Innovation is often vital – are you listening Roy?

As Frustrating Lions fail to bring down the Russian bear at the Euros in France, what lessons can be learned for struggling businesses?

The England football team’s superb display against Russia, in their opening game at the Euros, but lack of a win, provides a fascinating backdrop against which to examine an approach to business recovery for enterprises with a solid foundation, but which may be struggling to succeed in more demanding market conditions. If you look in the right place, opportunities may still exist.

Recognise both strengths and flaws

Your business – or your team – might possess a solid foundation, but are you ready to adapt to a tougher environment?

A business with proven historical results can sometimes be in danger of resting on its laurels when approaching new and more challenging market conditions. This can lead to an unexpected downturn in trade which has a nullifying effect on that all important lifeline for most enterprises: cash flow.

However, where research projects and/ or innovations may have contributed to the development of a business, examining the potential for Research & Development Tax Relief – against the costs incurred in such projects and combining this with a tailored recovery plan, can potentially result in improved cash flow, instilling new life in to an ailing business.

At the time of writing it’s perhaps pertinent to draw a parallel with England’s approach to the Euros. For those who may not be football fans, don’t despair: the relevance of the comparison will not be lost – which may be more than can be said for England’s chances of progressing in the competition, but that will depend on whether they can adapt appropriately to meet the new challenges ahead.

England went in to this competition riding high on a reasonably long series of recent victories, but none in a major competition, where the stakes are of course considerably higher and success that much harder to obtain. The team is awash with resources – talented players with pace, proven goal scoring abilities and strength in depth on the bench. Many players, however, are previously unexposed to this level of competition and it has been argued by some commentators that there are flaws in the defensive qualities of the team. It’s also worth noting that there is a school of thought that holds that the highly lucrative, very long and demanding domestic season leaves players, in more ways than one, sometimes less than best prepared for international duty. However, the manager and the nation has invested it’s faith in the team and there is reason to be hopeful.

But…On this new playing field, new tactics are needed

Are you convinced? Would you back England, on the basis of the above resume, to do well?

In their first match all the skill and pace referred to above was certainly on show and the team totally dominated their opponents, Russia, but gave up the lead in the final minutes, to finish with a highly unsatisfactory draw and increased worry – and not a little fear – going in to the next match against Wales. The situation for England has been made all the worse because a perhaps more determined and clinical Welsh side did win their opening match and so hold some advantage ahead of the clash later this week.

The purpose of this sporting review is that we can draw on it to examine a situation, which frequently occurs, where a once successful business venture, making money in an environment in which no great pressures were brought to bear, may find itself struggling during more demanding times and increasingly at the mercy of external forces. The resources within the business may be deemed to be of good quality and have proven efficient and productive in the past, but for a variety of reasons, seem less able to cope in an unfamiliar environment and are failing to generate the cash flow or the contracts that they once did.

It’s not rocket science – it’s about applying new tactics successfully                                                                      

Scoring more goals will ultimately improve England’s lot and, equally, an improved Cash Flow is paramount to a business recovery.

Continuing to draw a comparison: in the same way that a previously developed, tired and tested, innovative, better focused and hungrier attitude to scoring goals might be needed to win games, so examining past business innovations to discover new opportunities to recoup monies that, in turn, provide much needed cash flow to assist an ailing business, is very well worth the effort; in particularly if you’ve not done it before and especially with our expertise to guide you.

It’s vital to hold on to assets or equipment that underpin the business and enable it to exist in the market – we could call that, if you like, the defence and midfield of an enterprise. What we are concerned with most though is the attack – scoring goals or getting cash in to the business; winning games or contracts and – moving forward!

Recovery is the name of the game – analyse, revive and innovate.

England are still in the mix and it’s important to define that what’s being addressed here is not a business that’s completely done for.

Cooden Tax Consulting specialises in assisting businesses to make applications for Research and Development Tax Relief. We are currently examining working with Business Recovery Specialists to see how a combination of R&D Tax Relief, improved asset management and sound business planning, that is tailored to the prevailing market conditions, can assist a struggling business to get back on its feet.

This isn’t about what’s sometime referred to as a Phoenix Project, where the old business is dissected, re-established and re-launched with a new name and probably new managers and neither are we looking here at a Pre-Pack liquidation exercise where we make the best of a bad job and try to get as much money out before the whole business goes under.

Recovery is the name of the game and Cooden Tax Consulting is looking to talk to businesses that may be suffering, but who have previously funded research and innovation in their sector and hence, there may be opportunities to be explored in the field of Research and Development Tax Relief. The potential result is that we can genuinely assist to resurrect the original business and see it succeed.

On that note Mr Hodgson

A final piece of advice, if I may…

Understand where your liabilities lie, but maximise the opportunity on offer by deploying those previously unknown assets developed during the domestic season and which will help the team to now focus on the desired result. Challenge others in your market place (the pitch) on terms they might struggle to compete with. After all, as one of the great Brazilian captains back in the day used to say – we don’t care if you score three against us, we’ll just score four. Goals are what it’s all about Roy…

Get Vardy on the pitch!


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