We all know the feeling of having too much to do and not having enough time to do it in.
Do you find that you are always telling yourself ‘If only I had the time to do this, my business would be so much better’?
There is another choice. Crystal Business Consultants.
We can provide you with a wide range of business solutions which can help you and your business grow, succeed and become more efficient and profitable. Whether you are looking to take that first step into business or you are a serial entrepreneur looking for direction or additional support, we can help you as much or as little as you like. It is just like having an extra pair of hands with all the expertise but without the risk and expense of employing someone.
Setting up a new business or entering into a new venture can be a very daunting prospect especially if it is your first time. It can be a very exciting time but the enormity of the task can be overwhelming. There are many things to consider and it can all get very confusing knowing what to do when and in what order. It is important for any business to get off on the right foot and portray the right image from day 1 and so making sure your business lays the right foundations at the beginning will mean it will have every chance of success in the future.
Using our wealth of experience we can help you with:
How to structure your business is probably the first thing you need to consider when starting a new business as the wrong choice will just mean more work later on. We can help you decide whether you should start trading as a sole trader, partnership or a limited company depending on your personal circumstances and the type of business you are going to be running.
The right image for your business is crucial and we can help you develop and design your logo and your business stationary. This can include your business cards, letterhead and compliments as well as any other promotional merchandise. We have access to commercial printers who can also print these for you at a very reasonable cost.
These days not many businesses operate without a social media profile and we can help you create the right image for the social media platform. We can help you a create a striking Facebook and/or Twitter page and also provide you with a social media strategy that you can either implement yourself or we can manage for you.
Having an online presence is crucial for any business. With the advent of smartphones people can be online in seconds and will expect to see you there. Whether you want to just have a static website or you want to run an online business, we can assist you with the purchase of the right domain, design and build an appropriate website and even write the content.
You have a great business idea or a great product but how do you stop someone else from copying it. We have access to experienced patent agents who can make sure your idea or product is protected whether that is here in the UK or further afield.
The hardest part of laying the foundations of your business is over but that in itself will not create a successful business. Very rarely can businesses survive without some form of marketing whether that is word of mouth or any other form of marketing. Clients and customers will generally not just start flowing in wanting your goods or services. The key is to market yourself and your business to your potential client base and make sure that you or your business are the first things they think of when they want your type of product or service. The clever marketers make the clients and customers believe they actually need the product or service even when they actually might not.
Here are some of the services that we can help you with:
Online marketing can be very powerful and effective but it has to be targeted otherwise it can be a huge drain on resources. We can help with developing an effective pay per click (PPC) campaign and can carry out search engine optimisation (SEO) for your website. It is not as easy as just throwing money at it and you will get results, getting results takes time and effort and it must be maintained for the best results in this ever changing platform.
Social Media marketing can work for some businesses but not for others as it all depends on the type of business you run. However, effective social media marketing and engagement will certainly mean one thing and that is that your profile and brand awareness will increase. We can help with developing a social media marketing strategy for implementation through a mixture of paid and unpaid advertising.
There is a certain amount of kudos attached to advertising on broad sheets or newspapers and TV. It projects a different type of image which can only be achieved by advertising through one of those mediums. We can help you portray the right image on the right platform and have access to various media agencies who can make it happen at an affordable price.
One of the most effective ways of getting the word out is to host an event and invite your clients and potential clients to it. This can be anything from a launch party for a particular product or service to a networking event or a seminar. Whatever it is we can help you organise and market it in the most effective way to achieve the best results and give you the best return on investment.
It is often difficult to see what’s right in front of you because you are too close to it. We provide a whole host of strategic support which not only helps you but also your business have some direction and focus. Having someone look at your business from outside can give you an entirely different perspective and different ideas about not only how your business can operate but also how it can become more profitable, move forward and grow. Having the right strategic advice at the right time will ensure you and your business is not left behind with the crowd.
