Do You Have the Resources You Need to Grow Your Business?

September 3, 2014|Deborah Bukouricz

Is it time to take your business to the next level? If you want to expand your products or services, add a new product line, find more customers, or grow in some other way, you need to consider all your options.

Visualize the increased volume of business you’re planning to generate. Slow and steady growth would be ideal. However, if you have a sudden boost – or several of them – would you be able to survive and thrive? Are current operations, including order management, customer service, record keeping and inventory control, running smoothly and ready for the increase in business?

Do you have the staff and cash flow you will need to succeed?

Evaluate your staff. Do you have employees with the appropriate skill sets in the right positions? Your key employees may not be able to personally take care of everything they are used to handling. You may need to provide training and delegate responsibilities to other staff members. If there are some weak areas within your company, you may want to consider possibly outsourcing segments to other companies or subcontractors. Keep the jobs and tasks that your business does best.

Consider how you’re managing cash and review your cash flow projections. You may need additional cash to sustain the new growth. If you see hiccups ahead, investigate what you can do to prevent them. Consider invoicing more often, or ask customers for up-front cash deposits. If you have customers that don’t pay, let them know this situation cannot continue. You will need to decide whether or not they are customers worth keeping and consider terminating the relationship.

In the event you will need financing to support the additional growth based on your cash flow projections, establish a good working relationship with your banker. Make sure that you have open communications in the event that you need to discuss your options.

Follow your strengths

Use your strengths. Don’t put your time and resources into something you’re not good at. Evaluate what you are doing. If you have peak times and slow times, see if there is a product or complementary service you can add to your business to even out the slower periods of time.

Measure and evaluate your growth

When you start to grow, you will need to measure progress. If you initiate a new product or project, for example, how will you measure its profitability? Below are some measurements you can use: 

  • Compare how long it takes to create the product and get it to market vs. how long it takes to receive the full payment for it.
  • Calculate the profitability of` your product or project.
  • Measure the time and effort it takes to initiate and complete a sale.
  • Evaluate your information technology and computer systems. Are they sufficient to handle your business growth and able to generate the reports necessary to measure growth and profitability?

Keep an eye on the external business environment

Look at industry trends, customer demographics, new competitors, possible regulatory changes, and other opportunities and obstacles. Prepare an exit strategy if you decide to back off on your plans.

Growth involves stress, but so does keeping things as they are. Plan ahead. Doing your homework can make it exciting and satisfying, and nothing is as rewarding as success.

If you have any questions or are in need of any additional information, please call Deb Bukouricz at 920-455-4224 or 800-676-0829.

Deborah Bukouricz, CPA works with restaurants and other closely-held businesses providing accounting, payroll, tax and business planning, and consulting services. She also has experience with QuickBooks and Sage 50 software.