Steady growth but not outstanding
Despite the return of the economy to some form of stability, many businesses are finding that meaningful growth is still very hard to come by.
Changes in customers’ needs, technology, employee expectations and the ways that we communicate over the web and via social media, are moving ever faster and it’s a challenge to keep up, let alone make time to plan for the future. Especially when your day job is running a company!
On the other hand, in cases where some growth is being captured, accessing finance to support new business needs often proves difficult, with so many financial institutions imposing ever more stringent lending criteria, especially on SMEs. And, as such, if previous growth has been a little unplanned (dare we say, chaotic) to date, you may even ask yourself on occasion “are we a bad debt away from a fall here?”
According to Sirena Bergman, writing in The Guardian, a problem for those SMEs who’ve been simply growing organically over the past few years can be “the shock of suddenly having a large amount of orders or requests and no way to fulfil them”.
Wary in business
Against this highly challenging backdrop, it’s perhaps unsurprising that research from the Economic Intelligence Unit found a “notable conservatism” amongst small business owners. As a result, many directors find themselves with a firm stuck in neutral, working with tired business models that they don’t have time to update, frustrated at the stagnation in turnover and profitability, and unsure how to progress (or fund) their growth ambitions.
Hence, no doubt, the reason that – according to the GrowthAcclererator Annual Report 2014 – assistance with Business Development is the most widely used service by those taking part, being used by “78% of supported businesses”. And, encouragingly, of those benefitting from this type of strategy and planning support, 71% say “they are better placed to cope with difficult economic conditions” and 70% felt “they were better at spotting opportunities” [ibid, p.8].
A trusted path to growth
But you, like many SME businesses, may be wary of introducing an external resource and/or new finance into the business, fearing this has the potential to upset the status quo and change the normal order of things. Directors across the business need to feel assured that accepting professional help or guidance IS NOT about bringing someone in who will then embark on a wholesale reorganisation, and realignment of the business without consultation or regard to their experience and the existing hierarchies.
The solution is to find the right guidance and objectivity for your business; trusted advice that draws on the necessary skills and experience to assist you in the development of a meaningful SME growth strategy, to work with you on its effective implementation and indeed, help finance it – all rolled into one.
With significant experience in starting and growing businesses, I can help you develop your business, assist you with planning and strategy, access business finance, maximise returns from existing resources and ensure that all parts of the business are fully co-ordinated and working effectively to achieve a common purpose. My aim is to work with you in the background to create a platform for your business to achieve profitable and sustainable growth in the short, medium and long term.
I seek to be a partner you will trust implicitly, who is affordable and who will work seamlessly with the rest of your team when needed.
Talk to me
Set up a confidential consultation with me today, giving you clear sight of the options for maximising your business opportunities and addressing key issues that may be holding you back.
John Thompson is MBA qualified and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. He has developed and subsequently sold two of his own businesses.
Whether it’s insight into what’s holding you back and developing a plan for the future, helping you build a case for investment and finding new sources of finance, turning your most innovative ideas into profit, or providing training to develop confident leadership and management, I am focused on a single goal: the growth of your business.