Guiding Growth in The Region
Since the Rural Business Growth Service launched in 2020, we have worked with clients across the rural North of Tyne area to help them develop their business plans, access finance and manage growth. Managing growth effectively is about making sure you have the resources to deliver as demand increases, and the time to spot any potential problems before they become an issue.
It is very important to remember that growth in your business generally occurs because you’ve done something right! A new product or service has been launched, marketing has been effective, the sales are coming in and you’re delivering efficiently. This cycle will continue for a while, but as you take on more customers to feed the growth, you will at some point reach the limit of your business capacity. You might run out of energy, business resources or the ability to manage operational issues effectively.
Your overall plan for the business is a crucial factor in how you handle this. If you are likely to seek capital to expand, having an experienced management team in place is very attractive to investors but then you need to adjust your behaviour to suit the new structure.
And wherever you are on your growth journey, risk management must be an integral part of day-to-day business activity. As your business grows, the risks you face will change and your processes for managing risk must progress. This is something that has become all too clear as the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to rethink our carefully laid plans and forecasts. Familiar risks may manifest themselves in different ways; you may encounter new kinds of risk for the first time.
The way your business deals with risk will need to evolve. Take a broad view of risk issues. Understand that threats can emerge from any part of your own business and from broader environmental and industry changes. Don’t limit your risk analysis to your own company.
You will need to consider how new risks could affect your complex value chain of suppliers, customers, business partners and stakeholders. All organisations are exposed to a number of internal and external events that have the potential to disrupt the business.
Most growing companies are so focused on their ability to produce now that they spend little effort on building the operational infrastructure and systems to sustain that growth over time. A good infrastructure can free you up to work on further developments in your business – or to take time off knowing that everything will get done the right way.
As a start, there’s a number of things that you will need to consider. They will include:
- Identifying your main motivator for growth
- Deciding on the style of business you want to run
- The formal structure you need to have
- Writing your growth strategy.
- Producing a plan to finance the growth.
- Forecasts to check that growth is going according to plan and to keep finances under control.
It can seem daunting to put these plans into action, or even beginning to develop those plans. That’s where business support can be incredibly useful. The Rural Business Growth Service have expertise throughout our team of specialists to assist business owners looking to grow and expand. Our support is fully funded and available for eligible businesses. We cover the North of Tyne region, and are able to provide you with bespoke and effective advice and brokerage. We also offer a capital grants scheme which may fund up to 40% of project costs.
If you feel you need to take the first step in developing your growth plans, or professional advice to help you finalise them, please get in touch with us now either via our website registration form, email or phone.