Growing a small business can be a scary prospect especially if you have been at the helm for a long time. You are professional, one hundred per cent ‘on it’, you understand your business inside out and upside down. You know your customers so well, and they know you. The thought of somebody else living up to your expectations is daunting – so much so you may keep putting the idea of taking on staff until a ‘better time’. We are here with some advice for growing your small business and some great links for future reading.
A friend of mine had the same conversation with me over the space of three years. He was so busy working for his own business – a dental laboratory. He worked all the hours; early morning starts, late evenings weekends too – especially over busy periods.
Knowingly he said that taking someone on and training them was something he needed to do. It was getting close to the tipping point. Deep down he knew that by not growing his business he was placing his business in a risky situation. If he were ever out of action for any period, there would be nobody to take the helm, and he would let many of his customers down.
Many people in their first year or two find themselves in a similar predicament.
Work ‘on’ your business rather than ‘for’ your business…
By growing your business and effectively replacing yourself with your skill set, you can now start to drive your business forward. You won’t be caught up in the daily grind of working for your business. Instead, you will find yourself looking above the tree line and being able to work ‘on’ your business.
You will be able to drive your marketing and awareness of your product and services. Promoting your business on a day to day basis, talking to new potential customers, finding business opportunities through collaboration, finding more time to drive social online media and document content for your business website.
You will be able to spend more time on you and your family – a crucial part of getting work and life balanced and not working your way towards poor health and pressured relationships.
We’ve seen many businesses owners in the same position. Restaurant owners who are the chef looking to take on their first chef, beauty therapists looking to expand their team, hotel owners looking for management. Everyone in business will face the same challenge at some point.
If you need to find initial business funding to kickstart your business growth, there are many options available to you – and not just through your high street bank.
It’s reassuring to know that small businesses in the UK have so many opportunities to help them grow. For small businesses who use card payments to take merchant transactions from their customers, we offer a product called a business cash advance. It works with your cash flow, and you only repay when you make sales.
If your business invoices other businesses for payments then you could look at invoice finance. Funds are made available by the lender usually on the same day you raise the invoice, then, they receive the full amount after 30 days and deduct their fees from and pay you the balance. This is great for those businesses who have to wait for clients to pay and offers a route to opening up cash flow.
A good article from one of the most successful business leaders is here from Richard Branson himself https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/richard-branson-my-four-tips-growing-business
He talks about getting the foundations right, building the right team and getting the right support – the fundamentals in positive growth.
The UK government has advice on growing your business here https://www.gov.uk/growing-your-business and here https://www.bgateway.com/
In Wales there is a dedicated agency through Business Wales https://businesswales.gov.wales/
In Scotland there is a resource to be found here https://www.mygov.scot/growing-business/who-can-help/
In 2020 the business community in the UK had to adapt quickly to change. As some businesses suffered due to forced closure, others were lucky enough to maintain a level of trading. Whilst many businesses were closed on the outside, many business owners were adapting their business model to cope with change. As with any recession or downturn in the economy, there are opportunities to grow. By identifying new, emerging products and services, your business can transition and prosper through any eventuality.