Small and medium sized businesses need support from experienced professionals who are right for each stage of their business development and who understand how they work. But were does an SME get that support?
SMEs can’t afford to employ specialists for every function. There’s also the question of cultural fit. Business owners can find it hard to trust employees who have a strictly professional rather than entrepreneurial attitude to work, and who lack their own level of drive and productivity. Often the business owner can do the job of two or three people and simply can’t understand the natural limits of most employees.
There are any number of management books on specialist topics, long on ‘management speak’. However these normally describe a micro managed corporate world which is irrelevant to SMEs. And time is short – you can’t read them all.
Invariable an owner/manager does not take in knowledge by reading about someone else’s experience.
Traditional Business Advisers
Traditional advisers to business such as accountants can be helpful, indeed essential, for things like Finance or Tax or advice on the accounts. Specialists such as Marketing may be able to help, but with no ‘Marketing Department’ the take up of ideas may be problematic. Often they can’t provide the help in a consistent, understandable manner over a long period of time – they are too specialist.
Invariable the SME business needs little pieces of generic business advise as the issues arise. Most Business Advisers are steeped in the Corporate Management Consultancy model – a £1,000 a day and a report. The SME doesn’t have £1,000, the problem just isn’t that big, they don’t have a day and they won’t read the report.
Often SME’s are simply below the radar, too small to matter.
Business coaches are very useful at certain points in the development of an SME, but the advice can be of limited long term value. They still think in terms of short-term fixes rather than long-term multi-disciplinary support.
Non – Executive Directors
Non – executive directors provide business owners with the overview of their business, usually from a financial perspective. They can be helpful for discussing strategy, tactics or specific business issues, but often won’t be able to help with the other key issues in a business – sales and marketing, people, operations and so on.
|What SME’s need||What specialist services offer||Degree of fit|
|Long term relationships||Short term projects||X|
|Broad advice across a range of specialism’s||Narrow specialist advice||X|
|A personal relationship||A transactional relationship||X|
|Payment in proportion to the scale of the business||Fixed hourly or daily rates||X|
|Local base, local knowledge||Central location, central knowledge||X|
|Personalised answers||Prescriptive advice||X|
|Real world language and experience of SME’s||Business language and corporate company experience||X|
CMC Partners – Business adviser franchise
At CMC Partners we have modeled our business to take into account the problems identified above. Our partners offer SMEs the support they need to start up, grow and exit from their business.
We visit a client once a month for 2 or 3 hours and leave simple actions in place to pick up next month. We have many clients where we have been involved for over ten years supporting the business transition at a steady and consistent pace.
Our case studies (link) illustrate that we do not believe in a ‘one size fits all approach to our clients’. Each CMC Partner has the experience and the empathy to work with each client one to one.
We have been delivering professional business advice to small business owners since 1989, which we are very proud off. We like to think we are different from others in that we take a long term approach to working with owners and engagements start with understanding their personal objectives. Our strapline is ‘Your success is everything’ and we do really believe that.
Find out here more about what’s included in the franchise opportunity.