In the vast majority of cases, the financing of SMEs through bank loans is linked to the personal liability of the owners or managing partners. This is a standard collateralisation of commercial banks and savings banks, which is often justified with “If you don’t believe in your company, how can we as a bank? For the guarantor, the scope of liability resulting from the legal form of the company extends to the private sphere. If this constellation is not actively shaped, experience shows that there will be far-reaching consequences for the guarantor, but also for the company. In addition to liability for the company’s debts, there may also be restrictions on succession planning. The focus is on a clear financing strategy that includes the structuring of the liabilities side of the company as well as the conditions of the debt capital – including interest, collateral and covenants. Read more
Many people first think of environmental protection, climate protection and decarbonisation when they hear the word “sustainability”. But sustainability is much more than that. The wide range is reflected in the ESG criteria. ESG stands for “Environment”, “Social” and “Governance”. It is not only about the “E”, but also about the “S” and “G”. It is only through the interaction of the three areas of environment, social affairs and corporate governance that a sustainable corporate orientation unfolds, which improves growth opportunities and financing advantages and makes the company more resilient. The individual weighting of the three areas differs depending on the sector and size of the company. For example, the area of “environment” can have a much higher relevance for an industrial company than for a service provider.
The press releases are piling up: small and medium-sized companies are increasingly experiencing economic difficulties – many have concrete closure plans and are implementing them. The offers for sale are increasing. Energy shock, brittle supply chains, shortage of skilled workers and inflation are the reasons. Price increases are not only hitting their own profit and loss statements, they are also causing customers to hold back and lower sales. An analysis by the information service provider CRIF sees an increased risk of insolvency for around 300,000 companies in Germany. That is around 10% of the companies in Germany. The industries that are particularly energy-intensive have already shown significant increases in insolvency cases. This situation calls for attention and caution.
The planning of a company succession, the sale of the company or the departure of a shareholder: The company valuation can become relevant for very different reasons. Basically, the company value is an important criterion when a company is up for succession. The company value provides important guidance at all stages of the succession process: If an entrepreneur knows the company value at an early stage and if it turns out to be lower than desired, he may have sufficient time until the time of the planned sale to take suitable measures to increase the value. If the entrepreneur is weighing up various succession options, the company valuation is an important factor in the decision-making process. For example, in order to clarify whether the sum would be sufficient as retirement provision. Or to ensure fair distribution within the family succession. Or to discuss what tax effects an internal family succession would have. When it comes to a concrete sale, the company valuation is a critical decision-making basis for the negotiation talks.
The whistleblower directive is coming. But very few companies have taken care of it yet. This is shown by a recent PWC study. And it also confirms our impression in practice. But time is pressing: if the law is finally passed by parliament, all companies with 50 or more employees will be obliged to install a corresponding system. And the number of employees here is based on the European concept of employees – and this differs from the usual way of counting. Employees include everyone employed by the company without exception, including interns, mini-jobbers, and the management itself. This is important for determining whether thresholds are reached or not.
In many medium-sized family businesses, a succession is due in the foreseeable future. In most cases, the company is to remain in family ownership. But not all daughters and sons are talented entrepreneurs. Or simply no one wants to do it. Then an external manager can be appointed.
When an external manager takes over the management of a family business, there are many challenges – for both sides. At the same time, the cooperation also holds many opportunities: External managers can professionalize the company with their experience and bring fresh momentum into the business. For the collaboration to succeed, a systematic approach is advisable – starting with the onboarding phase. Read more
The corporate world is changing dynamically and with it the challenges for leadership and management. Managers are constantly confronted with new tasks as a result of the permanent changes. In order to successfully cope with change, focused further development is essential. Structured development of executives is best achieved using an individually designed development model. It ensures that leaders are best equipped for current and future business tasks and challenges.
Systematic development of executives in medium-sized companies is currently the exception rather than the rule. Leadership development therefore offers many companies a great, previously untapped opportunity to strengthen their team, find new talent and successfully move the company forward even in phases of major change.
Supervisors play a Key Role in Employee Retention
The structured development of managers is an important basis for the company’s future – and for staff retention. According to a recent Personio study*, 46% of employees in small and medium-sized companies across Europe are planning to change jobs in the near future. One of the most important reasons cited for this is a lack of appreciation. Leadership style, social skills, empathy and corporate culture are key factors in determining how much employees identify with the company and feel comfortable there. This means that supervisors play a particularly important role in the onboarding process.
