Reducing risk when considering business growth
Business growth is something every business owner is striving to achieve, and whilst the economic outlook remains uncertain with Brexit hanging over us, along with other global and geo-political forces, there are many firms in a variety of sectors that can capitalise on growth opportunities.
However, with growth comes risk. Whether it’s taking on more staff or buying more equipment or goods to fulfil a customer contract, growth doesn’t come without an investment and therefore a sound risk management strategy should be devised.
- Plan, plan, plan – consider what resources are needed in order to pursue a growth strategy, assess the costs of those and factor in the time it will take for the profit to roll in. Is there enough wiggle room in the business finances to cater for this – and any unplanned delays? Prepare both cash flow and profit forecasts.
- Consider outsourcing – whether it’s using freelance help or sub-contractors to help with certain elements or outsourcing admin or finance functions, using temporary hired help is a great way to get growth plans off the ground without committing heavily to resource.
- Build a top team – even if much of the resource can be initially outsourced, it is very rare for any entrepreneur to be able to run a successful empire single-handedly. Having a core team to help manage the vital business operations and that can be trusted to do so is important. Every business owner needs a team they can trust so that they can take a step back from the day-to-day operations to take stock of the business goals.
- Ensure the sales approach is right – whether it’s increasing sales with existing customers, going after customer base growth or expanding a product or service range, ensure the approach is right from a return on investment and longevity of profits point of view. This sounds obvious, but sometimes in the quest to grow business owners can miss the best profit generator ideas. Perhaps there are other customer streams in the supply chain that can be tapped into. This is the time to think laterally!
- Invest in the right systems – technology lies at the heart of every business nowadays and investment in it is unavoidable. However, with so many systems available to businesses it is wise to shop around and take trials wherever possible, to assess which system will work best for your business. In any case, when making the decision, consider the longevity of the technology in suiting current and future needs. Future-proofing now will save time and money in the long run.