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Business Route Map

Regardless of where you are in your business’s journey, you need honest and practical advice to take your business to the next level.

Our Business Route Map is designed to help you navigate the stages of business from start-up to growth, through maturity and – when the time is right – to help you think about planning your exit.

We pose the tricky questions and help you find the answers to make the right decisions. We can help you stay focused on what you want for the business and help you to quickly identify the key issues you need to review and address to get your business to its next stage.

Navigate our route map. Chart your business. Identify the key issues you need to review and address to get to your next destination. It will be time well spent.

Setting off

Winning new business and managing cash


Harnessing funds and refining systems and plans


Maximising profit and reward

Where next?

Strategic decision on future direction


Achieving your personal and financial goals

Start your journey here

Icon Setting Off

Setting off

Focus: winning new business and managing cash

  • What is the business idea and what do you ultimately want to achieve?
  • Have you written your business plan? Does it include financials and has it been reviewed by an independent third party?
  • Are you setting up as a sole trader, partnership, limited company or limited liability partnership, and do you know the tax implications for each?
  • What other resources – premises, people, IT, marketing, insurance cover – does the business need to get started? How will you source these?
  • How will you fund your business in the early stages?
  • Do you need to register your business for value-added tax (VAT) corporation tax, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and auto enrolment?
  • What technology do you plan to use to help you monitor and react to business performance?
  • Have you established the business’s key performance indicators and how you will monitor them? What is your break even point?
  • Do you have or need a shareholders agreement?

Ruth O’Neill discusses how she set up Oriel Law, a private client law firm, and the preparations and challenges she faced.

Next step: Growth

Icon Growth


Focus: harnessing funds and refining systems and plans

  • How do you compare with the competition and how are you keeping ahead of it?
  • Are you setting challenging and stretching business goals to help you achieve growth?
  • Have you set your marketing and sales forecasts?
  • Could you outsource any operations to reduce cost and maintain a competitive edge?
  • Which accounting and reporting systems do you have in place to help with management and controls?
  • Are your advisers best placed to challenge you to help grow your business?
  • Is your bank the best provider for you?
  • Are you making use of all tax reliefs and allowances available to your business?
  • What plans are in place should you suddenly be unable to run your business?
  • Have you considered entering local, regional, national or international awards to help build profile in new markets?

Next step: Maturity

Icon Maturity


Focus: maximising profit and reward

  • Is your business plan reviewed on a regular basis, and what do your financial projections predict?
  • What are you doing to incentivise employee performance and loyalty?
  • Have you recently reviewed the market positioning of your product or service?
  • How are you adapting to technological changes? Could you automate any functions or invest in technology to give you a competitive edge?
  • What could be diversified to help achieve long-range financial goals and minimise risk?
  • What plans are in place if key executives are incapacitated, retire or exit from the business?
  • Are you making the most of tax reliefs, allowances and research and development (R&D) credits available to your business?

Adrian Stoneham, Managing Director of Stoneham Kitchens Plc, discusses the history and growth of the 150 year old family run business.

Next step: Where next?

Icon Where Next

Where next?

Focus: strategic decision on future direction

  • What is important to you now? What are your personal lifestyle & financial goals?
  • Could you hive off any non-core activities or divisions with view to a sale? Could the business grow by acquisition or merger?
  • Are you considering new markets, products, services or routes to market to stay relevant?
  • What are your plans for the business and have you started discussions about what next? Do you want to stay in control, exit, pass on to family, sell to management, take a backseat or cease trading?
  • If sell – will this be to existing management, family or trade?
  • If stay – will you take a backseat, become chairman or stay hands on?
  • If you are planning to sell, do you know how to prepare the business for sale? What are you doing to maximise its value?
  • Will you need to refinance the company for the exit route chosen?

Interview with Peter Boam, Managing Director of Capital Space Limited.

Next step: Exiting

Icon Exiting


Focus: achieving your personal and financial goals

  • What, if any, ongoing relationship will you have with the business or its customers post-exit? What could that look like?
  • How much is your business worth and is it in the best shape to sell?
  • Are you aware of the tax reliefs and allowances available to help you maximise value?
  • Which professional advisers will you use to help you plan your exit? Are they the right ones for you?
  • Have you considered all the options available to you?
  • Will you be re-investing the business sale proceeds?
  • What ongoing income will you have and will it be enough to fund your lifestyle post-exit?
  • What will you do next?

Interview with Debbie Newman, former Managing Director of Clarkes of London

How can we help?

Contact McBrides
McBrides Chartered Accountants