NANAIMO – What are some of the greatest barriers to continued business growth and how do business owners overcome them?

Malcom Hargrave

Malcolm Hargrave, CPA, CGA and co-founder of RM Business Solutions

Rick Warwick and Malcolm Hargrave, CPA, CGA, founders of RM Business Solutions, have dedicated many years in helping small to medium-sized business owners tackle this question.

“If companies don’t make the right changes as they’re growing, the owners will often get so busy firefighting that they lose the ability to tackle some of their biggest problems,” says Warwick. “This is often when we get a phone call and intervene. When we come in, we can quickly identify what the problems are and offer down-to-earth, practical solutions.”

Both founders of RM Business Solutions have decades of experience in senior management. Warwick has extensive experience working as both a General Manager and Operations Manager in IT environments and the manufacturing industry.

Hargrave compliments Warwick’s operational skill set with extensive financial experience as a CFO, VP Finance, Director of Finance, and Corporate Controller, working in major, high-profile corporations.

The two developed a business relationship while Hargrave was working as a consultant for several Island-based companies.

“I have an extensive financial background, so when a clients’ needs were more on the operational end of things, I would call on Rick for help,” says Hargrave. “We worked together on several projects, and eventually decided to go out on our own.”

“Because of our professional histories, we can offer clients advice that comes from hands-on experience,” says Warwick. “We’ve worked with companies from 2 million, right up to 20 million, and often we can quickly identify what’s needed to overcome some of the most common barriers.”

For example, when Hargrave was called in to, a Victoria-based business repairing high-end yachts, the company was in serious financial difficulties, and any turnaround would be challenging and lengthy.

“I brought in a new accountant and general manager, and together we turned the company around, growing it from approximately $2.7 Million to over $6 Million in annual revenue in just three years,” he says. “By the time I finalized my contract, profits had soared and the number of employees had doubled from 25 to over 50.”

Recently, Malcolm and Rick were brought in to help a Nanaimo company, designing, selling and servicing water systems, to look into some variances with inventories and gross profit margins.

“Malcolm came in initially and fixed some of the financial issues, however it turned out that operations were the root cause of the problem,” says Warwick. “After Rick and Malcolm made some key changes, the company’s revenues, operations and financials improved, and the owner was able to sell the business shortly after.”

As RM Business Solutions takes on new clients, their proven experience will help other Island businesses achieve similar turnarounds.

Warwick concludes, “Both of us have a lot of knowledge and experience working for larger companies, and we know how to bring a disciplined approach to small business and how to create success.”