Growth structures for sustainability
Does your business have serious growth structures? Are there weaknesses that frustrate you while impeding your growth? Has your business reached a worn-out stage and as a result, you have become bored? They may be invisible to you because you’re too close to see them? Do your employees need more development than time will allow, leading to a downward spiral of performance? Is your business facing a new or unfamiliar crisis with all the changes taking place? What is the legal structure of your business? http://goo.gl/XSgygj. Maybe you do you need some help in this area to help you turn things around.
The product or market niche of some businesses do not permit growth structures. This is the case for many service businesses in small or medium-sized, slowly growing communities and for franchise holders with limited territories. If your business cannot adapt to changing circumstances, it will either fail or become a marginally surviving business. Don’t let your struggles become the norm.
Growth is one of the most important metrics for any business owner because they deliver a more accurate picture. Being able to demonstrate an ongoing increase in customers, revenues and financial resources while giving your business more security. Will there be enough working capital to satisfy the extra demands growth brings? Ensure your cash flow isn’t eroded by inadequate expense controls or, ill-advised investments brought about because of impatience? What is your risk appetite, growth often requires a willingness to tolerate a high debt-equity ratio?
Which business functions need fixing to improve your growth structures?
All too often you tend to ignore problems when they are small and easily fixed, hoping they will go away. Mostly they don’t and then become out of hand and the growth you were hoping for doesn’t happen. Problems can arise because people who focus on systems and processes don’t notice that the services offered by the business are not wanted. The strategist may not understand what is stopping the growth. Do a quick scan of the major functions of your business because this will help you to focus on the troubled areas.
Structure your business for growth
The goal is to quickly determine what’s wrong with your business. What are the critical functions to focus on to improve growth? Act like a mechanic when they diagnose a problem with your motor vehicle. You may require an external advisor to help. Their objectivity, perspective, speciality and experience in growth businesses, is important because it usually revolves around them solving problems.
Try not to get bogged down with the exposed problems at the expense of growth prospects. Put the focus on the good things about the business that are working and making important contributions while adding to growth and profitability is important. This is where the external advisor comes into play. Let them focus on fixing the growth problem. While you focus on things to make an important difference and the things you are good at and like doing.
Some critical issues
A business entering a high growth stage should consolidate and control the financial gains brought on by rapid growth. It is also important to retain the advantages of small size. Include flexibility of response and the entrepreneurial spirit. Here are some critical issues to understand. We based them on the framework developed by well-known business consultants Robert Waterman and Tom Peters:
- Values – It is critical to have shared values in the business and have values compatible with the customers you seek to serve.
- Leadership – Robust leadership is essential. The absence of strong leadership is usually at the core of most problems.
- Vision – Must be inspiring in order to attract the right employees and customers as well as providing a sense of purpose.
- Strategy – When customers don’t understand what’s unique about your business or products, you have a strategy problem.
- Systems and processes – Systems and processes for getting work done relevant to the overall business growth you are looking for.
- Organisation chart – Having the right people, with the right skills, in the right places and properly utilising the available resources.
- Business model – Your business should work well all day every day, delivering customer satisfaction and increasing profits.
- The business culture – Means the people and the way they behave and interact with each other, your customers and other stakeholders.
Automating your growth structures could be the answer
The decisions you face when considering growth structures is whether or not to exploit your business’s accomplishments. Whether to expand or keep the business stable and profitable, providing a base for other activities you wish to pursue.
A key issue is whether to use the company platform for growth, or as a means of support for you and your aspirations. Starting a new enterprise, pursue hobbies and other outside interests or run for political office. You might simply want to maintain the status quo.
One way to grow and build solid structures is to automate as many activities in your business as you can:
- Develop your operational framework and integrate all business functions.
- Stay organised at the office, online and mobile.
- Look for ways to improve your customer experience.
- Integrate all your software applications.
- Provide quality automated, personalised sales and marketing messages.
- Simplify and automate information and knowledge integration with services.
- Create easy-to-access, lead-scoring to help you know who is ready to buy.
- Don’t waste leads, capture new leads and automate follow-up.
- Stay competitive with an integrated sales pipeline and e-commerce solutions.
- Make reports easier to compile, analyse and put into the hands of your team.
When you grow your business, these things will become more critical. You will require functional managers to take over certain duties performed by you. Managers should be competent but, need not be of the highest calibre. Their upward potential is limited by the business and personal goals. The main concern is to avoid a cash drain in good times, therefore becoming unable withstand the inevitable bad times.
As you business matures, you will increasingly tend to grow apart and your growth structures need to change. This may be because you have created other activities elsewhere, because of the presence of other staff. A sound structure will help to prevent the business falling apart.
Growth structures won’t happen if you don’t take action
Among the important tasks associated with growth, structures are ensuring your business stays profitable. Avoid trying to grow too fast. This is especially relevant if you want to avoid the problems of growing beyond your available working capital. Develop managers to meet the needs of the growing business.
- Schedule meetings with stakeholders and clearly identify problems using this simple diagram as a guide.
- Change the strategies that are blocking your progress, http://goo.gl/Iy1tGH
- Schedule the necessary tasks to fix the problems and capture the growth opportunities.
- Install the best systems you can afford and be ready for new markets as they emerge.
- Outsource non-core activities to facilitate growth and profit.
- Understand the key problems of how to grow and how to finance that growth.
- Engage partnerships that can improve supply and growth while helping you work out where to grow next.
- Adjust you Business Model and create a growth plan for profitable growth.
- If you are finding this difficult, utilise the services of an external advisor.
- Take action to have fun, growth should be enjoyable and rewarding.
“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth”. John F. Kennedy
“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together”. James Cash Penny