The furore surrounding the recent General Election result and the ongoing media storm around Brexit would have some running for the hills to take cover. However, with recent news in the press that manufacturing and construction are experiencing growth due to the strength of the pound and the global recovery, here at Pulse Cashflow, we believe the time is right to Keep Calm and Carry on business!
As advisors to UK businesses you see as we do the challenges that a business can face first hand and how it can seem daunting when there is so much uncertainty. However, we must take seriously the role that we both play in supporting UK Business and their future growth because it is their success that will ensure the future health of our economy.
To help give the best support, we have pulled together our collective advice that you can share with your clients to best equip themselves to plan for and deliver growth.
Set your course
It’s difficult when there are so many demands on time to carve out a slot for thinking about the future. However, spending focussed time on understanding where you want to go and what you want to achieve will reap rewards. Make sure you set some quantifiable and realistic objectives such as grow income by 10% or acquire 2 new customers to help visualise what you need to focus on.
Take a sensible risk
Staying in your comfort zone can be the right thing to do but sometimes, competition or industry changes mean that you may be forced to act if you are to sustain the future health of your business. Be brave. Sometimes, you need to take some risk to accumulate success. This might mean introducing new solutions, expanding your business, investing in a piece of machinery or taking on more staff. But if you have a plan and you know why you are doing it and what you are trying to achieve then it’s a calculated risk worth taking.
Expand to gear up for growth
Expansion is key to growth, be that moving to bigger offices, buying more equipment or establishing a presence in another region. Whichever you choose, you should undertake careful planning and consideration to ensure that you know how you are going to maximise the value from your expansion project. How will you create awareness in a new location? Or how will you generate new customers to utilise new equipment? Consider how you will finance this expansion and what income you need to achieve to make it viable.
Diversify your offering
Customer needs are constantly changing so adapting your solutions or diversifying into new areas might prove fruitful. Talk to your customers and find out what needs are not being fulfilled so that you can look to add additional products or services to your offering where you have relevant skills, to satisfy these needs.
Focus on customer experience
Are you providing the best service you can or are you leaving your customers with a less than favourable perception about your business? Your customers can be your biggest advocates if you deliver great service. Get it wrong and they will spread the word and with the growth of online communities, this can be very damaging to business. Asking your customers how you can improve the service you deliver will only help you retain a loyal and valuable customer base.
Ensure you have a flexible funding solution
Ensuring that you have sufficient levels of working capital is important for any business intent on growth. Review your existing funding arrangements – are they and will they continue to provide adequate cashflow to service ongoing business expenses as well as providing funds for growth. Look at alternative forms of finance such as invoice finance which are designed to match the requirement of business today. Facilities can be put in place within days if required and funding levels will grow in line with your business.
Recruit the best talent
When planning a growth strategy, you need to be sure that you have the right team in place to deliver it. They need to be understand what is required and be committed to achieving it. It may be that new skills are needed to fill gaps to support the introduction of a new service or to win business in a particular sector. Take the time to make sure you understand what skills you need so you get recruitment right first time.
Smaller businesses have one big positive over larger businesses. The ability to change direction quickly in response to market or competitive threats. Situations can be reviewed and decisions made quickly. It means that they can test the water with new ideas and either change things or roll out quickly if they make a difference.
For more information on our cashflow solutions please contact us on 0845 539 7003