In the short run, your goals when managing a business are pretty simple. You want to build a product; then, you try to market and sell it in such a way as to maximise efficiency and ensure a steady profit with each unit you move. If you can do this, your company will break even, and you'll be successful.
It's not just about eking out a profit today - it's about driving real growth that will make the company stronger tomorrow.
For many ambitious entrepreneurs, though, this isn't enough. It's not just about eking out a profit today - it's about driving real growth that will make the company stronger tomorrow. This means taking your existing process and adding to it - more people, more production and more profit.
Setting aside the "survival mindset" and using a "growth mindset" instead isn't always easy. To be successful, you need both a clear long-term vision and a good deal of cash to invest in your company's future.
Finding opportunities to drive business growth
Are you looking to take your company to the next level, getting serious about increasing the cash flow that trickles into your business? If so, it's all about having a keen eye for growth opportunities, according to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Look around and ask yourself - what can I do to make my company stronger?
One possible course of action is to review your existing business goals and evaluate where you have strengths and weaknesses. If there are certain things you set out to do and haven't yet, how can you get more aggressive? This might mean making more of a certain product or pursuing a certain demographic with your next marketing campaign.
Additionally, it's good to get out there and pick the brains of others in your industry to find out what's worked for them. Read lots of content about the industry leaders and what makes them successful. If possible, attend events like trade shows where you can network with people directly and absorb their wisdom.
Applying lessons from the world of big business
Growth comes a lot easier for corporations that are already big to begin with. If you're at the helm of, say, Google or Amazon, it's easy to grow the scope of your business because you have so many resources that investing comes naturally. Interestingly though, it's also conceivable for smaller businesses to crib some valuable lessons about growth from the big corporations, according to the American Express OPEN Forum.
For example, how can you attack a new corner of your industry and add real value to your business? Take Google - initially, it was just a search engine, but by adding new features like an email interface and social networking, it was able to grow in scope. Can you do the same thing, albeit on a smaller scale?
Another potential strategy is to explore business partnerships. If you want your company to gain influence, why not team up with another company that will add value to your own - or, if you've got the working capital to pull it off, purchase one altogether?
Want to grow? You'll need cash first
Of course, all of the above tactics cost money, and lots of it. If you want to develop a new product, or acquire another business that will bolster your own, you need to have the cash on hand to complete such a transaction.
If you don't have that cash immediately available, it might be wise to consider invoice finance. Using invoice finance, you can get cash up front to cover your company's unpaid sales invoices. This will make it easier to invest in growth without breaking stride.