What I do

Over 27 years in the franchise industry I have become an SME expert having applied sound business principles into a variety of sectors. Day to day I spend my time working with a great team of experts at the Lime Licensing Group and over the years one way or another I have been instrumental in the launch of around 2,000 franchised businesses!

Franchising

Franchising in the UK is a specialist area of business expansion that is used by many businesses to replicate what they do in another region. It works, it is very profitable and myself and the team at Lime Licensing Group assist a large number of franchisors every year.

Licensing

Brand Name Licensing allows an established business in one market to partner up with an established business in another market to take their brand as one of their own. Think of JCB partnering with a boot company as an example.

Telemarketing

I acquired the Cold Calling Club in 2011. A small boutique telemarketing agency that has been carrying out sales campaigns for numerous national and local businesses ever since. Needless to say they have spent significant time in the franchise industry!

Contact me today on 01274 662001 or click the green button!

Want to work with me?

Work with me and my colleagues at The Lime Licensing Group & The Cold Calling Club.

Latest News

The Importance of a Free Cash Calculation.

The 5 minute free cash calc that every SME owner should do.

You have to know the difference between profit and cash in your business. Cash is what keeps you afloat not profit. Businesses don’t always fail when they are unprofitable but they always fail when they run out of cash. 

Whilst this is mainly a business hack for SME owners it’s actually well worth doing something like this for your personal finances too, but we can cover that another time! Knowing your free cash level guides your decision making, unveils your true available net profit and cash position and let’s you see into your financial future.

So all savvy SME’s must know how much cash, net of all expenses and future bills resides in their business. If your business shut up shop today, would you know how much money would be left? You need to know. Here’s a quick hypothetical easy way to do it. Let’s assume you are a limited company SME registered for vat for the purposes of this:

Bank Balances: £9,000

Petty cash: £1,000

Money owed to suppliers: £2,000

Money owed to you: £3,000

Net Vat owed or due: -£500

Corporation tax previous year due: £4,500

Corp tax calc as of today: £500

Free cash position: £5,500

Typical monthly overhead: £2,500

Add and subtract all of this and you end up with £5,500 which means you have free cash to cover just over 2 months trading if you don’t make any more sales or incur any more costs. 2 months and you’re out of business.

I regularly see SME owners running their business off their bank statements which has nothing to do with your profit or your cash. The calculation above shows you where your cash is and how much you’ve really got available. Looking at your SME there’s quite a lot of things around this topic that can hep you. You could for example set up a second bank account to move your vat and corporation tax liabilities into. That’s not a bad idea. I find that when you look at a low bank balance there is a certain motivation that ensues. So moving your future tax liabilities psychologically works for many SME owners.

An important caveat here is that you will get paid what you are owed. I’m assuming you’re running a limited company too, otherwise there’s no corporation tax and you need to calculate your personal tax differently. Everything else provides a good guide. Try it yourself? 

It’s is a fundamentally important  calculation to do monthly in any SME.  

I believe that it doesn’t matter how bad or good your financial position is. You just need to know it. Once you know it you can decide what to do. Not knowing it is the classic head in the sand scenario, and whilst your head is in the sand everyone can, and will, kick your arse. 

How not to look like a pro blogger.

Ever mindful of “where am I going with this” as a pro blogger my first week has seen the site setup. The first blogs are posted, and quite a bit of learning about blogs generally and WordPress. I keep researching how this could benefit my franchise consultancy firm, Lime Licensing Group. I’ve got a few good ideas which I’m working on for a later blog.

A well known pro blogger said I should set up Adsense on the site. That way as and when any one actually reads my stuff I might get some money from it. I should apparently also look into subscriptions. For that I will need a reason to subscribe. However one thing at a time. I decided to go forAdsense first. It’s quite easy to set up actually even for a novice like me. Google take a few days to confirm it all but then you’ve got the familiar adverts running. That’s where the problems start! 

