Business Appraisals – ‘Troubleshooter’ reports

Is your small or family business at a crossroads, or looking at getting ready for major upheavals such as retirement or succession?

Or would an unbiased opinion from outside of the business give you food for thought or ideas that you might never have thought of?

A ‘Troubleshooter’ report looks at your business with the aim of giving business owners a fresh insight into their business, and tries to highlight areas in which the business can achieve what the Owner is looking for. It is a service conceived by small business for small business, and most importantly affordable for small business.

How does it work?

The first thing that is established is what the business Owner wants to get out of the report. Typical scenarios are retirement or sale planning in the near future, expansion or contraction of the business, or simply a broad spectrum view of the business as the Owner feels the business is stuck in a rut and needs new impetus.

Small businesses very commonly are either totally owned by one person or family shareholders only: Many are run to support lifestyles or in some cases as a vehicle to offset taxation arising from other sources, so the first thing to establish with Owners is the raison d’etre of the business and its aims.

For any manufacturing or production business a visit to the company’s premises is preferable to get a deeper understanding of the operation as it stands, but for businesses with invisible product this is less important. However, the combination of geography and budget may make this impossible so it can be done by remote communication if necessary.

Socio - A business resource for small and family businesses

Financial information to establish the well being and recent past performance of the business is the main ingredient: Tax accounts and any management accounts for at least the last three years, or since any relatively recent major change will be scrutinised and analysed to get to information to demonstrate where the business has been, and where it could go.

The Report

The Owners will receive a report of a practical length – maybe a few pages – describing what is found, and then dealing with the matters in the brief agreed before work is started.

Sample reports are available on request, or examples of previous ‘Troubleshooter’ assignments can be found in Socio’s Casebook on this site.

Follow up meetings or phone discussions can be arranged to get further benefit from the process

Troubleshooter reports – What do they cost?

The pricing strategy is aimed to be affordable for small, family business: The business may not even be full time, so that is recognised.
Your quotation will be based on firstly the aim of your report and secondly the size of your business.

The necessity of visits can be assessed, and whilst it is very much an advantage to visit and meet on site, it is not always practical or cost effective to do so. In such cases the work is done with available information: The more information you can make available, the better the job!