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Soapbox: Five things to do in 2014
A study into the financial performance and value of the UK's top 792 commercial cleaning companies highlights five things owners and directors must do in 2014.
* Learn from the successful
* Know the growth areas in the market
* Asses your business value and buying or selling prospects
* Go in search of higher margins
* Monitor those failing in the market and exploit their weaknesses
Here, David Pattison, senior, analyst, gives his views on the reasons why knowing the answers to these questions will help you improve your competitive advantage in 2014.
Learn from the successful: Highlighted in the study are 42 firms that have proven the market is no barrier to success, achieving staggering sales growth and delivering record profits. These firms are getting it right in the market; they are setting the standards for financial performance and anyone in the industry should be inspired by their results and follow their lead.
Know the growth areas in the market: If you want to know how to increase your sales, take a look at 50 firms highlighted in the analysis. In a market averaging only 5%, these firms are averaging 18% sales increases. They are showing the direction in which the market is moving, they are driving the change and understanding their products and services. Strategy will be very important in the year ahead.
Asses your business value and buying or selling prospects: In a time of change in the market, all business leaders should be keeping an eye on their businesses value and how attractive their business is likely to be to others. They should also be open to the possibility that they could make an acquisition. We have identified 143 firms where their value has fallen by a third. Many of these businesses need an injection of capital and you or one of your competitors could well buy them out.
Go in search of higher margins: Key to your company's long term success is good profitability... 50 firms named in the analysis are delivering 8.7% margins, and they are showing that real value can be added in a market. Just to put these firms into context, 258 of the 792 companies are currently making a loss. Understanding how these firms are structured and their business models will prove vital to your future profitability.
Monitor those failing in the market and exploit their weaknesses: The year ahead will not be without casualties... named in the analysis are 139 firms whose risk of failure in 2014 is higher due to their low financial health. Two important lessons can be learned from these firms.
a) Know their weaknesses so you can exploit them the market
b) Understand how the problems started and the weaknesses - so you can avoid the same mistakes.
The full analysis has interrogated the UK largest 792 commercial cleaning companies and conducted a full commercial and financial analysis of each.
Copies of the report can be purchased via:
5th December 2013