Growing a business presents a fresh set of challenges. It’s no longer about the cut and thrust you experienced at start-up. There are more people involved and decisions are often less seat of the pants.
- Strengthening relationships with customers, your supply chain, the workforce and external stakeholders like lenders, shareholders and the professions.
- Making sure you put the right resource at the right cost behind your growth strategy and putting in place the right systems and processes to ensure you deliver your products or services efficiently.
- Planning for increased profit, improved cashflow and long term sustainability of your business.
Juggling with all of the above is a lonely place to be. There comes a time when it makes sense to hand over one or more of the juggling balls. This way, you can concentrate on those parts of the business where you excel and add most value.
Finance is one of those areas a business owner will often do themselves. Handing over the finance reigns to a part-time finance director will improve planning & budgeting and cashflow forecasting. Whether its a second opinion on major decisions or a more hands on role from an objective professional, a QR3 FD is there at a minimal cost.
All good with the FD thanks, wish I’d done it years ago
~ Kevin McCullagh- Founder, Plan
Successful business growth in a year without the pain
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
~ Viktor E. Frankl
You have dreams about growing your business. You’d like to sample the benefits of a living that provides you with more than just a salary? You picture yourself taking time out. You’re not thinking about work because you know that it will continue to make a profit without you. Its in safe hands.
The advantages are clear.
Higher turnover with increased margins achieved through economies of scale and greater throughput.
Business risks are mitigated. A more substantial business can experiment with new ideas and withstand the occasional mistake . It can overcome aggressive competitors’ actions (and return fire!).
You’re more secure and sustainable.
Business growth challenges
A temporary surrender of security is needed when you grow your business. How temporary depends on your approach to growth. Like climbing a mountain, risks and challenges can show up in all areas of your journey to growth. The key is to identify them as soon as they happen and deal with them swiftly.
With organic or rapid growth, the most likely areas are lack of space and the need to find new premises. On the finance side, you need more stock to cope with customer demands. More demand equals increased staffing or overtime. New staff need more training before they deliver at their best. Increased stress leads to reduced morale, high staff turnover and can translate to lower quality of service. Customer / supplier complaints follow and so reputation is at risk.
The path of how to overcome the challenges is well trodden.
There is another way. Growth with a steady hand is achieved without the above drama.
Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.
~ Gail Sheehy
Business growth advice
Wise men don’t need advice. Fools won’t take it.
~ Benjamin Franklin
Plan for growth. It will put you ahead and help minimise the risk that the process of growing puts you out of business.
Look after your existing customers, employees and suppliers. Strive to maintain or increase quality and service.
Write down your systems and processes so you can replicate them.
Recruit the higher calibre people you need – before you need them.
Last but not least, manage your own workload. Understand your weaknesses and strengthen your senior team to overcome them.
Not planning is a big risk! The good news is, it’s an avoidable one.
QR3’s Solutions for growing your business
It would be trite to suggest a QR3 finance director is the answer to all your business growth problems. S/he isn’t.
We’ve talked about employee engagement, mentoring and stewardship. The need for new premises and new systems involving IT. All need different skills.
With the experience they have, our part-time finance directors know when they can add value. When they can’t, they will suggest you bring in help. We have an extensive network. Whether it’s HR or marketing, IT or legal – we know people who can help. Together, we are your trusted advisor and a sounding board for your ideas.
Sometimes an encourager, sometimes a nay-sayer – always adding value.