Insights

Scaling up for success

  • Written By: Samuel Godbold
  • Published: Mon, 13 May 2019 13:11 GMT

Smith & Williamson’s Southampton office has recently partnered with law firm, Moore Blatch, to deliver a series of four Scaling up for Success seminars in 2019 to help founders and senior management teams in businesses that have an ambition to grow and ‘scale up’.

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Talent to scale

Employers need to be transparent and authentic to create the right culture to attract talent, so they must be aware of the changing values of the workforce. Millennials value different things to older generations of workers.

Access to training, secondments, and a flexible work/life balance may be more valuable than a path straight to the top.

Attracting the best talent will often require businesses to adapt their recruitment process and consider the changing needs of the next generation. Retaining existing talent is also important. Pay and benefits play an important role in talent retention, but benefits are often undervalued through lack of understanding.

Employers should structure benefits packages and rewards in a way that recognises their successes and supports their needs.

New talent may want to be employed in new ways. Traditional full-time employment contracts are making way for alternatives, such as self-employed consultancy; gig working or zero hours contracts. Flexible working can be very attractive to working parents or students.

While there is a rise in bespoke employment contracts, employers need to protect their interests too regarding confidential information and potential conflict with outside work interests.

Transact to scale

Acquisitions can drive real value in a business, but it is vital to know what the long-term objective is and how the acquisition will help achieve that goal. Before anything, ensure you have a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve – and be blunt about what you really want.

Get the business in order first before planning the integration carefully, and ensure senior management are on side across the business. Work out what the acquisition is worth to you, and don’t be afraid to walk away.

Due diligence is extremely important to avoid risks you don’t want or understand. It’s also important not to underestimate the time it takes to perform due diligence, the best financial and legal advice is vital during this process. Bringing in the right expertise and experience early on, and continuing to engage the right people throughout the transaction, will lead to the best outcome.

Building momentum is critical and difficult to pick up if it gets lost - two thirds of the effort is required during the final third of the transaction.

The quality of advice received is really important, as is dedication to care and attention to the numbers as early as a year before the sale. Being an entrepreneur can be extremely rewarding, but also challenging to team dynamics as you develop from a start-up through to a scale-up and eventually reach the exit phase.

Overall, ensuring you have the right people behind you to advise you every step of the way will make a real difference in the path to scaling up.

Future Seminars

2 July: Reach Further – markets to scale
Our next seminar will discuss how entering new markets can offer unprecedented opportunities for innovation and growth.

15 October: Raising Finance – finance to scale
Our last seminar for 2019 will focus on how to source and access funding, while retaining the right level of control.

For more information please contact Samuel Godbold

e: samuel.godbold@smithandwilliamson.com
t: 023 8082 7715

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