In the last article, ‘What costs are considered essential in running a business?’, I talked about considering your business costs and asking yourself whether it is a need, or a want item. Whilst this is certainly one way to identify whether your business is ready for growth investment, there are other ways to tell if a step change is on the horizon…
Your clients or customers are asking you to develop
Probably the easiest indicator that growth could be on the horizon is when your customers identify a need that you are currently not providing. Are there complementary services or products to offer that fortify your provision?
You’re too busy
This can be difficult to spot, because as entrepreneurs we find ourselves busy a lot of the time. But are you compromising your work-life balance for your business? Are you missing out on things you really want to be part of because of your workload,? Have you been neglecting the more fun side of business, or thing you are good at, such as networking social events, or posting to LinkedIn? Are you still following your own procedures or cutting corners?
The sector is growing
AI is a perfect example – and one which could affect almost every sector in industry and business and help them grow. Is there development in your geographical area, such as new homes, or industrial parks? What new products or services can you offer, or can you offer the same, only to the new audience?
You have regularly higher profits
A nice problem to have! Now you can choose whether you invest those profits into the business and grow your staff, premises or stock, or whether you reward staff or yourself with workplace benefits, dividends, bonuses and celebratory festivities.
What do your numbers tell you?
Have you forecasted your business potential and sensitised the numbers with ‘what if’ factors? What ‘success drivers’ leverage the desired performance of your business and are you consistently hitting the activity measures and outcome results? By forecasting with your deeper numbers based on consistent performance you will give yourself the confidence to make that step change.
A final word on trigger points
Including trigger points as part of your business goal planning is a great way to help you make decisions and take action without emotion. For example, when your client base gets to a determined number, you either say goodbye to some, or invest in freelancers/employees. By pre-determining that number, you can take action quickly and be prepared for it. I talk more about trigger points in the article, ‘Using trigger points to keep your business on track’.
All the above situations can be given a tigger point in your business planning. Think about the areas of your own business that seem to have a need, that create most pressure – is growth the way to ease that need?
Be sure to get in touch with me if you’d like to discuss anything that might be holding you back from growth. I understand it’s much easier said than done, and so having a sounding board can be highly beneficial.