A strategic review of your business can be enlightening as it will identify your strengths and weaknesses and give you a platform for making changes. It can help give you a different perspective and the impetus to do something which you have not done before. We can undertake a full review of your business and provide strategic advice and make recommendations based on the review to maximise profit and efficiency and give you direction and focus. It is not only important for you to understand the vision for the future but also the people that work with you. We can show you how to effectively manage any changes so that it has the maximum effect with minimum disruption.
A detailed financial analysis is not just about looking at the management accounts, the profit and loss statement and the balance sheet but also looking at profitability, cash flow and forecasts. We can help you get a better understanding of the numbers and identify key areas where you can maximise your financial performance. We also have access to accountants who can provide specialist advice in how to extract profits in the most efficient way.
Business Coaching is all about developing you as a business leader, a trait that most of us are not born with. That is not to say you cannot become an effective leader which is what you will need to be to run a successful business. We can help you develop into a strong leader but also look at your wider objectives as a business person i.e. your personal goals and ambitions, and help you achieve them. Many people go into business looking for flexibility, freedom and to earn more working less. This can be achieved if you take the right approach but is seldom achieved because people lose their focus and way. We can help you find your way and live the dream you’ve always wanted.
A full or partial operations review can identify key areas of your business that could benefit from changes in processes and methods of implementation. It will identify areas where you can be more efficient and ultimately make more profit. We can project manage any changes that you decide to implement providing cost effective solutions from the marketplace. We have particular expertise in developing systems and processes that help businesses in the long term.
Most people do not like to admit it and some bury their head in the sand but there are times when things just are not going well for you or your business. This is perhaps the most important time when you should get specialist advice. We can help you see through all the negative elements and help you turn things around. Sometimes it is just better to call it a day and if you decide to do that we can guide you through the process of either selling your business or winding it down and help you get the best out of what is left and get the best outcome possible for you personally.
There is no question that regulation and compliance is a burden regardless of what type of business you are running. This can be relatively simple matters such as the right terms and conditions to complex regulations surrounding professional firms.
It is important to have written policies and procedures in place to avoid falling foul of any legislation or regulatory rules. This not only helps in providing the people within your business with clear guidance and procedures for everything but also demonstrates how you achieve compliance with certain rules and regulations. Sometimes, it is just not enough to be able to say ‘yes we do that’, you have to be able to demonstrate how you actually do it. It may be difficult for you to prove something that you do unless you have it documented in a written policy. We can help you with identifying and also drafting the policies and procedures that you require for your business at a fraction of the time and cost it would take you to do it.
Compliance with the law or a regulatory framework can be a big burden and one which needs to be taken seriously if you want to do business. Failure to comply or getting on the wrong side of the law can have fatal consequences for you and your business. We can make sure that your operations and all the processes and materials are fully compliant with the law and in accordance with any industry specific guidelines. We also have access to lawyers who can help you if you find yourself on the wrong side of it.
How compliant are you? If you do not carry out a full audit you will never really know whether you are fully compliant or not. Regular audits can help you keep up to date with regulation and make the necessary changes quickly avoiding the time consuming investigations or enquiries by statutory bodies or regulators. We can provide an independent benchmark of regulatory compliance which will show you how compliant you are and make recommendations on the changes required for full compliance.
No business is without any form of dispute whether that is a dispute within the organisation or disputes with clients, customers or suppliers or other third parties or even employees. It is important that you get specialist advice early before things start to escalate and get out of hand. Minor disputes can usually be dealt with fairly quickly and relatively cheaply but when there are big stakes or principles involved it can turn very nasty unless it is dealt with in an appropriate manner.
We are all humans and just like outside the workplace at home or elsewhere there are disputes there can be disputes within a business relationship. It can be down to fundamental differences of opinions or disputes over remuneration and/or performance. We can help and advise you of your rights and obligations in any agreements or in the absence of any agreement the legislation that governs those relationships and help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Mediation can often be a cheaper alternative to litigation and in most cases now is mandatory that you attempt to mediate before going to court. If you are having a dispute which is likely to result in litigation but you do not wish to litigate, mediation may be the answer. We can provide an independent mediation service where we are jointly instructed to try and facilitate an agreed settlement between the disputing parties.
