Business growth certainly can be a double edged sword. Handled and planned for well, it can be the start of a whole new chapter of opportunities in your life and business.
Handled not so well, and it can threaten hard-earned, existing achievements. So how do you know if your ducks are in a row to grow?
To start with, you really have to want it. For many Australian small and medium business owners, owning their own business is about lifestyle, not world domination. It’s easy to be influenced by the perception that if you’re in business then obviously you want to grow. Not true: at the end of the day having great work-life-balance is as equally important as business growth.
If business growth is your focus, it comes down to readiness across some key areas: people; processes; proposition; and of course the money.
The all-important human factor
Mapping out the impact of busines growth on your team – new functions; new skills; new staff members joining your business etc – is possibly one of the most important things to consider.
Many things reach the heights or get stuck before take-off based on the all-important human factor. And it’s not just about whether you have the right skill sets in place; but importantly, how does your team work together? If the business is about to take on growth – which brings with it the need to adapt and find efficiencies – does your team have the right dynamic to support change and flexibility?
Proposition – is the market big enough?
You’ve got a handle on your business – you know your market, what your clients / customers want etc. But have your expansion plans been based on facts and data or gut feel?
Running on instinct isn’t necessarily a bad thing – many an innovative success sorry has come from some educated guess-work. But on the whole, there is greater potential for a successful business growth story when plans are based on fundamentals like market size (here and overseas of course); number of competitors; cost to market etc. Is there a market for your growth?
Processes: smart paths to success
Growth equals more things that need to be attended to everyday. Added to this, you’ll invariably find that the need for new processes will crop up, as well the need for more effective communication between functions. What’s more, systems that may have been effective before can become redundant overnight – for example trusty Excel spreadsheets. To give growth a real go, anticipating changes to your processes and upgrading to new systems with the ability to automate functions or simply be more efficient, is a fundamental piece of the puzzle.
Spending money to make money?
The finish line may not look too far away but the thing with all things new – new being a big part of growth – is that unforeseen costs can take you unaware. None of us have a crystal ball and therefore can’t see every new cost that will come along with expansion plans, but some thorough mapping out will certainly result in a less bumpy cash flow ride along the way.
As will being smart with how you fund your business growth story – assessing your options upfront and understanding the smart path to supporting the various stages of growth. At Fifo Capital we’ve partnered many small and medium businesses to enable growth and we welcome you to talk to us about how our facility can support your expansion plans.
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