Continual cashflow challenges are paramount when you’re growing a business. You’ve passed seed stage, you generated some sales, now you have some regular customers – you’re growing, therefore your team is growing and your office is getting bigger, so your costs increase, and before you know it there’s limited capital to grow further because you’ve invested all you have into the business as it is today.
These are hurdles every business faces, so it’s important you don’t just accept that ‘this is it’ and hinder your chances of further success. I’ve been in this position plenty of times and there are a few things I’ve learnt along the way.
Work inside, then out
It’s too easy to become a recluse when you’re preoccupied with financial woes and ensuring the business stays afloat. However, it’s essential that you continue to operate an open-door policy and make time for your employees. The best way to build a successful business is to invest in the people who make it possible, the people who make the cogs turn.
If you begin to neglect your staff, it’s quite possible they’ll become disengaged, which will cause productivity levels to drop and employee turnover to increase.
I can’t stress how important employee morale is for venturing into the next stage of business. Don’t lose sight of what’s core to your business; work your way from the inside out by valuing your team and creating a culture they’re proud to be part of.
2. Use the productivity stress test
Productivity has been such a buzzword lately, but what does it actually mean for you and why should you be concerned?
In its simplest form, productivity is about every individual adding value to the business they own or work for and really earning their salary.
Every business should have a productivity measurement tool in place. When I invest in a business the first thing I want to know is how productive the staff in place are, because it’s people who build, grow and scale businesses, and if you don’t have a productive team who can show where they’re adding value, then I don’t want to invest.
If you’re not training your people and making sure they’re working efficiently and effectively, how do you expect to continue growing? The truth is you won’t and your business will become stagnant.
It’s important to re-analyse every sector within your business and ask yourself what could be improved. How can you improve productivity?
Some industries will find this easier than others. Manufacturing businesses, for example, are able to identify tangible measures of success, such as how quickly their product is selling and how in-demand they are. Solutions to lack of productivity can also be easier to recognise, for example, investing in new equipment that will allow the business to produce products twice as fast.
On the other hand, people-based businesses will find it more difficult because their added value is somewhat abstruse, so it’s harder to know exactly what steps need to be taken to ensure a more productive workforce.
This is where investment in tech and skills become essential, because if you’re a business owner who is not taking advantage of new technologies to make your business competent and competitive, then you’re at a major disadvantage.
3. Be nimble and learn from others
Innovation is key. Focus on looking for effective solutions, learning from your mistakes and consistently renovating your business.
So many businesses stick to old ways of doing things because that’s how it’s always been done. If you follow this example, you’re giving yourself a one-way ticket to failure. There are plenty of other businesses out there investing in technology and collaborating with like-minded peers.
This sponsored article is submitted by a guest writer.