Business cycle: what should you focus on at each stage of your business?

Business is always changing. Your company will go through various stages of the business lifecycle. What you focus on today will change and require different approaches to be successful.

Stage 1 – Seed and development

The beginning of the business idea. Get advice from as many sources as possible. Review profitability, the market, competitors and the business structure. A good business plan is vital for success.

Stage 2 – Start up

Make your business a legal entity. Adjust to your customers’ needs and wants. Establish a customer base and concentrate on marketing and profitability. Reviewing the business plan, budgets and cashflows is vital.

Stage 3 – Growth and establishment

Fine tune your business model, sales model, marketing model and operations model. While managing a good team concentrate on sales and marketing. Consider the need for external consulting advice on the business development.

Stage 4 – Expansion

The business has a steady income and flow of customers and the business feels like routine. If deciding to expand your offerings or move into a new market, you must consider the risks; competition, resources required, time required, the effects on current customers and the financing.

Stage 5 – Maturity and/or exit

Your business could still be growing and the current option is to decide to take a step back towards the expansion stage or to think of a possible exit strategy. Is the business financially able to cover an unsuccessful attempt at expansion? Have you planned your exit strategy?

Not all businesses experience every stage of the lifecycle and some experience them in a different order. Every stage of the business lifecycle brings new or re-occurring challenges. Solutions that may have worked for one stage may not work in another stage, which is why you should always adjust and review your business plan and operations.
If you need any help, our friendly team of experts can be your partner through each stage of the business lifecycle. Please contact Lisa Byrne, Audit Manager at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000 or by email: lbyrne@cooneycarey.ie 

If this article helped you, please share it with other businesses.

Posted on October 2, 2017 by Lisa Byrne

What are the benefits of offering an internship programme?

Does your company offer an internship programme? Have you considered the benefits of such a programme?

I have heard several people say that that an internship programme is beneficial for the intern only, while for the company the time invested in the intern is wasted as the intern returns to college just as they become useful.

While it is true that there are several benefits for the intern; paid summer job, gaining on job experience and a perspective on a potential future profession they may wish to follow, your company can benefit too.

Let us share with you our experience

As a company,  we are new to the idea of internships. While in the past we took on summer students their role has been of an office admin type. However, since 2016 we have actively sought interns who are doing a business or accounting degree and who are looking to commence a career in accountancy following college.

In our first year, we took on one intern as we wanted to see how the whole programme would work out. While this approach means more time and effort is spent when recruiting the intern, we felt the benefits far outweighed the costs. As a consulting firm, we tend to have many employees on study leave/annual leave over the summer period and the presence of the intern allowed us to alleviate some of the work flow issues that can arise around this time.

Another benefit for us was that we could use the internship programme as a recruitment tool for future employees. It allowed us to assess the intern in a work environment rather than in an interview setting. This enabled us to gain a much more rounded judgement on the person and how they would fit into the team.

Our first venture into the world of internship was so successful that this summer we took on two interns. And we never looked back.

So, we would highly recommend that your company considers such a programme. As our experience shows it can be beneficial for both the intern and the company.

What questions do you have?

We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Will Townsend (ACA, BBS (ACC), CMC), Partner at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, send him an email: wtowsend@cooneycarey.ie

To keep in touch, connect with our friendly team on LinkedIn.

If you found this article interesting, please share it with other businesses. 

Posted on September 14, 2017 by Will Townsend

Is Conflict Constructive or Destructive?

Conflict is destructive when:

  • Takes attention away from other important activities
  • Undermines morale or self-concept
  • Polarizes people and groups, redoing cooperation
  • Increases or sharpens difference
  • Leads to irresponsible and harmful behaviour, such as fighting and name calling.

Conflict is constructive when:

  • Results in clarification of important problems and issues
  • Results in solutions to problems
  • Involves people in resolving issues important to them
  • Causes authentic communication
  • Helps release emotion, anxiety and stress
  • Builds cooperation among people through learning more about each other: conflict resolution
  • Helps individuals develop understanding and skills

Conflict resolution

If it is well managed, conflict can have positive outcomes.

Mediation is a method to conflict resolution provided by Cooney Carey.

What questions do you have?

We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Lisa Byrne, Audit Manager at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, send her an email: lbyrne@cooneycarey.ie 

If this article helped you, please share it with other businesses.

Posted on August 18, 2017 by Cooney Carey

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