Growth Planning: Does Your Business Own You?
So … does your business own you?
It’s a familiar dilemma. You’ve worked hard to build your business, and you want to make sure it continues to be successful.
You probably work long hours, both out of a feeling of pride for what you’ve built, enjoyment of the project you have created and – more than likely, if you’re honest – a sense of duty, combined with at least a smidge of worry about ‘letting go’.
And there’s the problem in a nutshell. Most micro-businesses, SMEs and even larger more established businesses, especially if a single individual has founded them, will inevitably be based around the boardroom principle of the director-shareholder.
What this means in essence is that the same people who ‘own’ the company will have an interest in the day-to-day running of it. In practice (although of course not in terms of legal structure), this is the same as a sole trader or partnership system, where those with a financial stake are actually those who operate the company.
So what’s the problem of being ‘in’ the business?
So, that’s fine from an efficiency point of view, although we must remember that not everyone is an expert at everything, and it’s always wise counsel to delegate specialist roles and tasks to those who have the skills and mindset to carry them out effectively. However, the main problem comes when we allow personality, emotion and ego to creep in to the mix.
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What then happens is that both our business and ‘we’ are subject to a heady mix of personal and commercial conflicts. Of course, there is always the possibility that, as with the best chaos theories, everything could turn out fine. But would you want to take that chance with a business that you have founded, grown and nurtured to becoming the success that you currently see? The smart money is that you wouldn’t.
So, what’s the solution?
Well, as with most things in life, there isn’t a single, simple magic bullet that will solve everything. What we need to do is look at a more nuanced approach, and take stock of those individual, incremental actions we can take to allow our business to grow further and still to retain our sanity.
The first step to take is a pretty straightforward one – that of making sure that your Business Plan is up to date, and contains the most recent cashflow and P&L projections, as well as a balance sheet summary. It should also incorporate a sales & marketing plan, as well as some form of operational summation. What’s that? You don’t have a Business Plan? Okay, you know what to do, then.
Once you’ve nailed your planning and projections, you need to assess what else you need to enable your business to grow in accordance with your aspirations. This can be anything from the addition of certain specialist equipment to an injection of working capital to the hiring of more staff or independent consultants.
And, don’t forget – today’s 24-7 business culture often wants to dictate that we are an ‘always on’ business. The Internet, online shopping, e-commerce and social media are all vying for our time and attention. So, take advantage of some automation and IT tools to make sure that you’re not owned by your business. After all, it should really be the other way round.
Does Your Business Own You? If so, you are probably struggling to keep up with things as they are! Take expert advice and support to help you deal with this situation and transition toward a more ‘controlled’ situation.
Straight talking advice from Yorkshire Powerhouse
Now you’ve read our article on ‘Does Your Business Own You?’ – have you any more questions?
Here at Yorkshire Powerhouse, we’re happy to help as much as possible – is there anything else we can do to help you, do you have any further questions or can we help introduce you to an expert – please let us know:
Ask any business owner what their view of Growing a Business is, and you will receive as many answers as there are days of the week. Read >