to the team about your goals and vision. We'll tell you how we can help you make them a reality.

Are you looking to work with a strategic accounting partner to help shape your business’s future? We’d love to hear from you