Ellis & Co Case study: M&P Business Solutions

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As a business owner making decisions, providing a structure and prioritising work can be a daunting task, but never fear - help is at hand.

Step forward M&P Business Solutions who help to create short to long term plans for new, small and medium sized businesses helping them grow, overcome difficulties and become more efficient. 

“We understand how overwhelming it can be running your own business and come in as a fresh pair of eyes to help clear the fog and come up with solutions to take away the stress and help clients succeed,” said Morag Davies, director of M&P Business Solutions.

“We work on three main principles – review, plan and implement – where we understand what needs to be done, create a plan to get there and then help the team to put it into action.”

M&P Business Solutions was established in 2017 by husband and wife team Morag and Powys Davies, who run the business from their office on Chester Business Park. 

“I’d always wanted to have my own business and after years of commuting into Manchester, travelling and sitting on long conference calls, I knew I needed a change,” said Morag.  

“We set up M&P to use the benefit of large company experience to help smaller businesses and provide a structure for them.”

Work is tailored to each client, providing a range of support services including: creating and monitoring cash flow forecasts; preparing management information and negotiating with lenders; writing policies and procedures and Welsh translation.

After 15 years in banking and working with a wide range of companies through the full economic cycle from growth, through the financial crisis to recovery and uncertainty, it’s fair to say Morag is knowledgeable in the world of business. 

Morag’s working day is a very busy one, but luckily for Morag she is a self-confessed ‘early bird’, and is sat at her desk from 5.30am most mornings.

Emails and LinkedIn are checked first then it’s on to meetings, networking events, working on reports, financial plans or proposals.

Along with an early rise, one thing always remains the same - a long run, which Morag admits helps her to focus and structure ideas; she is currently in training for the Chester Marathon in October and London Marathon in April. 

“When meeting a client for the first time we find out where the company is, where it wants to be, goals and challenges and follow up with business health check,” said Morag, who also holds voluntary positions for a multi academy trust and sits on a rail passenger panel.

“We provide recommendations and options and work with clients to create a business, operational and financial plan.

“This can be as detailed or high level as the client wants and follow up work can be quite hands on where we come in to do part time work within the company,” she added. 

Morag and Powys are currently working with a charity to achieve their vision of setting up a sensory play centre for children with additional needs.

Although great at fundraising the charity have needed help on the operating side of things.

Its plan has now been broken down into stages over the next three years, an outline operating and financial model has been created and guidance given on admin and ongoing management.

“I love speaking to businesses who have a real passion for what they do and great vision for what they want to achieve,” said Morag.

“A lot of my clients know where they want to be but not how to get there and can be overwhelmed with how much they have to do.

“I help to provide them with structure and focus and break down the tasks into more simple bite sized pieces so they’re not doing everything at once.

“It’s satisfying to see them make progress to also relax instead of worrying about what they’re not doing, just making some small changes can have a significant impact,” she added. 

As a new business owner Morag soon realised the things she ‘took for granted’ as an employee now landed solely with her: “There’s so much to do and you don’t realise the amount of support there is in larger businesses where you don’t need to think about setting up your IT, doing your marketing and there are other people around to help.

“I’ve realised that I’m a pretty private person and didn’t do much on social media before setting up the business.

“I’m gradually getting better and will getting into the habit of regular posts and blogs,” she added.

The next twelve months look busy for Morag and Powys who are hoping to build the business with a portfolio of regular clients. 

“We’re also looking to work in partnership with other businesses who offer complementary services so we can offer a full package to clients,” she said.

“Working collaboratively is really important, we might have our own businesses but being able to bring in trusted partners in areas we don’t specialise means that clients can have a group of advisers working together on the same strategy.”

M&P have recently made a change within the business, moving from an accountants in Manchester over to Ellis & Co.

“I found our former accountants hard to speak to, it took ages to come back to me and didn’t seem to want to help me,” said Morag.

“I first met John Farrell (account senior at Ellis & Co) at a networking event and met up for a coffee, he is really approachable, he explained the set up at Ellis & Co and how they could support my business and I was really impressed.

“I was looking to move onto an accounting software package and the support Anna offers is great,” she added.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to is really friendly and helpful.

“I can email or call the team with a query on my business or bit of advice for a client and someone will come back to me quickly. 

“I feel as if they work in the same way we do – happy to have a chat to talk things through and offer advice, it’s a really personal service,” she added.

For further information about M&P Business Solutions click here.