There can be nothing more disappointing when you set up a business than the collapse of a sustained period of growth due to negligence on the part of your leadership team. All too often, startups and small businesses collapse due to financial errors and poor infrastructural planning, leaving them back at square one and often with an irreversibly damaged brand. In this short article, you’ll learn how to avoid these disasters instead of mapping out a smart plan to build sustained growth in your business from 2020 into the future.
It’s important, in the first phase of any growth strategy, to consult with important members of your team. You need to see what shape all your business’ systems are in. This is easily done by listening to what managers tell you about their capacity to grow and scale. Don’t surround yourself with yes-men at this point in your growth strategy – you’re looking for worst-case scenarios, and your plan needs to consider the weaknesses in your current setup.
Once you’ve got a well-rounded idea of where the gaps in your business might be, you’ll be able to plan where you should invest money to sure up certain systems. Your overview should always come before a priorities-assessment. Learn where to focus on making your company stronger on the lead-up to its growth phase.
Still, you’re not going to find much joy if you throw money in the direction of a few core systems and hope that this extra injection of capital will help you weather future storms. You need instead to think logically about the best way to use this cash and the best-in-field software that you can bring in. If you do this effectively, you’ll see your investments translated into benefits across your company, and they’ll be efficient tools ready for your growth phase.
So, when you’re investing in your core systems, keep an eye out for those software packages and systems that are considered the best-in-brand in the modern business era. Do your research, and commission team members to draw up reports on which options will be the most effective for your business at your stage in your lifecycle.
Hire More Personnel
Now you need to look at the people behind your brand – the workers who will help drive your growth and ensure that you’re capable of hitting ambitious targets in the months ahead. By bringing more people onto your team, you’ll be raising your wage bill – which can be difficult to justify without increased sales. You need to do this before your sales increase to stand the best chance of retaining new customers.
To hire the best people to work in your company, you should always be on the lookout for new talent. As a small business, you could always look to the contact that you have within your organization to help you find new and talented individuals. Or, you may choose to use expert HR software to help facilitate your hiring program and to build out your team through a centralized system that keeps track of your payroll and your new personnel automatically.
The most important part of your business is your finances. If they’re stable, you’re able to be more confident in all that you do. If they’re unstable and unreliable, you’ll always be checking over your shoulder for your competitors, and you’ll be forced to take risks that may not pay off for your company. In light of this point, you need to make sure your finances are secure and well-managed before launching into an ambitious growth phase in your business.
To do this, you have several options available to you. You may, for instance:
- Hire a full-time CFO to help you investigate the nuts and bolts of your business model
- Look externally, to contractors and consultants, to help you understand your finances
- Use the skills already within your team to assess your cash flow and to plan ahead
- Use new and exciting financial software to help you model your finances effectively.
All these tips are viable for you – you need to choose the one that fits best with your current ambitions, and the current size of your company. Be aware, too, that simple banking apps for businesses often present you with financial data and forecasts for no extra charge – a boon for the smallest companies that cannot afford other options.
Products and Labor
Now we’re on to the nuts and bolts of your growth: namely, how you’re going to be able to bring in the products and services that your customers are going to be ordering in increasing numbers as you scale. If you’re selling t-shirts, and you expect a 500% sales increase in 2020, you need to know that your supplier can produce that increased volume of products. You need, essentially, to check your whole supply chain to see if there’s the capacity for your planned growth.
You then have a simple decision to make: if there isn’t the capacity for your planned growth, you’re going to have to find new suppliers and new sources of labor to help you meet your own objectives. If your suppliers can guarantee they can meet your targets, have them sign a contract with you regarding this promise, and begin to plan your scaling strategy.
Planning and Implementation
With some of the core issues mentioned above dealt with, you’re going to be free to look at how you will grow your business in 2020. Of course, marketing and sales are part of this, as is your strategy with other retailers and clients, with whom you may be able to strike significant deals. You should consider all of the elements that may help you grow before greenlighting your strategy once and for all.
Those elements that you should consider before you press the red button on your growth include:
- Who will assume which roles, and how you’ll manage your labor internally?
- Who will be assessing the growth and providing feedback on your plan’s success?
- Where you’ll store the cash that you make – and whether it should be instantly reinvested
- What to do if you’re scaling too fast, or not fast enough, in some months’ time
- Whether you’ll need to pause your growth strategy after a month or two to take stock
All of these should be part of your initial planning for your business to be on top of the direction in which you wish to take it for a profitable future.
One of the key elements that many small businesses have in common is their ability to adapt quickly to feedback and data. You’re not lumbering and he company with several layers of managerial oversight: you’re a small business that’s able to make informed decisions that can take immediate effect.
This is one of your core strengths, and it’ll enable you to be far nimbler in your strategy than larger competitors. As such, be prepared to tweak and change your strategy as time goes on, evolving your outlook and your options as you learn more about how well your campaign and growth strategy are doing.
Use the business growth tips arranged above to build a smarter and more sustainable strategy for your business’ growth in 2020 and beyond.