Sudden business growth can be exciting, but small businesses can find upscaling a challenge if it comes about suddenly. Growing your business is often the ultimate business goal, but it does require you to be adaptable. Here, our business experts offer advice on fulfilling large contracts and coping with sudden business growth:
Have a plan
When business growth comes around suddenly, it can seem easiest to muddle your way through it. Having a proper plan in place can help to ensure things run smoothly from your end, but also help you to provide the best possible products or services to your clients. It can be easy to think short term, but your plan should be sustainable further down the line.
Look at your finances
Finances can be one of the trickiest things to manage as a small business owner. It’s time consuming, but crucial to get right. If your business is expanding, think about all of the additional expenditure you may have. Taking on additional staff and streamlining processes costs money. Keeping track of outgoings and invoices is imperative – be sure to set clear payment terms if you don’t already have them. Credit checking prospective clients and suppliers can help to give you reassurance about payments. If you need access to funding to support your business growth plans, you can apply for a grant.
Think about operations
Naturally, one of the most important things to consider during expansion is whether you can actually deliver operations wise. What’s more, can you deliver on budget and on time? Be sure that you can manage client expectations where possible and outline what’s expected from both parties and by when. It’s important not to over commit – don’t win big money business but overlook reputation and client satisfaction. Things to consider include whether you need more staff, whether you need to change your processes or automate and update systems.
When you own a small business it can sometimes be hard to relinquish control and accept that others may have valuable insight to offer about certain aspects of running your company. Instead of being protective over your current way of operating, listening to others can help you see things from a different angle. Growth often requires a level of change and being open and adaptable can help make the process run more smoothly for everyone involved.
Consider who your valuable customers are
It can be tempting to view having as much business as possible to be the goal, but ultimately, it’s better to focus on those customers who bring the most value to your business. Trying to please everyone means you could be unwittingly overlooking those who matter the most to you long term. If you are unsure about any aspects of business growth, you can consult a Business East Sussex advisor who can offer advice to help.
Get your core team in place
Don’t underestimate the importance of a loyal and skilled team in dealing with sudden expansion. Good staff can be hard to find, so thinking about what you can offer employees as well as what they can offer you is important. Think about the skills your business needs that it doesn’t currently have in order to fulfil your growth ambitions. Start with the most pressing need – if you urgently require a specific skillset, prioritise in order of importance.
To find out more about support available please contact us or call 0844 415 2260. If you are an introducer supporting an SME, you can register your interest in our Business East Sussex Connect event to find out more about our services.