Growing a business is an exhilarating experience! In our many years working with business owners, we’ve noticed that for most people, business success doesn’t just happen on its own – it takes discipline and planning to grow a business and successfully move it to the next level. Growing pains are inevitable as you build your business, but being prepared and knowing the challenges you could face will help you succeed.
Business growth coach Verne Harnish uses four key elements to consider and plan for when building a business: People, Strategy, Execution, and, of course, Cash! We have outlined tips in each of these categories for every small business owner to consider as they grow their company.
- Hire the right people. Hiring decisions are critical, especially for a company in growth mode. Ideal candidates exhibit the potential to grow with the company, so think about the candidate’s potential in addition to their past performance. Grow your team with people who share your values and vision, while still maintaining diversity. One way to grow your team intelligently is with personality assessments to determine a candidate’s fit with your other employees and the company culture.
- Know when to delegate. Many business owners find this extremely challenging. Moving from doing the work to delegating requires giving up some control, but also allows you to see the big picture and gives you more time to pursue strategic opportunities.
- Create a vision. While this seems easy and obvious, many companies either forget or postpone creating a vision; however, studies show that setting a vision focuses your team and results in higher productivity.
- Stay open to possibilities and pivot when needed. While creating a vision and setting a course is important, you should always be ready to pivot if opportunities arise.
- Outsource or hire? Hiring a team of employees used to be the only way to grow your business, but now, tasks and jobs are increasingly outsourced to remote individuals and/or companies. Deciding which jobs to keep in-house versus which ones to outsource can make a significant difference in the execution of your strategy.
- How much can you automate and what technology does your company growth require? Can you “rent” software (SAAS) or do you have to invest in programs? Think about how disruptive it could be to change course in a few years.
- Work-life balance. We have to put this on the list but don’t expect to have much balance when you are growing your business. Just remember to take time for yourself, even forcing it if you have to, because your family and your health are equally important.
- Manage cash flow. Cash flow is critical to the health of a business and as the old saying goes, “revenue is vanity, cash flow is sanity.” While it may look good to have large inflows of revenue from sales, the most important focus for a business is cash flow. So, don’t be vain – be sane!
- Know your financial risk comfort zone. If you are confident in your growth plans then by all means, borrow the money to grow. Many small business owners fear financial debt to the point of stagnation. On the other hand, some owners are overconfident and borrow against unrealistic sales objectives. The key is to know your level of financial risk and seek help in making correct financial decisions.
Growing a business requires vision, dedication, knowledge, and a lot of help. Be sure to contact us when you are ready to take the plunge. Using our services can help you free up valuable time to focus on other priorities.