June 20, 2011

When In Business Stay In Business!

Written by Peter Lynn

According to one of South Wales’ leading business and commercial lawyers there are 4 Critical considerations that all business owners and CEO’s should be asking themselves in these difficult and uncertain economic times; Peter Lynn speaks from personal experience, when he says:

  1. “Take a look at the financial structure of the business; ensure good working capital is in place, if necessary tied into long term loans with the lowest possible interest rates that cannot be re-negotiated upwards – and avoid overdrafts!”
  2. “Ensure that the business has multiple revenue & income streams that protect the business when certain sectors or markets are threatened and possibly underperforming”
  3. “Put in place a robust management structure that is geared up to take advantage of changing markets. Such a structure should be well versed on employment law, with secure contracts and a solid HR strategy”
  4. “ Shareholders agreements and exit strategies should be seen as a fundamental part of the business and it’s overall strategic plan to include disaster recovery”

Peter’s recommendations are based on his own 23 year legal and business experience with many lessons learned along a sometimes difficult path in the early days of his career. He made a bold decision over 10 years ago and set up Peter Lynn and Partners on the eve of the new millennium, ensuring that those 4 considerations listed above featured in every artery of this new business venture.
Peter graduated from law school in Bristol and cut his teeth at Cardiff and Swansea law firms where he experienced highs and indeed lows before breaking free and setting up the Peter Lynn and Partners Brand in 1999. The firm is now well established with a growing reputation and has branches in Penarth, Pontardawe & Morriston and in 2009 moved into a new head office in Langdon House, SA1 Waterfront in Swansea.
Peter Lynn and Partners services clients along the M4 Corridor but with 75% of the organisation based in and around Swansea it’s no surprise to learn that two thirds of all its business is generated West of Bridgend, whilst the other one third includes Cardiff & UK National business. National Charities feature within the client list including a well known mental health charity that helps people suffering with traumatic head injuries.
Peter Lynn’s commercial department caters for business individuals, business professionals and SME’s. At least 50% of all commercial activity is spread across a wide and varied sector of the SME Market including:

  • Professional services including Solicitors, Accountants, Independent Financial Advisors, Insurance and Insurance Brokers.
  • Medical Professionals including General Practice, Secondary Care Specialists, Consultants & Dentists.
  • Nursing Homes & Health Care.
  • IT and Telecoms.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Building & Construction.
  • Retail.
  • Waste Management.
  • Clubs and Charities.

When discussing specifically the Peter Lynn and Partners Partnership, we asked the obvious question as to what makes this business so different to the competition. Peter believes that core values play a fundamental part. “We take a protective and holistic approach to each individual client. We believe in preventing legal problems occurring, because the process of preventing is far more economical than litigation as a result of a mistake. I cannot emphasise enough the importance in this new era of transparency how essential it is to have in place the correct Terms & Conditions, Legal Contracts, Processes and Procedures and Insurance Cover”.
With reference to South Wales as a business market place we asked Peter for his general views on its strengths and weaknesses that form his perception of business growth along the Welsh section of the M4? Peter’s comments whilst objective were also critical and he openly challenges Government, Local Authorities, Universities & Business in general to work together to stimulate, create and support Entrepreneurship via a single and simplified support network:
“Entrepreneurship in general is disappointing compared to the UK as a whole” He believes there is much more to be done by universities, government, local authorities, banks and the various support networks to communicate and engage in unison. “Too much bureaucracy, too much red tape, unclear support channels. Ideally, all this should change to create a cohesive and easily understood business support network or hub that brings investors and entrepreneurs together, nurturing the principle idea to the finished product and delivery into the market place” – the following grid explains the process:
1. Idea
2.Business Planning & Advice
3.Funding & Investment
4.Legal & Protection
5.Research & Development
6.Market Analysis
8.Production & Delivery
Peter Lynn uses his wealth of experience to advise and discuss with business audiences the golden rules which can help businesses survive the threats posed in the everyday legal jungle. He speaks on the South Wales Business Speaking Circuit and his keynote carries the banner: How to Avoid Lawyers! Here’s a flavour of Peter’s legal tips broken down into 10 Critical factors for business owners to take on board and it’s free:
Business Owners – How to avoid Lawyers!

  1. Find a good commercial lawyer immediately! It takes one to know one!
  2. What is the best trading style for your business? Sole, Partnership or Ltd? There is more to this than just Tax.
  3. Put in place the correct shareholders agreements and partnership contracts.
  4. Introduce up to date employment contracts and policies.
  5. Insure your legal position or pay a monthly fee to a lawyer for up to date comprehensive advice.
  6. Insure against Business disruption, employment claims, public liability and make sure that the policy is tailored for the business by using a qualified business insurance broker.
  7. Introduce clear Terms and Conditions for trading and where appropriate terms and conditions for your suppliers. Trade on your terms and not theirs!
  8. Employ the services of a good fully qualified accountant and ensure they liaise closely with your Legal Advisor.
  9. Know and manage every aspect of your business. No one cares as much as you do!
  10. Be lucky!

Success is simply a matter of luck – ask any failure!
For more information on Peter Lynn & Partners or any of the points covered in this article contact Peter Lynn & Partners