Business development · 17 July 2015

Our business planning expert: Shelley Stock Hutter partner Bobby Lane

Bobby Lane has helped companies large and small to improve

My name is Bobby Lane, and I work for advisory firm Shelley Stock Hutter, where I’m responsible for helping young companies grow and improving the fortunes of those going through difficult periods.

I understand what it’s like to make the big leap from having a secure job to setting up your own business. More than 12 years ago, I left the world of media and marketing as a CFO, obtained a small overdraft and my Mini became my mobile office.

Since then (as an accountant and small business adviser) I’ve helped hundreds of businesses in the UK set up their business, get struggling businesses get back on track and have a terrific track record of making sure businesses can get funding from banks or other providers.

Take the story of four hair colourists who wanted to set up their own salon but were rejected by six banks for a loan. They came to me for help and I made sure that the seventh time the bank said yes. Or the company that was 24 hours away from going out of business, which is now making record profits and growing dramatically. Or the inspiring story of a married couple in their sixties who had an innovative product – deodorants for 8-14 year olds but struggled to get investment to make this idea fly. I worked with them and now the product is selling globally in over 7,000 stores.

A partner at accountancy firm SSH, I’m also a mentor for a government-backed scheme designed to help startups and a regular commentator for the national and trade media.

In my contributions for Business Advice, I’ll will be writing about a range of business management issues affecting start-ups and growing businesses including:

  • How to write a business plan
  • Starting your own business and taking the plunge
  • Working capital – cash, costs and control
  • How to get the bank to say “yes” and where else you can go to get funding
  • Should you go into business with a good friend?
  • Winning new customers and new tenders
  •  Getting your business back on track and what you can do
  • Budget savers for your business
  • Taking your business to the next stage of growth
  • Selling your business

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Bobby Lane is a partner at audit, accountancy, outsourcing and business advisory practice Shelley Stock Hutter, where he has been overseeing business growth since 2003. He’s a regular speaker and expert on professional new business and marketing. Having qualified as a chartered accountant while with BDO, he’s served as a business agony uncle on BBC Radio London and has particular expertise in the media, fashion, leisure and health/beauty sectors.