Plugin problems

What I wasn’t quite ready for was the variety of ads that Adsense shows. Also how tricky the plugins are to get control of where the ads appear. I’ve spent quite a few hours faffing about and I’m not at all sure I like it. I’ll run with it for a while and see what happens. Oddly I found that one of the plugins I installed plucked old content from a previous web theme from some time ago. I used a car garage theme at first and one or two posts about tyre changing appeared from nowhere! This web design malarkey seems a constant job tidying things up!! Using FTP you can delve around and delete things that shouldn’t be there. You then have to make sure you havent got links to nowhere. One thing leads to another …

I changed the website theme from a green to a red and bought a “pro theme” from an Indian developer. The theme I am using is called Spicepress Pro. I struggled a lot with understanding how to upgrade from the free theme to the pro theme. It’s not novice friendly stuff Im dealign with here, but then the who point is to learn a new skill! I ended up locking myself out of WordPress and crashing the entire site! I don’t think that a Pro Blogger would do that. Hastily I got in through FTP, deleted the entire theme, reinstalled it and the site reappeared! But I was still on the free theme. Thankfully the developer said he’d log in and do it for me. No sooner as he was ready then miraculously the pro theme appeared all by itself! Maybe it was a cache issue.

The pro theme is now up and I’m learning the ropes with that.

Broken Links

I also installed a broken link plugin which does what it says on the tin, and now I have a load of links to fix! I’ve noticed if you use WordPress theme changer it often causes link problems so it’s best to choose your theme and then just go with that I think! I’ve found that sometimes my broken link checker says a link is broken even though it works fine. Driving me nuts! But I’m plodding along building the site and learning as I go. For some weird reason Im enjoying learning something new that will benefit my main business!

Hopefully by mid Jan it’ll look like a professional site!!

Why last years net profit guides this years sales

Net Profit knowledge matters if you run your own business.

Knowing the net profit in your SME is a brilliant way to reassess how you look at your sales effort. It’s also a great way to consider your purchasing habits. It might sound strange at first but let me explain. Your net profit figure in your previous accounts is a crucial number to take into account.Andy Cheetham Business Blogger

Let’s for arguments sake say that an SME has a turnover of £200,000. After all of it’s costs the taxable profit is £20,000. When all is said and done that is 10% of turnover. Or to put it another way for your business to make £20 you would need to sell £200 worth of product or service. So if you are thinking of buying a new printer at a cost of £300 you would need to sell £3,000 worth of whatever to pay for it. That printer looks a bit more expensive now doesn’t it?

Knowing what you need to sell to pay for anything is a great guide for all business owners.

It’s a very simplistic way of looking at things but I would say it’s the only way of looking at things if you are an SME owner. That is if you want to run a tight ship anyway. It’s also a great way to assess your sales efforts. To buy that printer you have sacrificed the margin on £3,000 worth of sales. Or you need to find another £3,000 worth of sales to pay for it.

You can over analyse this type of scenario if you want to. Your accountant might say, Yes but …. However, the point is you need your business to acquire some fat. Laying down some fat in business terms means keeping hold of as much of your turnover as you can. A lot of  well known businesses don’t have palatial offices. Those are the well run ones in my book.

Spending it versus investing it.

Knowing what you need to sell to lay down some fat in your own business means taking some painful decisions. It’s easy to spend it but don’t make any luxury purchases unless you’ve got plenty of free cash. Certainly don’t be impressed by the spending habits of other businesses or “entrepreneurs”. There’s a lot of entrepreneurs around these days! Investing in your business requires a financial outlay but an investment should have potential for a payback. An investment might lower your costs or increase your sales. That will increase your net profit, or have a good chance of increasing it anyway!

Spend out of profits not capital.

If you are able to aim to make your purchases out of profit not capital. You can’t do this when you are setting up your SME of course. However, you can make profit to pay for the things you might want to have. I’m referring to the non essential things here. Don’t buy that shiny new desk or commit to a brand new iMac until you are laying down fat. Those things can wait, they aren’t investments and they cost a multiple of your new profit remember. An ebay desk is just as practical as a new one from John Lewis. A Travel Inn bed is just as useful as one in the Dorchester.

I hope this makes you think twice about what you spend in your SME. As my Dad always used to say to me – CASH IS KING! So look after it!