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Settling in to your new business

  • Blog
  • 16 October 2015

Setting up an SME requires large amounts of planning and organisation, but once this is complete and the business is running smoothly, it may still not be time to rest on your laurels, particularly if you have any thoughts of growth on your mind. Here is some advice from the Federation of Small Businesses on how it is possible to make a successful transition from start-up to growth.

Settling in to your new business

Know Your Focus

Whether you are just starting out or are embarking on a growth strategy, you should always try to keep the essential elements of your business in mind. If, for example, you started out filling a market gap with a company offering exemplary customer service and attention to detail, this cannot be forgotten no matter how large your enterprise becomes.

If you find yourself in a position where growth is on the cards, you are obviously doing something right. You want to be able to build on this success rather than forgetting the reasons behind your current position and risking losing your existing customers - and potentially your USP and reputation - by changing too much in pursuit of a wider market.

The Innocent smoothie brand is a good example of how growth can be achieved without sacrificing the original ethos of the company. The business may now see annual sales of around £200m and have Coca-Cola as a shareholder, but it has not lost the spirit of fun and innovation that set it apart from the competition when it was founded in 1998.

Set Achievable Goals

With growth in mind, it is always essential to know your purpose and set achievable goals to help you achieve your ultimate aim. This is important at all stages of managing your business. This will enable you to keep yourself, your team and your business on track.

It will also prevent you from over-stretching yourself and your business. Knowing your capacity and not growing too fast is an important consideration.

Just as you should when starting up, we recommend you set yourself and any team members you have some clear and tangible goals. It is no use simply pledging to ‘be more popular' in a month. Instead, commit to increasing your ‘likes' on Facebook, for example, by a set number, and set out a clear plan of how you will achieve this, whether through extra advertising, a competition or some other well-thought-out method.

Get Your Team Right

From the moment you start your business, it is essential that you constantly re-evaluate the structure and function of your team. It is important to ensure that every member of the workforce is capable of the task in hand and, just as important, to know that you are not allowing valuable skills and individuals to go to waste.

As the owner or manager of an SME, you should also evaluate your own role. Are you really the best person to manage the business through a period of growth? Perhaps your talents would be better placed elsewhere, or maybe you do not want - or have - the time required to give your full attention to the role. This can be a difficult task to do but is one that is important if you want to give your company the best chance of success.

Starting a Business for Dummies - Book from FSB

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