Surviving and thriving in the world of modern business is tricky at the best of times. While company owners and managers can’t control major political and economic events such as Brexit or the threat of trade wars, one thing they can do is keep on top of information directly relating to their company. For organisations large and small, gathering business intelligence on potential partners, investors, lenders, suppliers and customers helps mitigate risks. It might even save your company.
For an SME, basic due diligence is easy to carry out. Check a company’s website to find out more about them, ask for references and follow them up, and run a search for the company on the Companies House website. The latter is useful in several ways. It’s easy to see who a company’s officers are and statements of the firm’s annual returns, capital, charges, appointments and terminations, which are all available to view as PDFs.
This is all useful information, but what’s more difficult is uncovering the underlying trends that are driving a company and its key personnel. It takes time to open each PDF one at a time, and you’d have to add the information to a spreadsheet or similar document in order to see the bigger picture. Most decision-makers running SMEs probably don’t have the time for such an exercise.
The alternative is to use the company data site Qynn. It delivers all the content offered on the Companies House site, and then some. Users are able to gather not just background business intelligence on over five million UK companies but they can put it into context quickly and easily. You can then drill down further if you need to, and really understand whom you’re dealing with.
One of the most basic questions a company might need to ask about a potential partner is how they are performing. To work this out via the Company’s House website it’s necessary to open six, eight, ten or more PDFs one by one in order to spot longer term trends in the company’s accounts. It’s perfectly possible to track how its assets, liabilities and net worth have changed of the past five or 10 years, but it takes a while to do so.
With a quick visit to Qynn, this information can be viewed almost instantly. On the Summary page for any company, Qynn will display the company’s total assets, total liabilities and net worth back through the years. Basically, the key indicators you can mine from the Company’s House site are there for you in a nice chart format.
Move to the Financials and Risk sections of the Qynn site and richer data is available relating to different types of assets, debts, profit and loss, and more. Conclusions can be drawn much more quickly about whether a supplier is in a fit state and whether you should trade with them. For example, one with plenty of cash in the bank is much less likely to be rocked by a random financial hit and is therefore less likely to miss deliveries that could affect your supply chain, and that of your customers.
One reason a lot of businesses use the Companies House site is because it makes it easy to find out who a company’s directors and secretaries are, and see what other significant positions they hold. Again, this is useful for any business that needs to run a quick check however it’s easy to end up going down a rabbit hole investigating one individual’s current and past positions without spotting risks or advantages relating to other board members.
Qynn solves this problem by providing ways of visualising the interrelationships between companies and key personnel in its Playground section. Simply search for a company or an individual and you can view the relationships linking directors and companies through a variety of different diagram templates. Through these diagrams it will quickly become clear who the key players are – the individuals that link several companies at once.
These connections could be a vital part of your business intelligence. A director of a company you have selected as a potential supplier could be running one of your direct competitors as well, which could be a conflict of interest. They might be a shareholder in another business with very high levels of debt. Or, they might be part of a very complex chain of ownership, which could be completely benign or it could be designed to hide their true business interests.
Trust is such an important part of any business relationship, and not only can Qynn quickly show you a company’s past performance and who’s running it, but it helps owners and managers work out who to trust. Using machine intelligence and a proprietary algorithm to analyse recent and historical performance, Qynn calculates a score for each of the five million companies and 17.8 million individuals listed on the site. From zero to 100, it’ll accurately tell you whether or not a company or director is likely to be able to pay their debts.
While using the Companies House website is a useful first step or occasional resource for an SME that wants to carry out due diligence on any other company it works with, the information and real intelligence on Qynn makes it a much better option when crucial decisions need to be taken. By presenting the information in formats that can be instantly accessed and absorbed, and by providing a reliable rating of each company’s liquidity, Qynn will save you a lot of time. For less than £10 per month, it could be the most important service your company subscribes to – lowering the risk and taking the pain out of researching your partners.