Is your business growing so much that you’re thinking of expanding? Here are some tips on how to do it successfully.
1. Planning for growth
You can’t play it by ear when it comes to growing your business because there is a certain degree of risk.
Growth must be planned over both the short and long terms.
It will impact every aspect of your SME: from HR to accounting to customer relations.
To make sure the growth of your business is successful in the long-term, you must identify objectives as well as quantify and define your vision of the future.
Thanks to your growth plan, you’ll be able to prepare an action plan and mitigate growth-related risks.
2. Running a tight accounting ship
This means going over your company’s finances and accounting with a fine-toothed comb:
- Income and expenses
- Customer accounts
- Service provider accounts
This will let you assess your SME and your future cash needs.
You can also take this opportunity to reduce your operating costs and debt as well as take the necessary means to better manage your customer and supplier accounts.
Reducing operational costs
When experiencing growth, it’s easy to lose control and fall into a downward spiral of expenses.
Be vigilant and carefully budget all your expenses.
By setting clear and concise streamlining objectives, you can get your employees to contribute to reducing your expenses as well.
Lenders will be more inclined to finance your entrepreneurial ambitions if your debt is under control, despite sustained growth and capital needs.
Concretely, you can negotiate better terms of payment with your suppliers or purchase used equipment rather than new.
Better managing your customer and supplier accounts
Is your accounting team feeling the pressure? Make everything about your customer and supplier accounts easier and lighter to manage by implementing the following:
- Clarify your terms of payment
- Check your customers’ solvency
- Reduce the amount of time to collect sales, whenever possible
Treat suppliers as you would like to be treated. Pay on time to avoid falling into credit debt.
3. Finding sources of financing
Whether you need to buy material or invest in R&D, there are plenty of financing options available.
You can go directly to your financial Institution, which will make managing your loans easier.
When the time comes to refinance a commercial loan, your financial institution must evaluate your capacity to pay and set the terms for reimbursement.
You can also get financial aid from both levels of government through:
- Tax credits
- Salary subsidies
- Equity investments
To help you determine the financing best suited to your needs, consult the Government of Canada website.
4. Managing logistics
For your company’s growth project to be viable, you must consider all your logistics, from supplies to stock management, not to mention the marketing of your products and services.
To meet a growing demand, you have to adjust your company’s organization and procedures.
As captain of the ship, your responsibilities could change. You’ll have to delegate (or learn to do it), motivate your troops to overcome new challenges and find ways to maintain your company’s performance.
You have to do all this without sacrificing the quality of your products or services. Despite your intention to satisfy the growing demand, remember that your company’s reputation is sacred.
5. Banking on your employees
At this point, you can’t just rely on recruiting a competent team to support your company’s growth ambitions.
You have to make sure your actual team is ready for this transition.
After all, it’s thanks to them that your company is where it is today.
Be open and share your vision of the future with them. It’s your current employees who will impart their knowledge on your new ones, and therefore help your company grow. All the more reason to get them involved!
As far as new employees are concerned, recruit ones who share your vision and are open to change because those are useful character traits to have when deploying a growth plan.
You’ll develop a corporate culture where everyone has their place and feels like a valued member of the team.