Scott Harrower looks at why financial outsourcing can free you up to focus on growing your business
It’s very easy for entrepreneurial owners and managers to get tied up in trying to analyse finance information and start trying to design reports that they need.
Or they go to the other extreme of keeping financial detail at arms’ length, hoping their financial controller will keep them up to date with KPIs and other important trigger points.
Either way, you need to be right on top of your financial situation to be able to move quickly when the opportunity to scale up presents itself as its usually the one of the key levers to pull to drive growth.
How to grow your business
Recently we began a programme of interviewing successful business leaders to find out their views on what makes a successful business. At the top of the “to do” list was ensuring you have your processes nailed down in order to take advantage of opportunities. You can read the interviews here.
Process is the key to scaling a business
Highly successful Diamond Logistics CEO Kate Lester made the point succinctly as she described how she has built her business into franchise operations.
“Scaling takes longer than you think and takes more money than you think. You have to have all your processes, training, employment monitoring, all nailed. It’s not as straightforward as you think, either. The plan was that with one depot, I had £1million turnover; I wanted £40million so needed forty depots. It was really straightforward. But I forgot there would be depots that wouldn’t work and that the growth curve wouldn’t be the same for them all. And it’s easy to run one site and have good-quality service but running twenty sites is more difficult. So we’re only on half the revenue I forecast five years ago; we will get there, but eighteen months later.
Having been through the pain of growth, she says she would encourage other SMEs to scale if they can. “It’s far harder running a small business. Every bad review is awful and if you lose a client you think it’s game over. Scaling is not as frightening as you think it is going to be, and your skill sets are better than you think they are.”
Are your systems fit for purpose?
With advances in technology, fast growing businesses are able to take advantage of better and faster systems to quickly deliver financial information and take the manual work out of financial reporting. In fact many entrepreneurs often decide to outsource most or all of their financial management. By outsourcing, you can get on with what you love best – selling products, doing the deals and growing your businesses. Whatever you decide, accurate reporting and KPI management is crucial. This is especially important if you need to secure extra financing to move ahead.
We help many fast growing companies to free up their management time. You can continue with growing your business, we take on their core financial processes and reporting for you.
Read more of our business leader interviews on business growth and achieving ambition.