10 Questions for Fast-Growth Companies
While Gordon Gekko’s Wall Street mantra ‘Greed is good’ is highly debatable, no-one could disagree with that other well-known business mantra ‘Growth is good’. Right?
Fast growth, while it can be a positive, is often a scary ride for a business and its leaders.
While no business wants to be struggling—dealing with the constant pressures of rising costs, tightening margins, staff unrest, and slow-paying customers—spare a thought for those whose growth, often ranging between 30 and 150 per cent, brings with it pressures of cash flow, staff unrest, and stress—albeit a different kind.
There are a number of common issues fast-growth companies encounter as their business takes off. These issues can be used as a reminder to review your own business to ensure you have a clear and communicated strategy, and that you have the right people, controls, and finance facilities in place to manage the growth.
Here are the top 10 questions you should ask as a leader in your business to ensure you are well equipped to handle growth:
- Is a 13-week cash flow in place?
- Is an integrated three-way forecast in place?
- Has a gap analysis been done in the previous six months to determine if you have any gaps in your management team?
- Do you have a clearly documented strategic plan that has been communicated across the business?
- Do you have a clearly defined unique selling point or point of difference that objectively sets you apart from your competitors?
- Do you have the right finance facilities in place?
- Do you have a weekly and monthly dashboard highlighting the KPIs that drive your business?
- Do you prepare a concise management pack, including a profit-and-loss and balance sheet with comparisons to budget by the tenth day of the following month, and do you review it monthly?
- Do you incorporate a 100-day work plan method to project-manage key initiatives across the business?
- Would you rate your employee culture as better than seven out of 10?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, don’t be afraid to seek outside help to prepare your business and ensure you are ready to capitalise on opportunities.
This blog is an extract of an article by Michael Fingland that first appeared in the February 2014 issue of The CEO Magazine.