According to a report released by the House of Commons in 2018, there are roughly 5.4 million micro-businesses operating across the UK, meaning that they each have fewer than nine employees to their names. Altogether, they account for 96 per cent of all business in the country.
And although it appears that there is much scope for growth amongst these firms, often the reason for their failure is due to the lack of planning required to push for expansion, particularly if it is regarded as a risky venture. While the company may endure a sustainable and regular level of success, inaction can cause stagnation and force a business to lose momentum as a result.
It is vital that you exercise caution, but if your business is experiencing any of the following factors, it is worth putting measures in place to push for growth at the risk of it all taking a turn for the worse down the line.
Are you at full capacity?
Your enterprise may be doing well – so well that it might even have to turn away business at the risk of being unable to meet all obligations. Perhaps one of the biggest indicators that it is time to push for growth is a solid and expanding demand for business. This is because it demonstrates that your company is producing a product or service that is well-regarded and desired amongst those in your relevant market, and that the existing business model is working well to rope in the customers.
However, if you do not take advantage of all the potential customers, you are likely to lose them to a rival, or even inspire another company to start up to take over the business you cannot support. At the risk of letting that happen, consider expanding your operations by taking on members of staff, or expanding your stock. Do not let your budget for advertising or marketing fall when you could be growing in other places to boost revenue further.
Do you have access to finances?
To grow your business, you need money. And if you already have some, why not reinvest it in the company to grow even more? Whether or not your business is anticipating expansion, your accounts and finances need to be in order, and all funding options ought to be assessed with a fine-tooth comb. And once your finances are in order, it will be easier to analyse where and how money can be spent to push towards growing the company as a whole.
A bank loan can be a top option, but it is also worth exploring the notion of establishing a line of credit to access more or new capital for the sake of expansion. For example, this can take the shape of new vehicles of technology taken on a loan in order to quickly boost your existing business, whilst you also recalculate forecasts to generate new revenue figures based on increased capital.
Such estimates and analyses are something a lender will require when considering loans, and so it is all the more important to have books in order to avoid issues and complications when negotiating loans in the future.
Is your team solid?
If your existing team is working well together and there is potential for you to further capitalise on their skills and talents, now is the time to put more money towards employees and expansion on that front.
Allowing your team to plot their own career trajectories and giving them more responsibility by placing your trust in them, will manifest in greater morale, loyalty, and a general desire to take the business to new heights. Investing more in your staff in terms of education/training and incentives, and even taking on more to support growing customer demand, will facilitate business growth organically and from within.
Does your business have new goals?
A few years down the line, it is likely that your business’s goals will have changed from when you first started. There is nothing wrong with that – naturally, a business has to adapt to its market conditions and external factors, which forces it to realign its original values and aims. Therefore, as your business also thrives and grows, it should also evolve in terms of its targets and goals for growth going forward.
A company is nothing without new challenges, and so it is wise to readjust your growth projections; this will naturally encourage you to develop new business models which will, in turn, push you towards expansion and growth – whatever form that may be in. Having new goals will allow you to plan the way to growth in a manner that can be managed and controlled all through.
Plan with caution and prepare for the worst, because small businesses do run the risk of failure unless all aspects of the business are managed thoroughly. However, if all criteria are met and you believe your company is in a position to expand, it could possibly be the next step in your business’s journey.