Figuring out how to plan and budget for small business growth.
As a business consultant, I have worked with many business owners who came to me and said that they wanted to grow their businesses. They are thinking about having a business that is larger, sometimes with employees or strategic partnerships and serve more, larger more sophisticated clients.
Sounds awesome, right?
Well, it depends on the business owner. Growing a business often means that the business is going to be more sophisticated. There is typically more money involved, more people, more customers with increasingly diverse needs and wants. As a result, this more sophisticated business requires more management, will be exposed to more oversight and will gain more attention in the marketplace, for both its successes and failures.
What is a business owner to do? If not prepared for this, a business owner can get (and feel!) completely overwhelmed and feel as though they are completely out of their element. This is no longer fun or exciting or self expression; this is work! They didn’t sign on for this!!
Well, don’t despair! Hope is not lost! Don’t quit! The madness isn’t uncommon and it don’t mean that you retract into the recesses of your closet. It means that you think differently: focus on your strengths. Play to your personality. How so?
- Start with the reason you started the company. For example, if you are a chef who loves to cook, and you have started a catering company, you may find that the administrative tasks (and other tasks that are piling up!) aren’t your strength. If you are a service professional, such as an accountant, an engineer or an architect, you may find that business development may not be your strongest suit.
- Write down the activities that need to be done that you are having a hard time getting done. Don’t limit yourself by your current resources; change typically doesn’t happen over night.
- Try to organize them into job categories, such as business development, bookkeeping, marketing, admin, leadership and growth.
- Prioritize those needs. The things that could potentially shut your company down or cause you huge fines would be considered most important; those things that are nice to have should be at the bottom of the list. Keep in mind that your company NEEDS cash flow in order to survive.
- Figure out what you would be required to meet those needs. You will want to explore the internet; you may find that there is a single firm or person that has experience that could partner with you to fill those needs. By knowing what it will cost you, you can
- Determine what it will take to cover the cost of that resource for 3 to 6 months. The thought is that by outsourcing or delegating those tasks, your company should increase its revenue to be able to continue to support that person or firm. Essentially, you should be thinking in terms of growing as a result of hiring this person or firm. (If it doesn’t work out that way, you need a different firm or person!)
- Raise or save the money. Have that money in the bank before you go out and find them. The alternative would be to risk not paying other bills, reducing your personal income or experiencing other types of risk.
- Hire the person or firm. Keep in mind that you will have to train them, make your expectations clear and inspect what you expect. Don’t hire more people than you can manage, and make sure that you have allocated time to do so. Don’t be cheap and hire the wrong person or a person with inappropriate skills; it will come back and bite you in the butt!
- Monitor progress. Work with them to establish goals for each month and makes sure that they are meeting or exceeding those goals.
While this appears to be a relatively simplistic approach, take your time so that you can find the right person or people. The wrong person or firm will simply take your money and hurt your business. Don’t be afraid to release them so they can work on other opportunities if necessary. You are looking to reduce your workload and to get better results within the dollars you have set aside for them. Anything less than that is going to be completely opposite of your goal or goals.
Sign on for this! Build an extraordinary business!
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Atlanta, Georgia based Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We help business leaders DESIGN| CREATE | BUILD extraordinary businesses. We support our clients with financial management, product and service production and delivery, outsourced services management, sales & marketing and business growth. We provide them with a number of flexible solutions to help them reach their goals.
Join us for a 30-minute complimentary Coffee & a Consult, to learn more about Aepiphanni and how we might help you move your company from existing to extraordinary.