Growing Pains in Business

Strategy

Growth is great right!!  In business that is what every business owner strives for, to grow the business, so how do we do that?  Do we consider what too big looks like?  What happens if some extraordinary event happens tomorrow that throws your business into the biggest growth curve of it’s existence, would you have everything in place to cope with it?

Going into business without a “big picture” strategy in place is madness, yet almost all of us starting out in business don’t think any further ahead than invoice day or the ‘Z’ read at the end of the week.  I ask you this, if you do not have time to put everything in place for your business when the business is smaller and not overly busy, how on earth do you think you’ll have time to address this when your business suddenly takes off ……….. that’s right, you wont.  That’s why there are expressions out there like “the business went boom then bust” or “the business went rip $#!t and bust”, the owners did not plan for the success.

So what areas should a small to medium sized business owner consider when thinking about their medium to longer term strategy:

Personal Goals

It is a fact of life, no-one suddenly had the urge to start a business so they could give their money away to staff, everyone goes into business for personal reasons, they have their own ideas of what a successful business will bring them so before you start thinking about the business’s goals what are your own personal goals that your business will have to meet?

Business Goals

Now that you have decided what you want for yourself, what will your business have to do to ensure it gives you what you want, this will start to shape the income and more importantly the profit levels it needs to attain for you to get what you want.

Staff

You have an idea how busy your business needs to be, for you to get what you need, so how many staff will you need to reach the business goals?  What type of staff will you need, what job roles will need to be created, who will manage them and train them?  There are many more areas to think about when you bring on staff, all of which you will need a plan in place to ensure you get the most from your staff.

Culture

What type of culture do you want to foster within your business?  How are you going to encourage that culture and how will it fit with the type of staff you need to grow your business.

Service Levels

What type of service are you intending to give your customers, will you be operating at the top end of the market where service is everything, or will you be operating at the lower end of the market where price is deemed more important than service?  What will be the acceptable level of service between your employees and between your business and your suppliers, will this fit with the culture that you are trying to foster.

Marketing

To get your business to the level it needs to be you will need a marketing strategy, who will you be selling to, what price will you be selling your products or services, will your target market be able to afford them?  What will bring your target market to your business to buy your goods, what will that marketing message need to look like for this to happen?

Systems and Proceedures

When your business takes off, what systems and procedures will you need in place to ensure your business works effectively  and efficiently no matter how busy it gets and will these systems be able to accurately capture your clients details and spending habits for you to use in the future?

A bit of preparation now will ensure your business can maximise every opportunity presented to it and once it takes off, you will have confidence knowing you have everything in place to cope with the extra demands on your business.