How to grow and scale your SME

Successful entrepreneurs often ask how they can continue to grow their business. 

A useful approach is to begin by looking at your objectives, finance and business resources.

Owner objectives
In the early stages of a business, many owners do almost everything themselves. As the business grows, however, this becomes impossible. Often the success of a business depends on the owner’s ability to put the right people in the right job at the right time. So the first step when thinking about growth should be to critically assess your own abilities and decide what you want your future role in the business to be. Sometimes owners decide to specialise in a particular function rather than to continue to manage the business themselves. Some even decide to sell the business and move on to another new venture.

The second thing to consider is finance. You can’t grow an business without financial resources so you need to be realistic about your cash and borrowing power. It’s essential to get the basics right by controlling your costs, billing clients on time, collecting cash owed and paying your taxes. If you haven’t already done so, it may be time to appoint a head of finance who can interpret the numbers, forecast trends, maximise efficiencies and optimise your business for future growth.

Finance is always important in business but never more so than when an SME is growing. If your business expands too quickly without having proper processes in place, you run the risk of over-trading which can lead to liquidity problems and business failure.

Business resources

You also need to assess your existing business resources including your capacity to attract and retain talent and the adequacy of your business systems. You may need to invest in people and/or systems in anticipation of future demand.

Growth strategy
Having reviewed your objectives and resources, your growth strategy might be:

  • to develop new products or services

  • to expand into new markets

  • to acquire entities that complement your existing business

  • to merge with another business

Whatever strategy you choose to grow your business, having a good handle on your objectives, finances and resources should help ensure a successful outcome.

For further information or to discuss your specific circumstances, please get in touch.

Brendan Brady