Working with small and medium sized enterprises, (SME’s), it is often the case that, apart from when a company first commences trading, there is no formal annual update of a business plan. In some cases a company grows without a business plan never having been produced. In an economic downturn not having a business plan can hinder the future of the company both in the short-term and strategically.
In these challenging economic times companies find themselves more often operating on a day to day basis and strategic planning is not considered important. The preparation and implementation of a business plan is an essential part of a continuous strategic planning process and key to a review of the business, supporting funding requests and a requirement in any due diligence exercise when assessing an acquisition opportunity or the divestment of the business.
MW Interim Finance can assist you in compiling or reviewing your business plan, For further information email firstname.lastname@example.org
Interest rates remain at 0.5% in the UK, but for how much longer as record monthly leaps in food and transport costs raised the consumer prices index (CPI) to 3.7% in December 2010, (up from 3.3% in November), according to the Office for National Statistics. Continued high level rises in food and fuel prices could send the inflation rate to 5% by the autumn, economists warned.
There is some suggestion that interest rates will have to rise to mitigate inflationary pressures however, pushing up interest rates may be a welcome relief for net savers but it is likely to have a greater adverse impact on those with mortgages and other borrowings.
The housing market is already falling back from the small gains during the last twelve months and, with an increasing level of job losses in 2011 possible, (currently at just under 2.5 million or 7.9%), any consumer confidence could be wiped out and the UK could slip into another economic downturn or consistent low growth period for the foreseeable future.
It has been just over a week since the UK comprehensive spending review, (CSR)), which was keenly awaited but with no surprises on the whole, except there were copious figures quoted and a time frame of 2014 / 15 to turn the country around. The upshot was work longer, pay more taxes, and suffer reductions in benefits and public services.
There was however a “double whammy” for men in respect of pensions with an earlier rise in the retirement age and the potential for a move by annuity providers to remove the differential in providing higher annuity rates to males who have the same sized “pension pot”, as females on the basis that men are likely to die sooner. This is a result of a European Court of Justice opinion that “insurance companies may not charge men and women different rates for products”. Once this opinion is ratified in EU law it could have significant implications for life insurance premiums, transfer values and member options.
The private sector over the last eighteen months has suffered the full impact of the economic downturn, recession and low growth “recovery”, but things are getting worse with the cuts announced in the CSR and a view that the private sector will have to absorb the fallout in people and cuts in services in the public sector. In addition, public sector workers will have to increase their contributions and possibly move from a final salary to average salary scheme………..but this is a half measure. The private sector has already, over a number of years, moved away from final salary to money purchase schemes and increased contributions have followed for employees. Why can’t the public sector make the change? More importantly, there should be legislation that does not allow any government to utilise public pension funds in other areas of public sector spending, thus protecting public sector workers.
Martin Walby, managing director, commented, “the rebranding and launch of MW Interim Finance in the Spring of 2010 has been enhanced by targeted advertising for the SME sector, who have suffered most from the economic downturn and pressures from lenders.
MW Interim Finance is well placed to provide interim financial and business partnering support to businesses, either on a project or on going part-time basis working with directors and owners to achieve their operational and strategic objectives”.