Success is no coincidence
Reflecting on oneself, deepening one’s own competencies, learning, networking, motivating … In times of such rapid and major changes, a modern manager is characterized above all by the willingness and ability to develop further. This applies to younger managers as well as to experienced ones. The concrete design of the personal development model depends on many individual factors such as the management level, the area of responsibility or the personal experience values. A younger manager who wants to prepare optimally for taking on greater management responsibility will set completely different priorities in his development model than an experienced manager who wants to drive major change processes in the company. The earlier a development model for leadership and management is implemented at all levels, the more promising the results. After all, developing leaders systematically takes time and is an ongoing process.
Leadership Development with Structure, Empathy and 360° View
How can a manager be developed in a goal-oriented manner? When implementing the development model, it is important to look at the individual framework conditions, corporate culture and goals and link them to the internal guidelines for managers. For this purpose, we develop an agile development model. First, the initial situation is analysed and relevant competencies as well as strengths and weaknesses of the executives are identified. On this basis, development areas and goals are defined, and an individual leadership development model is elaborated. The development model is tailored to the individual starting situation of the executive in order to ensure optimal learning and successful transfer to practice. It will initially be launched as a pilot project and, after the test phase, will be successively implemented as a professional infrastructure in the form of coaching, training, and learning-on-the-job elements. Managers can thus achieve their individual development goals in a targeted and efficient manner. The training effects are permanently evaluated and assessed to ensure the best possible development results.
THE MAK`ED TEAM sees leadership development as an essential part of successful business development. We develop agile leadership development models that are easy to implement and focused. Executives benefit from our high level of expertise in corporate business and our interdisciplinary, experienced team.
More about HR Development.
*Source: Personio study “The Great Value Shift”, 2022
No figures again? No up-to-date evaluations again? In many medium-sized companies, things are not running smoothly in the accounting department. The effort required to enter, print and check incoming invoices and receipts is often high and involves a lot of manual work. Staff shortages add to the stress. It is not uncommon for accounting to lag behind what is happening in the company. Then the entrepreneur lacks an overview of the economic development of his company – which makes decisions more difficult and involves risks. Every entrepreneur is familiar with the modern and sustainable solution, the digitalization of processes. However, the concrete implementation is lacking in many places. The digitalization of the accounting system is not a free skate for companies, but a duty, otherwise the company cannot be actively managed.
Runs: Digitized Processes save Time and Resources
Digitization of accounting aims to automate routine activities and simplify individual process steps. And it succeeds quite pragmatically. Whether it’s invoice receipt, invoice approval, archiving or invoice issue, reminders or automatic account assignments: With the right tools, accounting processes can be managed efficiently, on a daily basis and transparently. To do this, the first step is to revise the processes: What needs to be changed, what needs to be redone and what can be retained? This is the core of digitalization in accounting, because if only the manual path of a paper invoice is digitalized, this does not lead to an improved process. In the course of digitalization, the opportunity should be taken to really improve processes and structures. Subsequently, based on the requirements, it can be clarified which tools can be used for the respective company. For example, this could be new accounting software, a document management system with font recognition. The right, GoBD-compliant tools significantly simplify the workflow through automated processes and can also be implemented as a first step as an isolated solution with manageable effort.
Less Effort, more Capacity – the Advantages of Digitalization:
Digitized accounting works quickly, avoids errors and reduces the use of human resources. Cooperation with tax advisors, auditors and banks can be noticeably facilitated. On the other hand, management has an overview of the status of liabilities, receivables and its own liquidity through up-to-date evaluations. With a custom-fit solution, medium-sized companies can achieve efficiency gains and information advantages.
When THE MAK`ED TEAM supports its medium-sized customers in the digitalization of their accounting, pragmatic recommendations for action are developed on the basis of the individual starting conditions and the company’s goals. We have a high level of expertise in the establishment of new structures and the transformation of accounting and finance and know the decisive parameters for a successful and efficiently implemented digitalization.
Read more about accounting and digitalization here:
Accounting Compliance as a Basis for the Annual Financial Report
Orders cannot be accepted because production does not create enough output? The complaint rate is increasing? The company is in a tight financial situation because too much liquidity is tied up in the entire production process?
Many medium-sized manufacturing companies are currently in a challenging situation. Weaknesses in the structures and processes of production thus become even more apparent. Of course, no production is perfect. If it is viewed and optimized according to the principles of lean management, significant improvement results can be achieved. Lean Production creates a customer-oriented, lean, and resource-efficient production process and strengthens the competitive position. Lean Production aims to avoid waste at all levels in production processes, to ensure good quality, to keep delivery times short and costs low.
One comes, one goes – and if one doesn’t go, one is too many. This statement already says a lot about why succession in family businesses is demanding. It takes a successor who is willing to take on responsibility and it takes an entrepreneur who is willing to put responsibility in the hands of his successor. The path to succession is crucial because it involves answering many questions. Systematically addressing the issue of succession in the company at an early stage ensures success – even if the result will most likely be different than expected.