Scaling Up - the growth path
Review of business plan and strategic objectives
Now the “rubber has hit the road” and you’re planning for growth, it’s time to review your business plan and strategic objectives to be clear about exactly where you’re headed and to develop the plan to get there.
Organic growth or “bolt on”
Will the path to growth be organically through expanded offerings to existing customers/markets, will it be a strategic acquisition or “bolt on”, or a combination of both? Whichever way it is, a clear plan of action is required.
Working capital for growth
A growth plan will usually require an increased working capital requirement to fund more stock and accounts receivable and it may not all be funded by suppliers' terms. Approaching your bank with relevant forecasts will be an important precursor to additional funding.
Capex and staffing requirements
Growth plans may also involve capital expenditure and additional staffing requirements, new equipment, more vehicles and additional people and training may all be required to take the business to “the next level”.
Selecting your management team
As your business grows one of the most important pillars for success is ensuring that you have a capable management team. Strong support in the areas of operations, sales and marketing, finance and HR are all key to long term success and coping with the requirements of a growth business.
Job descriptions/authority levels
As your team grows, it’s vital to ensure that your team are very clear about their job roles and responsibilities, levels of authority and how and to whom they will be accountable.
Leveraging customer and supplier relationships
In the growth phase, it will be appropriate to leverage your existing customer and suppliers relationships. Renegotiation of pricing, stock holding, supply and payment arrangements can result in important win/win advantages for all parties.
Business growth usually requires consideration of the requirements of physical premises size. This may be less of an issue as was previously the case, as remote warehousing and modern logistics models take hold. The growth phase may in fact present a great opportunity to explore these possibilities.
Time out for clear thinking and “sharpening the saw”
Staying “on top of your game” requires regular time out to unwind, relax, think clearly and logically about all aspects of the business. Time may also be spent with a business coach or your Advisory Board member(s), or a valued business or life mentor. “Sharpening the saw” is really important!