You’ve been thinking of growing your business or your business is growing off the economy. Now what?
For starters, stop thinking about it and stop telling everyone your growing so fast. It’s bad press even though growth is good. Customers recognize the pitfalls of growth and it usually doesn’t work for them. Don’t turn your growth into a plunge. Tell them how great business with a smile on your face.
Do the Dollars First
Take a look at your financials and begin to run scenarios. What if you increased inventory? What if you added space? What if you added more people? What if’s force you to look at your business in a different light. Use your profit & loss statements to begin the process. Proportionately increase the numbers affected and project how you would handle it. What would you need for working capital as your business grew? How would you fund it? What would be the cost of funding it?
I Hear the Training Coming!
Your customers and employees are your best indicators of whether things are working out as they should. Have conversations with them and listen. Ask them directly, “How are we doing?” “Are we getting your questions answered?”, Are we serving you in a reasonable amount of time?” Don’t be afraid of the answers. Act on them.
Train your employees well, they will reward you with more business. Train them on customer service, product knowledge, lead times, everything that they can answer to the customers. The secret is in the training. Train, train, train.
Once your business starts to pick up, pay attention to the details. How are your customers reacting to your growth? Are they happy with the service, the products (or services), the speed with which they are taken care of?
How are your employees handling the growth? Do you have enough, too much? Do they lack any skills needed to create customer satisfaction?
Are your financials handling it well? IS your cash flow staying positive? Is you bank supporting you through this period of growth? Are you paying attention to the dollars? This is a critical time for your business.
Adjust as You Go
Make adjustments as you go along. The adjustments will help you make a profit. Depending on your type of business, adjustments may need daily, weekly or monthly adjustments. Look at everything, staffing, cash flow, inventory, expenses to revenues and last but not least, the bottom line.
Growth is one of the best things that happen to your business. Stagnation is a sure sign of disinterest or lack of energy. If you’re tired of your business, pass it on or sell it. A slow death results in a reduction in equity.
Talk to a business consultant for guidance to get the most out of your business for your retirement or sale of your company.