Entrepreneurs & SMEs must systemise or risk Growing Broke
This is the warning from Scalability Coach Martin Norbury, an award-winning business mentor and author of #1 Amazon Bestseller I don’t work Fridays. It is his experience of working with hundreds of firms across 60+ industry sectors, that businesses are at risk of failing because they are trying to grow too rapidly, and without simple processes or systems in place.
“When a company starts out, or is very small, it is possible to run reasonably well without much planning; dealing with each new piece of work or challenge as it arrives and simply getting by. That is because the business only has short term goals. When you want to expand, however, you have to systemise or risk ‘growing broke’ because haphazard processes simply aren’t robust enough to cope with additional activity, and the growth will only serve to amplify all of the problems or gaps in the existing model.”
This premature scaling can be the worst possible thing, it is best described as ‘growing broke’ where either the business drives the growth, or the growth drives the business. Both might sound OK, but the latter can be very dangerous and unstable.
Martin’s 6 tips to help avoid Growing Broke:
(1) Set a clear path and end goal: it’s vital to set up your strategy and have it in place before you start to grow. Too many make the mistake of starting a business without considering how they’ll expand or ultimately exit. You don’t need to become an impersonal machine to be able to scale, you simply need a map with clear direction.
(2) Systemise your processes: you must work out exactly what makes your business work and document the method, ensuring that everything and everyone understands their role (and the goal), and you have systems and processes in place that support the business so it can run without you. If your business is always bespoke, always requires you to be involved, and is never systemised, then you have a job, not an exit-able business.
(3) Set and monitor alerts and alarms that let you know if what you’re doing is getting you closer to your end game. Don’t take all the flair and innovation out of your business by making everything run in line with performance targets, but it pays to have a way to track progress and alert you to potential problems before they happen.
(4) Learn from your mistakes: a growing business is an evolving business; if you want to scale up and exit then you need to be dedicated to continuous improvement. Getting stuck in a “we’ve always done it this way” mind-set is a sure way to block growth and limit learning potential.
(5) Create the right environment, give the tools, get out of the way! Entrepreneurs are amazing business starters, idea generators and motivators but for many scaling is boring at best and impossible at worst. If you’re a ‘big picture’ person then the details, fine tuning and systemisation of a scale up can lead to frustration. Knowing when to get help to reach the next stage is the sign of an enlightened and experienced entrepreneur.
(6) Develop a financial strategy: this sounds grander than it is, but there are just three key areas to focus on:
- How quickly does £1 you spend in your business come back in?
- How much of that £1 is actually the businesses, and how much is it other people’s money e.g. HMRC, staff etc.
- What working capital do you need to grow your business, and how will this be funded?
In his #1 Amazon Bestseller I don’t work Fridays, Norbury explains why the entrepreneur is the wrong person to grow their business, and reveals a simple 5-step formula to give leaders confidence, a clear structure and process to follow, and a set of simple tools to help business owners achieve growth and realise their ambitions – without growing broke.
I don’t work Fridays by Martin Norbury can be purchased on Amazon. ISBN-10: 1781331707. ISBN-13: 978-1781331705. Publisher: Rethink Press Limited. For more information, or if you’d like a review copy of I don’t work Fridays, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 603 1112.
Notes to editors:
Martin Norbury went from small time entrepreneur, to SME business owner and onto CEO of a multi-million-pound corporation in just ten years. His Scale Model™ is used across 60+ industries, earning him the badge of The Scalability Coach. His passion to help Entrepreneurs achieve their success is the ultimate driver behind his book. Martin in a multi-award-winning entrepreneur:
- Top 25 ‘Champion of Entrepreneurship’ on Smith &Williamson Power 100 (Fresh Business Thinking)
- Runner-Up of Profile of the Year Award 2015, hosted by Daniel Priestley (Key Persons of Influence)
- Runner-Up in KP16 Book Cover Competition, judged by Daniel Priestley
- Business Mentor of the Year 2015 (APCTC)
- Britain’s Top 50 Business Adviser 2014 (Enterprise Nation)
- 3 of his clients have won the coveted Entrepreneur of the Year 2013, 2014 & 2015 (Entrepreneurs Circle). And 11 of his clients were finalists in the Entrepreneurs Circle’s National Awards 2015
- National Entrepreneur of the Month – June 2013 (The Entrepreneurs Circle)
- Business Growth Advisor of the Year 2012 (The Entrepreneurs Circle)
Martin Norbury is available to provide expert comment on business growth, investment and exit strategies for businesses of any size, in any industry. Please contact email@example.com or call 0203 603 1112.