As a small business owner, you are responsible for making complicated decisions constantly. Whether it’s day-to-day management of employees or company equipment, or larger decisions like moving locations or upgrading your facilities, there’s typically a lot on your mind. One of those big questions might be, “Is the business ready to grow?” If this question has popped up for you lately, we can share a few cues that may signal you’re ready for the next step.
- Focused Mentality – The foundation of business growth is a business owner’s mindset. If you can’t wait to get working at your business each day, that’s a strong indication you’re ready to grow it further. It takes a lot of time, energy, and commitment to successfully build a business and run it efficiently. If you’re already working at that level, chances are you’re ready to take on more.
- Profitable Business – Do you find yourself satisfied at month’s end with the amount of business you’ve done? If the revenue has started flowing and you’re no longer struggling to maintain a regular customer base, it might be time to explore next steps. Remember, however, that revenue and profits are not one in the same. Consider whether your current business model is strategically poised for future scalability. You want to not only be profitable today, but know that you will still be profitable once your approach has shifted.
- Key Players – The best businesses have teams with the right mix of experience, skills, and drive to help the company grow. While your group might have launched the business with relative ease, a different set of capabilities is needed to successfully scale and establish the business over time. Who is on your team? If they don’t already have the expertise you need, are they able and willing to learn? If you’re confident in the key players involved, you’re likely well-positioned for growth.
- Cash Management – Profitability isn’t the only financial consideration small business owners should look at when planning business growth. Cash flow can make or break a small business, and owners must have a clear understanding of their ability to generate and manage cash before deciding to work at growth. Cash availability is essential for the numerous expenses involved with business growth, such as increased rent, utilities, payroll, and inventory costs. Being prepared to cover expected and unexpected new costs is a strong sign that growth is in your future.
- Proven Processes – New businesses rarely follow strict policies and procedures – they typically tackle issues as they arise and learn from each circumstance individually. As a business develops, that approach can lead to sloppiness and inconsistent practices. Establishing connected systems and regular processes is crucial for growing businesses to reduce inefficiencies, miscommunications, and operational friction. If your business has already made an effort to confront these challenges head-on, you are almost certainly prepared for a successful expansion.
Do any or all of these signs ring true for you and your business? If so, it sounds like you’re ready to grow! Keep these considerations in mind as you move forward and you will be well-equipped for the challenges to come.