Every small business owner would like to watch their business grow. I envision you probably started off with a small lemonade stand at the end of the street and watched it blossom into a food truck where you started selling it at school carnivals and football games. Obviously following a detailed business growth plan you wrote in school. Next thing you know you’ve got 5 trucks and a stand-alone with a drive through. Congratulations!
But wait, to turn that into reality you need some foundations first. You don’t necessarily need a huge technical business growth plan like the big corporation’s use. Let’s simplify it. If you want to plan for real business growth you need these three foundations in place first.
- Standard Operating System
- Cash Flow Management System
- Resource Plan
Standard Operating System
Every business needs a little structure, and it should come in the form of a standard operating system, or standard operating procedure. A standard operating procedure, SOP for short, is used in business to ensure consistency in the everyday tasks. This procedure may change from time to time as your business grows, but the basic foundation will remain the same. Every plan, even a business growth plan, can be tweaked. You might have one overall operations procedure or one for each department. It depends on your business but create a standard or multiple standards to maintain the quality and efficiency of your end product.
Cash Flow Management System
As your business grows your expenses will continue to increase with it. Hopefully your revenue is also increasing. Having a cash flow management system will help to keep you in check so you don’t overspend. We suggest using the Profit First system. It’s a simple system based on percentages, and we have plenty of free resources as well as some inexpensive courses to help you get the Profit First system implemented in your business.
You’ll also want a resource plan. You don’t want to go out and buy 16 bushels of lemons every week if you only go through about 10. You don’t want your lemons to go bad before you’ve had a chance to woo your new customers at the grand opening of your drive-through location. That’s not good for business. It’s a fine line though. The last thing you want to do is underestimate. Heaven forbid you run out of lemons!! Have a resource plan in place. You know from experience you go through an average of 10 bushels a week. A good resource plan might be when you hit 2 bushels of lemons, you buy 8 more.
Employees are a specific resource you should also plan for. So, it’s a good idea to have a hiring plan in place. We had a client that got a little overzealous when his business started to grow. He over-hired and his revenue wasn’t increasing at the rate he predicted, and he was out of business a year later. It’s another fine line. A good business owner doesn’t want his employees burning out because there’s too much work and not enough staff. A hiring plan is another form of a good resource plan.
As much as you want to grow your business, there is such a thing as growing pains. On the other hand, you might not be able to grow because your business isn’t set up to do so. If you have a business growth plan, or whatever you want to call it, which includes a written Standard Operating System, a Cash Flow Management System to keep your finances in check, and a good Resource Plan you’ll be ready for real growth. You’ll have a balanced internal business structure to handle whatever workload comes your way. Soon every old couple across the mid-west will be sitting on their front porch drinking YOUR lemonade!!
As mentioned earlier, we have a lot of resources to help you with everything from taxes, Profit First cash flow system, bookkeeping, etc. Click the button below for some of our free tools and resources.
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