Managing Growth

Managing Growth

Essential support for your business growth

When it comes to managing business growth, many business owners don’t understand the importance of the finance function. Often the finance area is left to a data entry person, a bookkeeper with no financial qualification, no higher-level finance skills, no best practice knowledge, and no first-hand experience of managing growth.

Done well, finance is a resource which allows a business owner to stay in control and quickly identify/react to those areas which need attention. Where lacking, the business owner is left with the headache of sorting out the problems. This is time consuming, tedious and can be hugely damaging to the business.

Without the FD skills to manage finances and implement systems, the growth of a business will be limited. Where a business is reliant on the personal involvement of the owner to maintain control, it cannot safely grow beyond the capability and the time input of the owner.

Unmanaged growth leads to a loss of control. Growth without control leads to cash flow issues. These can quickly spiral to a crisis, sometimes past the point of no return. To avoid this, our FDs put in place fundamental controls and systems to ensure your business growth is supported.

 

Predicting cash flow through putting in place a cash flow projection is the number one control mechanism to managing growth in any business. Knowing future cash movement means no surprises. In fact, the very exercise of predicting cash flow makes cash flow predictable.

Proactive management of cash:

  • Smooths out the peaks and troughs of a business bank balance, leading to more cash availability even at the low points.
  • Gives time for management to approach lenders for funding before a cash requirement becomes urgent.
  • Highlights free cash which can be spent on opportunities that arise.

Strategic funding is about having the cash to support business growth over a period of one to five years in keeping with specific business goals. It’s about putting in place a mix of funding, whether that’s to cover short term working capital fluctuations, or to invest in fixed assets and infrastructure that provide benefit over the longer term.

Making sure this funding mix is optimal helps a business to arrive faster at its chosen objectives. The benefit comes through the impact of leverage – essentially using funders’ money at a cost of borrowing which is less than the income return resulting from what the borrowing is used for. Getting your strategic funding mix right underpins business growth management.

Growth puts heavy demands on management time. You can’t do everything and be everywhere at once, so certain business activities must be delegated to others. This is best done using systems - ways of working, organising, or doing something that follow a fixed plan or set of rules.

Putting in effective systems is key to scaling up a business and controlling quality and consistency. The very discipline brings about improvements in the way things are done within an organisation and provides a better customer experience. Increased profitability comes from giving tasks to the lowest cost operator capable of following the system. Management time is freed up to focus on where they bring most value, ideally to the extent that the business owner is no longer essential to the running of the business they started.