Having spent a number of years as the finance director for Virgin Management, the team overseeing Richard Branson’s investment in the Virgin Group, Tilesh Patel decided that it was time to give his own entrepreneurial spirit a free rein and has set up The SME Clinic.
A seasoned chartered accountant who has spent over twenty five years engaged in a number of high profile organisations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Verizon and Aviva, Tilesh built a reputation in corporate strategy, process re-engineering and business transformation, delivering multi-million pound profit and cash flow improvement. Over the years, he observed many companies develop through various stages of the business life-cycle. Few of these companies benefited from the range and quality of professional support required to support their ambitious growth plans. This breadth of support is found mainly in the largest accountancy practices with strong consultancy arms and so is typically out of reach of the small enterprise.
The SME Clinic was conceived from the perspective of an entrepreneur who needs advice and support in a range of business areas. Whilst busy building their business, the entrepreneur often does not have the time to manage an array of different uncoordinated providers, and needs a single trusted adviser.
Tilesh recognised that there was an opportunity to fill this gap by providing a more holistic professional services practice dedicated to the SME sector.
The overall focus of The SME Clinic is on securing the health and success of a business throughout its life cycle. This involves securing a sound commercial, financial and operational framework for the business, and one that is able to evolve, creating wealth for the entrepreneur.
“We believe in total immersion in our client's business resulting in smart, innovative and cost-effective solutions that are seamlessly integrated into the client’s business operations. We support entrepreneurs from initial concept, to funding and managing their business, right through to potential exit if that is what they desire,” explains Tilesh. “If our client wishes to focus on the commercial aspects of their business, such as selling their goods or services, we will take care of their back office, such as accounting and tax compliance.”
Clients of The SME Clinic benefit from a complete suite of services that is provided directly or in collaboration with like-minded partners, such as Keystone Law. Services include strategy, planning & financial modelling, funding, systems and technology, business reporting, accounting, tax compliance and strategy, corporate governance, coaching and mentoring for owners and staff at all levels, as well as complete outsourcing of back-office activities.
The SME Clinic is supported by Martin Hynes, non-executive Chairman, also a chartered accountant. He has a tremendous passion for the SME sector, and prior to his involvement with private equity, he held board-level appointments at publicly quoted companies, such as Group Finance Director at Walker Greenbank Plc and Chief Executive of Universal Salvage Plc. He has built an enviable track record in generating substantial shareholder wealth, through M&A, restructuring and business recovery activities. He has also been instrumental in driving growth and profitability over relatively short timescales.
Tilesh chose Keystone Law as their legal adviser as they have similar values and vision. The business required a client engagement letter and all the legal content for the website www.thesmeclinic.com. Given the holistic nature of their services, Tilesh was also looking for a law firm that could work with The SME Clinic on the legal aspects of a client's initiatives. Tilesh comments. “This is much easier if both firms have a similar approach and understanding. These aspects are critical to us as they form the fabric of our contractual relationship with clients and also enable us to put an attractive proposition to prospective clients. Overall, we hold the relationship with Keystone Law, particularly William Robins, in high regard.”
When asked about his ambitions for The SME Clinic, Tilesh explains, “We want to ensure that every client that chooses us experiences best-in-class service. Consequently, our growth strategy will be governed by client demand coupled with our ability to maintain a 'personal' service. We are less concerned about quantity than we are about the quality and standard of our assignments.”
This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. It should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. Please note that the law may have changed since the date of this article.