Owning and managing a fast-growing company, like those listed in The Growth 100, can be both an exciting and a terrifying challenge. Although companies on a steep growth trajectory have to contend with the same issues as all other businesses (such as: cash flow management, supply-chain security, employee recruitment and retention, premises, risk management and customer relationship management), the key difference tends to be one of timing; the speed of reaction to these issues needs to keep pace with the rate at which the company either is growing or wants to grow.
For this, and many other reasons, the most successful fast-growing companies that I have advised always try to plan as far ahead as possible. Dragging yourself away from the day-to-day management of your company and finding the time to reflect on the path that the company is taking (often easier said than done) is essential to maintaining control over the direction of travel, and it will help you to avoid (or at least plan for) any unwelcome issues before they arise. This is where clear and pragmatic professional advice and guidance can prove to be invaluable.
As solicitors, our continued focus on only advising business clients has allowed us to build close relationships with a broad range of companies at various stages of their growth cycle. The experience that my colleagues and I have gained as a result, coupled with our transparent and flexible approach to fee structures (including fixed fees and not starting “the clock” every time the phone rings), has resulted in significant positive feedback being provided by our clients.
Rather than being contacted begrudgingly at the last possible moment, and being given a very narrow remit, I encourage my clients to discuss their plans with me, together their other professional advisors, at as early a stage as possible. This approach makes it more likely that risks to growth will be identified sooner than would otherwise be the case (such as potential funding and cash flow issues, risks associated with the protection of intellectual property rights and the security of the supply chain), and plans to mitigate those risks can be developed. Being a firm that does not advise on litigious matters, there is no benefit to us in seeing clients taking unnecessary risks that may result in disputes (causing inevitable disruption to the company and, potentially, its continued growth).
Chris Wills is a director, and head of the corporate department, at Murrell Associates Limited
If you wish to discuss any of the issues raised in this article please contact Chris Wills, Director, on 01872 226992 or email@example.com the author of the article.
The information provided in this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice and cannot be relied upon as such. Any law quoted in this article is correct as at 24 June 2016. Appropriate legal advice should be sought for specific circumstances before any action is taken. Copyright © Murrell Associates Limited, June 2016.