For sustainable growth, you need a straightforward business growth plan.
You know everything about your products, service, and day-to-day operations, but managing growth of your professional business is a challenge. Day-to-day operational issues like cash flow problems, employee issues, increased demand, or lack of capital to invest in growth can stall your growth progress.
To help grow your company in a strategic and successful way, follow these four steps to build a successful growth map.
Establish processes with project management tools
As your company grows, you’ll need to establish processes. Defined processes for specific tasks ensure product quality and helps maintain consistent levels of service for your business. Processes both refine how your current employees do their jobs, and they get new employees quickly trained to take on roles of serving you customers.
In the early days of your business, you may have handled every aspect of sales, scheduling, and work product. As you grew, you hired additional people to help you service new customers; therefore when clients call, their first interaction is probably with an office assistant, consultant, or service representative instead of you. To keep track of increased activity and to ensure work is delivered on time, consider investing in a popular project management tool. These types of processes and organization applications may get more complex as your business grows, but they are good tools for maintaining high levels of service that made you successful.
Maintain quality and keep your customer happy
Understand how much business you can currently handle while maintaining the high levels of quality and customer service for which your business is known. Then, determine how much you’ll need to invest in order to expand your business. Taking on more work or larger orders without the necessary resources or capital will lead to unhappy customers.
To scale your business properly, measure the time and resources it takes to meet current sales levels. Project how much more investment, staff, and materials will be necessary to take on more business. Calculate in intervals assuming 10%, 20%, or 50% growth until you understand how much you can afford to grow, or how much is needed to grow by each percentage. This will help you see where you may need additional investment or growth management so that you can keep up with the added costs of growth.
Find the right team
As you expand, you’ll need help managing the demands of a growing business. Hire team members who add new skills and abilities to your team. Today, many accomplished professionals are offering their services on a freelance or contract basis, allowing you to hire talent when you need it without paying for a full-time employee. If you choose to hire contractors, be sure that the person you hire is the one doing the work and not using less-skilled subcontractors. When you do need to add full-time employees, ensure you have the working capital to afford them.
Forecast cash and investment
Economic uncertainty is one of the biggest barriers for Small-to-Medium B2B Companies. Monitor revenue ebbs and flows due to sales fluctuations or collection issues and take appropriate action. If late payers are a problem, collect a 50% deposit, invoice sooner, and follow up on late payments. If sales are slow, ramp up sales and marketing efforts or target new markets.
As you monitor revenue growth, note seasonal cycles, highly profitable offerings, and where you can invest for further growth. Identify the steps necessary to capitalize on those opportunities. You may also find that building a credit safety net, including a business line of credit, can give you the tools you need to overcome short-term disruptions in cash flow.
Sustainable growth is strategic. Your business growth plan should include solid processes, financial forecast, the right team, and a reasonable growth rate. These actions will give your business a solid foundation to build on for the long-term. For more information on forecasting and building a financial model, check out this blog; Writing Your 2019 Business Plan.
Let Allied Financial Corp be your business growth partner and help you finance your growth needs.