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Business Growth and Franchising Packages available with a slow initial fee and payment as results are achieved.

FREE ADVICE

2 to 4 hours of our expert advice

1 hour of business growth surgeries

Half day training course

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Ian Stirling of Objectives Reached is a full paid up member of:


As a business advocate of the LEP, we can provide additional advice to clients with help from the monthly emails we receive containing useful information that can benefit companies across Norfolk and Suffolk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.    What is involved in the Business Consultancy process?

A.    The first step is to agree the scope of the consultancy and see if any funding is available to support this.  We refer to ourselves as providing business support rather than consultancy, as we will handle aspects that your business is struggling with, through our hands on approach.



Q.    Business Consultancy sounds expensive – is it only for large organisations?

A.    It does not have to be expensive because a well-designed consultancy project is often much quicker than most business owners expect. If there is an issue that is costing the company money or causing lost sales everyday then by comparison the consultancy solution might be positive in cash flow terms.


Some companies prefer to pay a higher daily rate for consultants to cover management role rather than have longer term commitments.  It is worth considering if part or full time interim managers, on flexible contracts are a more suitable alterative for your company.



Q.    Is there a chance I will lose control of the project or business?

A.    No. The business owner always has the final say.  However, agreeing the remit and terms of the consultancy before it starts is important.  If you think you might feel uncomfortable bringing an outsider into a family-run business or you suspect that some of the owners will resist change, you should discuss how the consultant will handle this.  Ian only works with family run companies and not for profit organisations, and understands their concerns.



Q.    Does business consultancy have a minimum spend requirement because I have a limited budget?

A.    Firstly we always carry out a free review, but it is important to discuss the size of your budget from the outset.  We find owners prefer a fixed budget, but we can work on daily rates without commitment.  


The free review could be used to see if we can assist you re-designate funds from an existing budget, so that money is used more effectively and can fund the consultancy in full or part.


Those who are new to employing consultants are often concerned that the recommendations will be that they commit large sums of money to providing a solution.  In many cases this is not the outcome, but if I.T. systems or machinery do not function effectively, to move forward capital expenditure might be a viable option.  Even in this situation improved stock and other controls can have a positive effect on cash flow.



Q.    Have much of my time will it take up?

A.    Again, it is important that this is discussed at the outset.  Some projects take up very little time of the senior management but others can have a real impact.  Also, many companies will opt for using their existing team to carry out much of the project or tasks.  We will always fit in around your schedule and availability, whether that is working hours, evenings or weekends.   



Q.    Is outsourcing for a small company the right way forward?

A.    A few years ago I would have said no, but times have changed.  Partly because companies like the flexibility of paying for services used, rather than paying wages throughout the year.  Also running a business is getting more complicated.  Take marketing as one example; over the last few years emailing, websites, online sales, social media and online advertising has increased the marketing mix considerably.  With cloud based services, this outsourcing trend is likely to expand rapidly.  


Outsourcing can free up a lot of the managers time, so they can focus on using their core skills and pressing matters that are holding back the business.  



Q.    Do I need to sign up to a contract?

A.    Ideally yes, as it provides clarity on the terms as well as the scope of the consultancy.  A contract can be as short as 4 half days to identify new markets.


In special circumstances where a company is in financial crisis, we work on a commitment-free daily rate as long as this is paid one day in advance.  This can apply to interim management as well.  



Q.    What is interim management?

A.    Interim management is a short term contract, instead of employment.  It can be used to bring in a skill, strengthen the management team or provide senior management cover when someone is ill.  For smaller companies, it can allow them to access quality management for 1 or 2 days a month and increase it as required.


By the time a company feels confident enough to put expansion plans in to action, often the managers and their teams are working flat out.  Having an interim manager cover an existing role allows one of the company’s managers to lead the expansion.



Q.    Do you provide client references?

A.    Some client references can be found here. Due to the nature of consultancy not all clients can be listed due to contractual obligations and confidentiality/sensitivity .



Q.    My company has proprietary information, which I do not want to leak out. Do you sign non-disclosure agreements?

A.    Yes, and we also sign these when working on business transfer or other sensitive issues.



Q.   Would Objectives Reached take on any project or is it specialising?  

A.   We only bid for work that uses our core skills.  Most Projects are a mix of Businesses Development or Coaching, Sales and Marketing, and might include Training or the creation of business plans.

  


Q.    We understand we require outside assistance but we do not have the time to plan for it, where should we start?

A.    Start with a free review at the time of the week where you can spend even 2 hours.  We can identify the preparations that are required in order to create the right environment for the project to work.  It might be that you require the support of full or part time interim management, to free yourself to look towards the future.