6 Crucial things small businesses often get wrong

On Tuesday 17th September, the CBC Networking Group Chairman, Martin Sheehy gave us all a helpful presentation that years in the business of Accounting has enabled him to glean.

6 Important ‘slip ups’ that small businesses make based on his experience.

The Fish Partnership - Chartered Accountants, High Wycombe

Martin spoke about Vision, Cashflow, Customers, Marketing, Staff & Relaxation. Read the full and interesting presentation in it entirety below;

1. Vision (applies not just to new businesses) 
Vision for Businesses in High WycombeBelieve in your business and take it seriously No two businesses are the same, there is no one formula for success.

Have a plan – but don’t stick to it – it will help you set your goals Be prepared to take risks, to fail and learn from your experiences.

Set your own standards and stick to them, have a desire to succeed Be prepared for hard work and attention to detail. Take responsibility – be optimistic! 

Be able to, or learn how to, communicate Build good relationships with staff, customers, suppliers, your bank and other stakeholders .

Do what you enjoy but don’t just do what you want to do.

2. Cash flow
Cash Flow for Businesses High WycombeCashflow management is vital for any business

Record keeping – most small businesses have no idea how they are doing.

Concentrate on debtors / creditors / bank balance,
Take care not to overtrade, take time to re-plan,
Secure the best deal for your business.

Most SMEs require external funding, put your case for funding with a clear robust business plan.

Set a budget and have the discipline to follow it.
Keep basic records, Excel or use software package, such as Sage/QuickBooks.

3. Customers / Sector
Know Your High Wycombe CustomersKnow and understand your market – make sure people will want what you’re selling and it fulfils a need.

Understand how things are done in your business.

Diversify – think how to add new revenue streams and engage your team with this.
A big well known customer can look good but can be a risk if you were to lose that customer.

Don’t let one customer be your biggest source of income – plan what would happen if you were to lose the customer.

Review the sector you are in – review the geographical location in which you operate
Watch the competition – see what are they doing and act upon it.

4. Marketing
Business Marketing in High WycombeIdentify your market,

Understand your market and your customers.

Understand how your products or services can help your customers then communicate this to them.
Build an effective sales process and continuously review to improve.

Do your marketing when you are busy not when you are quiet,
Be prepared to network.

5. Staff
The Key to Happy Staff for Business in High WycombeAs your business grows, you cannot do everything yourself.

Any business needs well motivated, high performing staff. Give staff goals, let them achieve their ambitions.

Put your employees first, listen to and value their opinions– it will help you reach your goals.

Involve your team in planning and implementing strategy,
Have fair and clear HR policies,
Give access to great training.

Say thank you.

6. Relax
Relax as a Business Owner in High WycombeTake time off and recharge your batteries!





If you want to speak with Martin (martins@fishpartnership.co.uk) or any of his team at The Fish Partnership Accountants then do not hesitate to get in touch! It is clear that his experience in working with businesses of all sizes can only work in your favour as a client of his and there are a good few members of the CBC High Wycombe networking group that can vouch for this!

Martin Sheehy CBC Networking High Wycombe


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2 replies
  1. Paul Beck says:

    Martin can always be relied upon to make an insightful presentation.
    All too often people lose sight of the simple things in business and the KISS acronym is as true todays as it’s always been.
    Just read Robert Peston’s book on the financial collapse which sets out how things can go REALLY wrong when people allow themselves to forget that common sense has still to apply – whatever the experts tell you!

  2. Paul Beck says:

    These presentations by members can be extremely good ‘value’ . There’s a lot of experience amongst our members and they all seem very keen to share that quite openly with other members and visitors to CBC. I think that this kind of support is frequently under-rated as a benefit of being in a networking group.

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