Friday, 28 March 2014

Can You Predict a Financial Crash?

A key component in selling your business is deciding when the right time to do so is. This means you need to know when the economic climate is right to sell. Saying this, is it possible to predict a financial crash?

The 2008 financial crash was devastating; markets plunged, companies went bust, loans were called in. It’s a nightmare that we’re only now just recovering from, and most people didn’t really see it coming. It was pretty bad for business acquisition.

This was simply because nobody wanted to buy a business after the crash; everybody knew a recession was coming and that it would do them more harm than good to buy a business at that point. This is why it’s useful to be able to predict a financial crash; if you don’t then you might leave it too late to sell.

So is it possible to predict a financial crash? Not really; there are too many variables and too many opinions out there that could lead you to make a fatal misstep. However there are several steps that you can take to make yourself aware of trends that could lead to a financial crash.

To begin with, you have to keep track of markets. Obviously, the world’s economy depends on the markets. When we talk about a crash we talk about the markets crashing, so when they do, if you don’t know about it you’re going to be caught off guard, which could disadvantage you in a number of ways.

It’s also essential that you keep track of current affairs. What’s happening in the world effects market prices. For example, the current Ukraine crisis is affecting Russian stocks. Therefore if you have business dealings with Russian companies, it could affect your profit margins. It’s useful to know what the ramifications of current affairs may be ahead of time so that you can act to limit the damage.

It’s also useful to keep market bubble and bursts- when a product saturates the market and ends up losing value - in mind. Take the tech boom early last decade as an example. So many people were buying into tech that it flooded the market, no one needed it anymore and it lost value almost overnight. If you trade in a product that is part of a bubble market trend, keep track of when that bubble might burst.

At RTA Business we realise that predicting financial crashes is an inexact science at best, a nightmare at worst. However it is possible to at least recognise common trends that may lead to a market crash; it’s all about keeping yourself informed; a key principle in any business model.

Friday, 21 March 2014

What Should You Look For in an Employee?

A business is nothing without the employees on its payroll; it sinks or swims due to the people who engage in running said business. This is why it’s essential to have the best possible team running your business. So what should you be looking for in your potential employees?

When you interview for a new position it can feel as though you’re lost in a sea of applications. You’ve sifted through the CV’s and weeded out everybody who’s made a spelling mistake or obviously lied about their experience, and you’re left with a talented crop of interviewees.

With more people than ever trained to degree level or equivalent, you have a whole host of potential employees to pick from. You don’t know where to start, but you know you have to get it right if this employee is going to be an asset to your business.

This is why you should be looking for personality traits. You know what experience the applicant has, however you can only assess whether their personality will be a good fit for your company face-to-face. So what personality traits should you be looking for?

The first is obviously intelligence; however this intelligence should be tempered with common sense. You need an intelligent employee to handle the work, but with the common sense to recognise when they should take things on their own initiative.

Measure this by talking about current affairs and seeing what insights they provide. This not only allows you to measure their intelligence but their understanding of the way in which the world we live works; therefore you get a fair measure of their common sense too.

Another key trait is ambition. Ambition may eventually prompt that employee to leave your company, but it will drive them to do the best job they can whilst with you. Measure this by asking them about their future ambitions. It’s also a great measure of honesty, as this is a notoriously difficult interview question and those with less integrity are more likely to deceive.

Kindness is another personality trait that you need in an employee.  It may seem an odd one in business, but it works in relation to office dynamics. This person is going to be in your office all day, every day, and if they’re the confrontational sort, it will have an effect on office harmony; which will in turn drive down office productivity.

The interview process is one of the toughest parts of owning your own business; however it’s also essential to growing your own business and attracting buyer. At RTA Business we really do know that any company is the sum of its parts, or in this case, employees.

Friday, 14 March 2014

The Importance of a Credit Report

When it comes to selling off your business there are few things that are more important to the process than conducting a credit report. Why do you need to do this and what can it bring to a business sale?

At RTA Business Consultants, one of the country’s leading business acquisition services, we recognise that confidence is key on both sides when you are selling a business. You have to be confident that a buyer has the funds to go through with the purchase and they have to have the confidence that your business will benefit them financially.

This is why you should not only carry out a credit report on your own company, but on theirs too. A credit report is a report that you can obtain which details your credit history. It details accounts, loans, missed payments, jointly held financial agreements, publicly available financial records etc. Normally they are used to ascertain how likely a company is to uphold financial agreements.

There are several services that provide a credit report. Prices for such a service often vary, but usually it clocks in at around £15. However depending on the price the level of service you are provided varies. Look around and conduct some internet researching to find the service that most suits your needs.

It’s easy to see you would want to request a credit report for a potential buyer of your business. You are depending on the buyer to uphold their end of the bargain and a credit report tells you whether they have a history of doing so or not. It provides security and shows that they are trustworthy. It’s insurance.

However it’s not always  so easy to see why when you are selling your business you would conduct a credit report on the business itself, as you might not have a perfect credit history, which is common for small businesses as they’ve gotten started.

However you have to think about it from the buyer’s perspective. They know that no business is perfect and they don’t want to be lied to. Providing a credit report shows them the true state of the business and shows them that you re honest and that they know what they’re buying.

At RTA Business we recognise that when you are selling your business you need to be prepared. Investing in credit report means that you know what you are dealing with and how to proceed. 

Friday, 7 March 2014

How Can You Grow Your Profit Margins?

When a buyer is looking to but your business the first thing they look at is your profit margins. So how can you attract a buyer by growing your business’ profit margins?

It’s business acquisition 101. If you want someone to buy your business, you have to show them how it can benefit them. This is why they look at the profit margins; they want to see how much money they’ll be able to make from the business they are buying and the best way to do so is to see how much it is already making.

Therefore before you even think about putting your business up for sale you need to make sure that your profit margins are suitably wide. If you need a little help getting there then follow these RTA Business tips on increasing your profit margins.

The first is to diversify the leads you have on your roster. Leads are the people who have been or who have contacted the business over the course of a year. You can’t conduct a business without contacts and the more contacts you have, the greater chance there will be to seize on an opportunity to expand your profit margins. Its why people network!

You also need to conduct some analysis. You need to identify where you are making and where you are losing money. What’s your strongest asset and what’s your weakest? Where do you have room to expand? Focus your efforts on your strongest areas to increase profitability.

Also take into account the current costs of your business. Where can you streamline and make your operations more efficient. It’s important to work with balance here. Only cut costs where it is appropriate, don’t cut corners.

Also examine you and your employees’ time management. There’s a saying that ‘time is money’ and it really is the case. Where are you spending your time in concerns to business operations? Think about how much time you need to allot to each area and where excess time may be more efficiently spent.

At RTA Business we’ve seen how profit margins affect the likelihood of a buyer’s intentions to carry through a business sale. Profit margins are essential because they show how said buyer can use your business to expand their own.