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The founders of small companies typically do everything – from product development to selling and hiring staff. If there is an attempt to develop a long-term financial strategy and plan, they’ll inevitably do that too. It’s a model that can work well for a year or two, but it only gets you so far. There comes a point when the MD needs specialist help to maximise the company’s potential.

At 4 Corners, we provide incisive, authoritative and strategic finance advice that can galvanise – and sometimes even transform – your company. In effect, we help you make the big decisions that will enable your company to achieve your goals.

We then have the expertise and resources to support you in all aspects of ongoing financial management as we help you turn vision into action.

How we work with you

When we support you on financial leadership, we typically cover five key elements:

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Strategy and plan

We start with an in-depth analysis of your company’s current strategic position in the context of the markets you operate in. We also talk to the owners and investors to understand their goals.

We then work with you to assess the various strategic options – for instance:

  • Focus on cost leadership or differentiation?
  • Target the whole market or a narrow segment?
  • Pursue greater market penetration or product development?
  • Diversify or withdraw?
  • Expand through organic growth, acquisition or joint development?

Based on a robust discussion of these and other issues, we help you produce a long-term strategy and a detailed operating plan, usually with a two to three-year horizon. The plan will include a clear forecast and budget.

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We highlight the key accountancy metrics you need to focus on to monitor performance against your strategy – for instance, your profit and loss, balance sheet or free cash flow. We also identify the most important operational KPIs such as sales closures, activation rates or attrition.

In our experience, many smaller companies are not looking at the right metrics. Even where they are, they might not understand the implications of the data or what they need to do as a result.

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Operational accounting

We help you put in place the operational accounting controls to properly monitor and manage the financial performance of your business. This would encompass everything from a sales and purchase ledger to a fixed assets register and payroll management. At this point, we might provide or help you recruit a financial controller, even if only on a part-time basis.

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Lifecycle events

We provide advice and support at the critical points in your company’s lifecycle – for instance, when you are looking for investment capital, making major buying or leasing decisions or searching for an exit strategy.

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Relationship management

We can advise and support you in the strategic and financial aspects of your dealings with key stakeholders such as investors and banks, partner companies and top customers and suppliers.

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Our financial strategy consultancy is one of the four cornerstones of our integrated business consulting services.

News & views

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