1. Where do you want to be?
Dream big. Set your goals – what would outrageous success look, sound and feel like for your business? When do you want to achieve this by? What did you go into business to do and achieve?
2. Where are you now?
What is the current situation for your business? Who are your current customers, how do you market to them, who are your competitors, what is your profitability – have a robust review of your current reality.
3. Options & strategies
What options do you have to get you from where you are now to where you want to be? Select your strategies for growth from the options you’ve brainstormed. This forms the basis of your growth plan.
4. Take action!
Once your growth plans are in place, it’s time to DO something! Decide on your first step to get the ball rolling. What 20% of actions in your plan will achieve 80% of the results?
5. Manage your cash
It’s easy to run out of cash in a growing business – money is tied up in your debtors (money due from customers) and stock and yet you need to be paying suppliers in the meantime. Produce and rigorously monitor a simple and effective cash flow forecast – obtain professional support if needed. Without cash, the business cannot invest and grow.
6. Most profitable areas
Which are the most profitable revenue streams in your business? Keep a close eye and focus your attention on growing these.
7. Monitor performance
Continually review your performance against plan. Are you achieving what you set out to do? If not, what corrective action can you take to get you back on track?
8. Understand your numbers
If you read your figures properly, you really can see into the future of your company. Ask your accountant to explain the numbers to you or invest in some training.
9. Invest in strong relationships
With your customers, staff, suppliers, partners, bank, investors, etc. The more people know, like and trust you, the faster and more successful your business growth will be.
10. Maintain momentum
Remember that the end is result is worth the Herculean effort involved! Pace yourself, look after your health, build in some downtime with family and friends and you’ll stay sane throughout this process.
About the author
With a background as a commercial finance director, Andi Lonnen now delivers upbeat, highly practical and business focused financial training and coaching around the UK and beyond.