Litigation is often the last resort when all else has failed. You may become involved in litigation with either your clients or suppliers or even your regulator or a government body. In any case, we can put you in touch with our expert specialist solicitors who will guide you every step of the way through the litigation process and ensure the best possible outcome for you and your business.
This is probably the most common dispute a business faces, with its employees. If the dispute is not managed properly, you can quickly find yourself in front of an Employment Tribunal incurring significant costs. We can help you try and find the best way of resolving any disputes with employees whether that is advising you or acting as an independent arbitrator or observer of any proceedings or investigations
Business Consultancy Packages
This is our premium consultancy package which provides you with 25 Consultancy days every year. You have total control and flexibility in how you use these days whether it is to provide strategic advice or to manage a particular project.
You have the flexibility of paying monthly for this package giving you a fixed cost every month or you can buy it upfront and bank your hours to use whenever you want or need them. There are no time limits and you can use these all at once or pace it thought-out the year or longer.
This is our most popular package which provides you with 15 Consultancy days every year. As with the Gold package you have total control and flexibility in how you use these days whether it is to provide strategic advice or to manage a particular project.
You have the flexibility of paying monthly for this package giving you a fixed cost every month or you can buy it upfront and bank your hours to use whenever you want or need it. There are no time limits and you can use these all at once or pace it thought-out the year or longer.
This is ideal if you are on a tight budget. This provides you with 10 Consultancy days every year to use however you want during a 12 month period. You still have total control and flexibility in how you ise these days as with all our packages.
You pay a one off yearly fee and is ideal for those who are well set up in their business but require assistance from time to time.
Lexcel sets the required standard in seven different areas:
Take the first step in raising the profile of your business. Click on the link below to book your initial consultation.
We offer fixed fee and flexible payment terms where you can spread the cost of maintaining your accreditation. Click on the link below to book your initial consultation.
Law Firm Consultancy
Setting up and running a law firm amidst the ever increasing changes within the legal landscape can be very challenging. The biggest challenge faced by many law firms is how to stay profitable amidst the strict regulatory framework of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the pressures from all angles to have adequate risk management procedures in place. It is not just about keeping on top of compliance but also about getting the work in and doing it right and managing the business and staff.
Our Legal Consultants have a vast amount of experience in running different types of law firms and can help you in every aspect of the business. They also have plenty of experience of compliance and the SRA, some having worked for the SRA in the past. The combined experience helps us to deliver a totally bespoke service to you and your firm.
However, not everyone can afford that luxury or expense and sometimes it is simply left to the partners to manage which can be very difficult when trying to earn fees. If this is the case, we can provide you with the tools and assistance to be able to carry out this function effectively and provide policies processes and checklists for you to manage the practice with minimum effort.
We can provide support to your COLP and COFA and ensure they fully understand their roles and are able to manage their day to day responsibilities with relative ease. We can help you develop a compliance plan and assist you with undertaking risk assessments for all areas of the business.
If you are looking for a more competitive Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) quote, we have access to a wide network of insurance brokers who may be able to help. We can help you put in place appropriate risk management policies and processes which can help reduce your premiums significantly.
We can also provide an independent audit service, whether that is to review any part of your business or simply an audit of case files. We can identify any issues and also recommend corrective actions and provide any required training.
It is very important to get expert advice as soon as possible to minimise any reputational damage and financial loss. It may be very tempting for some solicitors to try and deal with the SRA on their own but this can be a fatal mistake as usually solicitors are not very good at representing themselves.
We can help you every step of the way whether that is to review a formal response to a disciplinary issue raised by the SRA to preparing you for a full hearing in front of the SDT and everything in between. Our expert knowledge of the procedures and the rules will ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome in the circumstances.
We can help you make sure that you are fully compliant with the SRA Handbook in every aspect whether that is through carrying out audits and recommending corrective changes or reviewing your current processes and policies and developing new ones.
