The vast majority of businesses are all looking for ways to grow, so if yours is in an expansion phase, you are probably popping open the champagne to celebrate! Still, there are some challenges you need to be aware of when entering into a growth phase. So, once you’ve downed those bubbles, read on for some expert tips to help you manage that growth sustainably through solid business practices.
Examine your Cash Flow Options
Financial management might not be something you expect to have to worry about when business is booming, but a surprising number of companies struggle with cash flow during growth. These challenges often arise from ineffective supplier management, credit control, and stock management.
Planning is crucial. You may also need to look at trade finance, where you raise capital against trade debts. Alternatively, you could bring in outside investors. Otherwise, you may find yourself in an unenviable scenario where you need to pass on exciting opportunities because you don’t have the required cash flow to support them.
As your organization grows, it can feel like continual problem solving from the start of the day until the moment your spinning head hits the pillow (and potentially for a few sleepless hours after that). Instead of getting bogged down with short-term crises, now is the time to stop and reassess the changing business needs.
Which challenges are taking up most of your time? If they are with sales, you may need to recruit a new sales superstar or a stellar customer service manager. If they are in finance, consider outsourcing the bookkeeping to an experienced accountant.
Following on from the above point, it isn’t just your resources you will have to reassess. You should also consider your technology. Technological advancements are being released all the time, and they are designed to make your life easier. No matter what industry you are striving to conquer, there are likely to be customizable automation and workforce management solutions available that can minimize the manual administration your team is slogging through each day.
When things speed up, processes can fall down. Businesses often find that the way they worked with five staff doesn’t work once they expand to 15 team members. Communication becomes more challenging and it’s harder to keep track of who is accountable for what. This can lead to deadlines being missed, projects lagging, and cracks forming. To overcome this challenge, you could try mapping out the team’s roles and responsibilities and consider implementing project management software to keep things on track.
Do you know what the primary sources of income are for your new business growth? Is there an area you can boost your investment in to drive the company forward? Organizations often carry out marketing campaigns, complete major projects, or implement new software without putting in place a structure to measure the returns. Understanding your return on investment from different areas of your business allows you to invest strategically. Otherwise, you run the risk of pouring money into the wrong places. Do this, and you may soon see your growth stalling or going backward.
Business growth is exciting, but you need to work hard to cement reliable internal processes and workflows in every stage. Follow these tips, and you are sure to be enjoying quite a few champagne celebrations in the years to come!