Growth is a primary objective for most businesses. In order to accommodate more clients, you need to ensure you existing business model is efficient, successful and repeatable – or scalable. Many business owners launch into growth activities before laying the necessary groundwork. These are the 5 most common mistakes to avoid if you want to scale your business.
1. Hiring the wrong people
No business can grow itself. A business requires dedicated people to develop processes, execute ideas and drive strategic direction. The right team of people can propel a business forward, whereas the wrong team can stop it in its tracks. As a business owner, it’s your job to work on your business, not in it, and a big part of that involves building a strong and competent team. So, what exactly does it take to get your business running like a well-oiled machine? See our tips on Hiring an A Team.
2. Prioritising non-critical tasks
If you want to scale your business, a lot of time and energy will need to be spent on the ‘un-sexy’ side of your business. It’s easy to get distracted by a million other more exciting issues, such as sales and marketing, but it’s important that you remain focused on your core priorities, until they are bedded down. So what should you be focused on? Issues such as: cutting costs, refining shipping/logistics processes, implementing redundancies for critical processes (such as finding backup suppliers for business-critical goods), improving client experience, getting your finances under control, establishing business processes and protocols for consistent service delivery and discovering efficiencies wherever they exist.
3. Poor accounting practices
As your business grows, managing your finances will become more complex. It’s important to establish a system for managing your finances that is efficient and fail proof. If you haven’t already, consider hiring an accountant to oversee your business finance and tax affairs. For most businesses, the money spent to employ an expert saves time and money overall. Your accountant will help your business stay on track as it grows. See these 5 critical questions to ask your accountant.
4. Failing to forecast cash flow
It’s estimated that over 60% of Australia’s small businesses stop operating within their first three years. All too often, this comes down to money and cash flow mis-management. As a small business owner, keeping on top of your finances should be your number one priority – especially if you want to scale your business. Our cash flow tools for your business will help keep you on track. Download our FREE Cashflow Plan for a quick and easy solution to your cash flow forecasting needs. If you need a cash injection, you might also consider if a small business loan is right for you.
5. Not taking a people-centred approach
Scaling your business can involve a great deal of change – for your employees, clients and other stakeholders, such as suppliers. It’s important to consider the impact these changes could have, so you can manage them effectively. As much as possible, communicate early, openly and transparently about your plans to grow the business. If possible, invite your existing staff to contribute to the vision, by seeking out their ideas and giving them an opportunity to be involved. Be clear with your existing clients about what they can expect – and check in with them regularly to ensure their service is not negatively impacted by your scaling activities. The better you manage the people-aspect of this change, the less drama, conflict and loss of good people or clients you will encounter along the way.
Are you struggling to manage your business cashflow? We have something that can help. Download our FREE Cashflow Plan to get back on track!