We can also help you with wider firm compliance in terms of demonstrating your effective management of the business as well as review your terms and conditions, referral arrangements, client care policies and compliance with the Accounts Rules.
We can do this in a number of ways by creating and developing business strategies, sales and marketing strategies, branding strategies and business development strategies. We can look at your operations and provide you with strategic advice and an objective review of your business as well as identify areas where you are doing well and also areas where you are perhaps not doing so well.
We offer non-executive directorships where our Legal Consultants who have years of running law firms can act as a sounding board for ideas and provide an objective view to the partners as well as provide fresh innovative ideas tailored to your business.
If you are looking to enter an existing business or exit a business and you need an honest appraisal of the business and a valuation which you can use for funding or marketing of the business then we can help. Our intricate expertise in law firms puts us in the best possible place to provide an honest and realistic valuation which will give you the best chance of securing the best deal.
We can guide you through the application process and also provide you with the tools to be able to maximise your chances of achieving accreditation. If necessary, we can also provide you with the necessary policies and procedures that are the key requirements.
We can help you with Lexcel and the Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditations as well as any other non-legal accreditations such as Investors in People and any other accreditation which you may want for your business.
Whatever your requirements, get in touch now for a free confidential no obligation consultation.
Business or Executive coaching is not a luxury, it is a MUST for anyone running a business. It can be an expensive investment but we guarantee that it will definitely be worth it. We offer a wide range of business coaching services although our focus is very much on owners of SMEs as these are the people that usually benefit the most from our sessions.
Our totally confidential coaching sessions will usually start with a free session which will help you to identify whether Business Coaching is right for you. It will be a fact finding session with an experienced coach who will outline to you the potential benefits of you undertaking a programme of coaching. If you decide it is for you, we have a variety of packages that are suitable for different types of people depending on what stage they are at and their budget. It will largely depend on what you are hoping to achieve and you can have as little or as many sessions that you want or need until you achieve your objectives.
Business Coaching is not about turning you into the next Richard Branson. It is about getting the best out of YOU and helping YOU achieve YOUR goals and objectives. Some of the reasons why people opt for a business coaching are:
- Achieving a greater work/life balance
- Deal with procrastination
- Increase their productivity
- Develop or improve leadership skills
- Gain confidence
- Learn how to manage time better
- Regain focus in their lives and business
- Achieve certain goals in life
A typical coaching programme might last 6 months with a review after 3 months. In this instance, you might typically have six 2 hour sessions with your personal business coach making a total of 12 hours of coaching over 6 months.
Our programmes are totally flexible and they can be at your place of business, home or any other convenient location. We also offer totally flexible payment options so it will not make a huge dent in your wallet!
Watch this video to hear why Bill Gates and the CEO of Google Eric Schmidt think you should have a business coach.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain so why not click on the link below and book your first free session of professional business coaching!
We have developed a number of good working relationships with various providers of business support services and you can find a selection of these providers below. Please contact us to arrange an introduction to take advantage of preferential rates.
Website Design & SEO
Simpy The Web
Bradford based, award winning Simply The Web provides wide range of digital marketing solutions including its core services Website Design & Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
CMA Digital Accountants offer a discrete and dependable accounting service for all aspects of your personal and company’s finances. Their team of highly experienced professionals will make sure your numbers add up.
Commerce Business Systems
Commerce Business Systems (CBS) believes its rapid success is based upon the quality of service it provides. Founded in 2002, Managing Director John Green began building the foundations of CBS with a clear vision for the kind of business he wanted to create – one that values customer relationships and provides a truly personal service.
Business IT Support & Consultancy
Well planned and supported IT makes the working life of you and your team less stressful and more productive. Cosurica focuses on understanding your business, helping you avoid problems with compatibility, compliance, security and storage capacity; making IT really work for you.
With Cosurica by your side, you can get on with doing what you do best – running your business.
Fancy A Chat?
Why not give one of our Consultants a call to discuss your requirements.