Helping progressive businesses achieve their optimum potential. I work with dynamic, open minded business leaders to implement a strategic business plan, and eliminate process complexity.
By bringing simple organisational effectiveness to operations the results are wide reaching. It's the impact on individuals which is most rewarding, seeing the enhanced well-being of the owners and their team is the reason why Jola exists.
With over 25 years of business expertise, a finance background, intuition and creativity I deliver a high quality bespoke alternative to traditional management consultancy.
I work with a range of businesses, at different stages of their corporate life, to help them take the next step, whatever that might be. Through creative management consultancy, I help clients improve their quality of life and maintain/restore the passion they have for their business; providing concise, meaningful information, with the drive to make your business fitter, leaner and far more simple, day-to-day.
The five business stages I work with:
Sustain and improve
Your business is ticking over nicely but you don’t want to remain complacent. You recognise you need to invest in technology to keep your business moving forward. You want to be confident that you have the right commercial tools and the correct financial understanding to ensure that your success so far hasn’t just been luck and that your business has a clear strategy to keep it performing well.
Growth or change
When your business is experiencing rapid growth, through winning new large clients or extending existing business beyond your forecasts, that creates financial challenges of its own. Do you have the financial capability to invest in more people, kit or other resources? Should you put all your eggs in one basket, or should you resist the change and stay as you are?
You’re in the process of acquiring a new site or perhaps considering purchasing another business. How do you look at your own business performance and make good decisions about what to do next? Which data is instructive and which numbers can you afford to ignore? How do you go to your bank to discuss the investment you need if you don’t have a full picture?
Your business has a reached a point where you feel you’re stagnating and require fresh ideas – even a turnaround. By getting a grip on your true commercial strengths and weaknesses, you will have the right information to take the best decisions to optimise your business and inject new growth.
Exit and succession strategy
Whether you’re a family business or privately owned, you may be at the point where you wish to hand over to the next generation or sell your business entirely. How do you extricate yourself from a business you’ve been instrumental in creating? How do you separate equity from asset? What assumptions do you need to put aside to make appropriate choices at this exciting time?
The first part of the service I provide is a discovery session with new clients. Here we discuss your business and look at the challenges you are facing in the round in order to see the big picture and understand what your objectives are. This session is complimentary and after this I can provide you with a work schedule, detailing the scope and budget of the work I will do, the access I will need and the proposed timescales involved. I provide advice and implementation so that you can work with me and also step back. This allows me to carry out the more detailed number-crunching and business analysis to deliver independent and impartial management consultancy specific to your company’s performance and situation.
Director - Laura Hicks ACA
A Chartered Accountant by training, a Finance Director by experience, I relish inspiring business owners to reconnect with the financial heart of their companies. I have a real passion for helping business owners to take a step back and see their excitement when they realise what is possible, simply by understanding the commercial picture before them. It is this ability to crunch the numbers and reveal the true story of each business that I work with, that allows a fresh approach to the challenges they deal with, day-to-day.
My passion for business development started while training with an Essex firm of accountants. I loved working with SMEs, and this has formed my appreciation and understanding of the unique challenges each one faces. Businesses are managed by people and the individuals involved in each company are all different, with their own commercial dynamics. I have always preferred personal interaction and a hands-on approach, and I work with a small number of businesses at a time, in order to fully immerse myself in your culture, products and services, financial systems and business ethos. I firmly believe this is the only way to provide valuable advice that will give you a visible return on your investment.
My experience is extensive and varied, providing a wealth of knowledge and a proven track record of improving business performance. Previous roles include working as a Finance Director for a leading financial services company, Business Partnering with a renewable energy group, and working as a Corporate Manager with a top 50 City-based accountancy practice.
I invest in my own development and work with a range of different partners to extend my experience and provide, where relevant, suitable support for my clients.
These partnerships provide the capacity to deliver successful business coaching and workshops, along with access to extra business services in the way of IT support, HR guidance, marketing and administration.
As an active member of the Institute of Directors and Essex Chamber of Commerce I am keen to use my influence to improve business performance by voicing what is happening within the business community.
Laura is a fantastic listener, she is professional, accurate and has an eye for detail. Laura brings an emphatic view to finance delivering higher level analysis and ensuring the business is fully informed. I would highly recommend Laura to any client.
Hayley Roy - Owner / Designer
Harp Commercial Interiors
I was introduced by a colleague of mine to Laura over a year ago. Laura was able to help us with our business plan and identify some of the areas needing improvement. Her reports and advice helped us to put a plan in motion very quickly and see results faster than we were expecting. I have no hesitation in recommending Laura to any other companies.