What’s the best way to grow a company? A question I’m often asked by business owners who have either seen a slowdown in growth, are frustrated by the pace of growth or who are turning their attention to an eventual exit. It’s a tough one to answer because there are so many variables which combine to deliver ‘good growth’ and a lot of these are specific to your business and circumstances.
Nonetheless, it did get me thinking about businesses I’ve come across or read about that have achieved phenomenal growth. Many of these were start-ups. When it comes to questions on growth, established businesses could take pointers from the many successful UK start-ups.
Here are a few tips to help reinvigorate your business and stimulate growth;
The 500 person start-up
Start-ups take risks; they are nimble, lean, have drive and energy. They are attractive places to work – especially for millennials. Larger businesses are more lumbering. Making your business adaptable, responsive and creating a thriving workplace will enable you to compete with new entrants and harness more growth.
Bust the silos
When last did you expose your key people to different functions or business units? Do different functions at the very least understand and appreciate the value of one another to the business? Start-ups depend on collaboration; established businesses tend to build barriers that limit collaboration.
Do you really trust employees at all levels to make decisions without asking them to jump through hoops? Risk management is of course good practice but so is giving your people authority and responsibility. Hand in hand with this goes good communication. If everyone is on the same page, making informed decisions is that much easier and your business can react quickly to changing dynamics.
Customers come first
As organisations become more complex, it often seems that ‘doing what’s best for the business’ is more important than doing what’s right for the customer. Putting the customer above all drives sales and growth. Remember the early days when every customer mattered!
Learn, learn, learn
Start-ups are far more likely to try new technologies, explore different channels to market and pioneer new working arrangements for staff – don’t stick to the accepted way of doing things. When last did you adopt new technology, change your marketing channels, and review who and how you recruit. Could you get better results by trying something new?
Re-connecting with the spirit of your start-up days helps remind us as business owners that nothing is absolute. Taking chances, making trade-offs, challenging assumptions, revisiting where you’re heading can all help to reignite growth and reinvigorate your businesses performance. At Haines Watts we look beyond the day-to-day accounting and tax work. We delve into the ambitions and challenges you face as an owner as you grow your business. We’re focused on helping you reach your destination with greater speed and certainty.
Visit us at www.hwca.com/accountants-esher