Until you have run your own business there will always be some gaps in your CV as a business owner. This is because no matter what role you previously held, even if it was GM you won’t have been responsible for every area of the business. So, you had a great idea for a business, you have a wealth of experience in your field and you wanted to be your own boss. Great!
But now you are discovering that it is lonely at the top and sometimes you just don’t know where to start, the job list is too long. Or maybe you have taken on far too many orders and can’t keep up. In business you never say no, surely? Wrong! There is such thing as growing too fast in business, a nice problem to have you may think. Cash-flow (what’s that, I haven’t had to worry about that before), can’t cope with significant initial growth (unless you are in a very good position indeed). Therefore, we need to plan (a lot) in the initial stages of running the business. Not enough customers, the business struggles. Too many customers, the business struggles. No one said this would be easy. So how do we know what the right level is, how do we get there, how do we maintain and then grow when the time is right? Sorry but when is the time right again?
No two businesses are the same, don’t look at what others are doing and panic that they appear to be in a different position to you. Nobody tells the truth when they are talking about their brainchild, their baby. They are soaring, of course they are, and you want to be just like them.
So how do you do it?
Taking on a growth consultant can help you massively in this area. We have experience in running businesses, we know that you plan and plan and then something changes, and it is back to the drawing board. Sometimes you practically have to throw the plan out and start again, other times it is just a few tweaks. Often having somebody to metaphorically hold your hand is a far bigger help that you can imagine. You are a big boy/girl and you don’t need somebody to hold your hand of course, that is what we all think. Perhaps if you give it a go you will realise; we all need somebody from time to time. So apart from being a sounding board what else do we do?
- Analyse your processes and point out where improvements could be made. This could be cost saving or time saving (which is essentially cost saving only better)
- If you have staff, we can help you to motivate them or at least get the best out of them if they are already motivated (well done you if they are)
- Help you manage cash-flow (that dreaded phrase again) and teach you about effective cash-flow forecasting, which leads onto
- Planning for growth, when will you be able to cope with those extra customers? Where do they come from? We can help you realise that whilst managing customer expectations.
The thing is, how many chances do you get to make that first impression?… Yes one! Sounds a bit harsh really doesn’t it? If you take on too much then you are going to let people down (I’ve said it before, my specialist area is manufacturing, so we’ll stick with that). Therefore, you will supply them with a substandard product, or your service will be shocking, your lead time will have gone out the window. Before you know it, your reputation will be in tatters. If you are a new business that is a huge mountain to climb. You must nurture a new business (just like that seedling in the picture) and customer service really is everything. The customer is always right (even when they are wrong), especially in the early days. When you have too much on you really can’t give it the attention it needs to get that right.
My goal is to help people in business. I can help you without using up too much of that precious resource I keep talking about. Let’s have a coffee and go from there