Outsourcing or hiring people? Larger premises or committing to more hybrid working? Outside money or preferring to keep control yourself? When your small business finally gets bigger and more successful, so many questions come your way that it's easy to lose sight of the wood for the trees. Now every business is unique, but there is a common thread in what you need to have in place to grow successfully.
Who is going to pay for it?
It is, of course, every entrepreneur`s big dream: the little plan that was once dreamt up at the kitchen table is now a well-run business/concept/product that it is in danger of growing out of control. This is nice, of course, but no reason to rest on your laurels, on the contrary. It's a matter of ending the successful period of building and going for growth. Then the following question immediately pops up: who is going to pay for it?
For most companies - 62 per cent of those surveyed - it is still the bank, according to the Financing Monitor 2022, a survey of 500 entrepreneurs conducted by CBS on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Change. Of course, this is not to say that a bank investment will work best for you: for example, are you looking for capital because you are growing so fast that you are continuously in the black? Then look for venture capital through friends or family. Are you developing a product or prototype for example? Then see if you are eligible for a WBSO subsidy. Or does your need involve really large sums of money? Then you need to get around the table with venture capital investors or business angels. But whichever party you partner with, be careful not to give away too much of your company in exchange for the investment..
'This is how we treat each other here' document
Retention of control within your company also plays a role in hiring (more) people. The company is your baby, but a fact also is that you can no longer manage operations alone or with just a few people. If you are considering staff expansion, you have to critically walk through the finances of the past few months first. If turnover has grown, it is a credit to the current team and something you can build on.
But of course, that's just one way of mapping your options; if you want more insight, you can use this test to see if you are ready for more staff.
With new people come new views, experiences and ways of working. There should be room for that, but not at the expense of the current business culture. After all, that is what you have done your very best for and what customers and (potential) employees are drawn to. To arrive at a good and workable mix, it is advisable to map out the existing business culture first. Some of this will be on paper, but the unwritten rules and habits are just as important. Then you can analyse this 'This is how we treat each other here' document for white spots, missed opportunities and open doors. Not an easy exercise, but a very necessary one in these times where there seems to be less and less room for error.
Getting and keeping an overview
New people, fresh investors, bigger premises. And while you have to manage growth, in the meantime, the business has to keep going and keep delivering. Now, maintaining an overview has always been important, but now that you start involving more people in your business, it becomes even more crucial. Because although you no longer do everything yourself, you are and will remain the figurehead of the business.
Fortunately, you are not on your own in all areas: for instance, you can keep your ICT efficient and clear through Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP is a computer programme that supports a company's processes and can help at key moments, such as when increasing staff or winning a mega order. An example of a very useful ERP is Odoo, the all-in-one system that allows all administrative IT processes to be securely connected and work together in one system.
We at Cravit have believed in the power of Odoo for years. Wondering what this software is all about and what it can do for your business?
Then click here for a no-obligation demo