Each of these specific areas of focus is the most important to the business’s success, and they all must work together, but at any given time, one usually needs more attention than the others. This is especially true in a growing business since, as you well know, different parts of a business often grow at different rates. Business planning will provide the structure you need to critically evaluate all your divisions and how you can use this knowledge to develop and implement the best strategies for the growth and success of your business.
1- Marketing: The “selling things” part of your business – getting customers for your products and services.
2- Operations: The “making things” part of your business – what you do for your customer.
3- Human Resources: The “people” part of your business – recruiting, developing, supporting, and compensating your staff.
4- Finance: The “enabler” of your business – more than financial statements and tax returns, it is what makes your business possible.
The Impact of Growth on a business as long term effects
There is a predictable pattern as any business develops and grows. It Starts with Marketing. When a business grows, finding sales is everything. The marketing division consumes most of the management’s efforts and a take-any-sale attitude rules. Shifting from Marketing to Operations. As orders start to roll in, the focus must shift from marketing to operations, which means production and service delivery. A business approaching capacity must expand to keep up with the demand, or it risks missing sales commitments.
Shifting from Operations to Human Resources and Finance When a business grows too quickly, it may outgrow the capability of existing staff or place unreasonable demands on individuals. People, especially owners, are seen as the most flexible of all resources, creating a situation that cannot be sustained over the long term. A growing business also needs cash to pay suppliers, employees, and other overheads. It needs cash to finance equipment so it can increase capacity. If sales are growing faster than profits, the cash flow becomes a cash trickle, and finance needs more attention.
Strategic Goals are not just knee-jerk reactions; they are the planned objectives that an organization strives to achieve. For long-term success, you must take the time to develop and articulate appropriate strategic goals for the business to demonstrate to subordinate employees what the plans and vision for the company are. Such strategic goals should be achievable and should reflect a realistic assessment of the current and projected business environment.
A few basic tips.
● Start Smart.
Identify a niche. Don’t compete to be the lowest-cost provider. Look for what makes your product or service unique, add a special value for the client, and charge for that value.
● Seek out Sales.
How do you go about getting your first sale? Recognizing your budget limitations, you need to target a niche and get connected in your target market. You need other people selling for you—not employees—goodwill referrals. Become a visible part of your market, then ask for the sale.
● Set up Systems.
The most basic system every business should have is a good financial system. The start-up expense plan, operating budget, and accounting software are vital to your success.
● Aim for Growth.
Remember, you’re not just creating a job for yourself. Building a business is creating a company that is more than the job itself. Think about the future. How large do you want the company to be in sales, net profit, and employees? It’s important to choose early how you want to grow your company.
● Leverage Opportunities.
Be very clear about your core focus for the business. It’s what pays the bills. Then, when you see a potential opportunity, measure it against your core business. Opportunity is great when it matches your vision for the business. Always consider if it’s the right fit.
Always remember; when building a business…it’s not just about what’s happening today; you have to think of the future.
Looking for a good book on the subject, suggested reading;
- The Visionary Leader: How to inspire success from the top down.
- Susan Bagyura (Author), Michael E. Gerber (Foreword), Fiona Dempsey (Illustrator)