Sarah Thelwall | www.mycake.org
"I've been working as a consultant to SME's (and specifically with those in the Creative Industries) for about a decade now and one recurring pattern I saw was the lack of familiarity and confidence in financial management processes. I'm firmly of the opinion that if we can raise the quality of financial management in small firms we can dramatically improve their sustainability and their ability to meet their growth goals. I've also noticed the lack of points of comparison available to small businesses... If you're achieving 10% growth vs last year you're probably pretty pleased but if the average is more like 15% and the best are achieving 20% then you have more work ahead of you than you might think..."
I'd been mulling over these challenges for a couple of years and, quite literally, woke up one morning with the idea to connect a book-keeping system to a benchmarking engine. A short while later MyCake (www.mycake.org) was being tested on a small clutch of willing volunteers.
MyCake is built on a premise of collaboration. If you want the benefit of the insight into how to improve the business you run you have to give as well as take. The MyCake benchmark is compiled from the anonymised and confidential data of those who use the service. You can't just buy the benefit and walk away!
Needless to say we are pretty careful about how we do this so the benchmarking engine we use is one that has been around for a decade and the kinks have been ironed out already to the satisfaction of several thousand SME's.
Whilst you have to be a MyCake user to access the book-keeping and benchmarking services for your business we are also committed to spreading the word as to the benefits of improving an SME's financial management processes. Suggested solutions to the most common problems are available at www.mycakefinancialmanagement.co.uk/blog and our Benchmark Bulletins are publicly available (help yourself!).
The networks I enjoy the most are those where I come into contact with people beyond my immediate field of interest. The networks that are of most immediate benefit to MyCake are those which are populated with SME's and related support & development organisations.