So, you’ve successfully started a business and now you’re in the fortunate but delicate position of experiencing rapid growth. Growth for any start-up is a moment of great pride, but how do you manage the increased demand in a way which is sustainable and will allow you to continue your upwards trajectory.
At X-Forces Enterprise, not only have we been through such a phase ourselves, but as we have been launching start-up businesses since 2012, we have mentored and supported various businesses along the way to become fully fledged established businesses.
For example, ex-Army Soldier PJ Farr set up UK Connect Ltd in 2013 and has since experienced rapid growth. UK Connect Ltd quickly established themselves as a national provider for broadband connection solutions to 6 FTSE 100 businesses including securing multi-million-pound deals with some of the largest house builders in the UK. PJ Farr is mentored by XFE corporate partner Cisco:
Great to see one of our mentees, PJ Farr of UK Connect named as a finalist in the Soldering On Awards. UK Connect Ltd. has experienced rapid growth since inception in 2013 and is establishing itself as broadband supplier of choice within the commercial sector. We are delighted to see PJs hard work and diligence being rewarded. We are very proud to be supporting him through his journey. –Paul Garvey, Cisco.
Here are some tips to help you manage rapid growth:
Are you moving in the right direction?
Updating your business plan will help keep you focused and allow you to plan strategically. When experiencing rapid growth, you may find yourself so caught up in the increasingly busy daily operations of the business that you overlook the overall direction which the business is heading in. Giving yourself this time can allow you the opportunity to assess what is going well and where improvements and efficiencies could be made.
Do you have the right team on board for your size?
Do you still have the right team on board for the current size of the company? It may be that you are no longer able to do as much of the operational tasks yourself and need to delegate some of the operational activities. If you offer a skill-based business which you personally provide, however, you may find management support more useful.
Do your staff feel valued?
In relation to any existing staff, do not forget the role which they have played in your growth and ensure they are also rewarded in some way in order to keep motivation at a high. As the business expands further, loyal and hard-working staff will be of even more importance.
Do you have sufficient cashflow?
As all businesses know, cashflow is key and this is even more so the case during expansion. Your increased demand will most likely need to be met by increased capital. Whether you are taking money out of the business, expanding lines of credit or taking on start-up funding, you need to make sure you have sufficient cashflow in the business to fall back on. Research all possible options so you don’t fall into the trap of focusing on the initial capital injection only and don’t take into account the longer-term repayments and whether this will be affordable.
How could you benefit from mentoring support?
If you find yourself growing quicker than expected, or in an unexpected direction, your mentor can provide an excellent support network, whether they provide business advice, emotional support or are just a someone you can trust to act as a soundboard. 94% of SME’s agree that relying upon external support has had positive benefits for their business (Department of Business Innovation and Skills). If you haven’t been using a mentor before, it’s never too late to build a relationship with one; our mentoring team are always happy to help – drop them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
How can X-Forces help?
X-Forces Enterprise (XFE) is an award-winning Community Interest Company that nurtures entrepreneurial ambition in the UK military community. As an official delivery partner of the Start Up Loans company we can help with start-up finance, of up to £25,000 per applicant for businesses which have been trading under 24 months. We also provide of training, networking and ongoing mentoring. Start your journey by registering today here.