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Is this the time to prepare your business for growth?

With the first half of 2015 showing continued improvement in the economy in Northern Ireland, many businesses are actively planning and investing for growth. Like any other sector, the Pharmacy sector is evolving, and as the sector changes, there will continue to be good business growth opportunities.

Here are some useful tips which may help with your business planning:

1. Assess the impact of planned growth. Review your business capacity and ability to meet and service any new business that you take on. Will you have to take on additional staff? Will you need to secure additional supplies from your suppliers? Recruiting the right person can take time, and your suppliers will appreciate timely notice of any likely increase in orders from your business.

2. Ensure that your financial forecasts and cashflows are up-to-date. Growing your business may require additional working capital or cash to finance the extra work and sales you are forecasting. Ensure that your cashflows are up-to-date and take account of your growth plans. Make

sure that your forecasts are supported by solid industry information, taking account of likely sectoral or legislative changes.

3. Talk to your bank or financial providers in good time. If your cashflow forecasts highlight the need for more money to finance your planned business growth, you will need to engage with your bank in good time to talk about your new requirements.

4. Have contingency plans. Consider risks and issues involved in growing your business and have plans in place to mitigate those risks and issues. Prepare contingency plans to deal with the major things that could impact on your business as it expands.

5. Don’t lose sight of your customers. The “new” is exciting, as well as very 39

time consuming. It can be very easy to lose sight of your existing customers in the drive for growth. Plan your business expansion carefully, to minimise any adverse impacts on customers and your hard-won business reputation.

6. Bring your people with you. While it is very stimulating to be working in a high growth environment, it can also be very demanding, and potentially stressful, for the people involved. Take time to acknowledge the extra input from your people and make sure that success is celebrated and rewarded.

At Bank of Ireland UK, we are focused on working with businesses, understanding their ambitions for the future and playing our part in building sustainable business growth across all sectors in Northern Ireland.

If you are considering investing for growth and want to find out about funding options with Bank of Ireland UK please contact Mark Cunningham via email MarkA.Cunningham@ or visit our website at business/

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