So there I was a few months ago, looking through my emails, and I came across an email from LinkedIn. The email was short, sweet and to the point. “Write an article and share it with your network”… I thought why not. So I put about 8 minutes of thought into what was relevant at the time and what I thought was one of my biggest issues as an entrepreneur back in August 2014.
Here we are in January 2015, and I have been getting far more involved with my business from a “Helicopter View’ and even taken on a great Business Mentor to help me grow as a leader. This article came back to mind after a coaching session today so I wanted to take the opportunity to share it. Here it is below, originally posted on 26 August 2014.
Sustainable Growth as an entrepreneur
Trying to grow your business is what every entrepreneur dreams of. Staff, funky offices and merchandise are the perks, and watching great companies like Apple or Google (who have a slide in their office) for example really can make you want the growth so badly that you may not even be ready for it.
So what have we learnt over the years about trying to scale our business? Don’t run before you can walk.
Sustainability is far more important than the growth element. Although we have always wanted to strive for growth, doing it before you are really ready can be catastrophic. Offices, staff and unnecessary purchases can kill a business in its infancy.
Learning to bootstrap your company, to keep costs down and to continue increasing revenue are the keys to success. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a Christmas party, or even that staff should work on boxes instead of desks, but the unnecessary purchases, the extra piece of kit (that you’ll probably never use) and the bolt on services online that are online £8 per month, per user all add up.
We are currently in an expansion phase for our business. Opening a UK branch right now. What has changed for us? We have never had such little costs and such harsh criteria about when and why to spend the money.
I have a friend who always talked about ZBB (Zero Based Budgeting) and as he said, before ANY purchase he would look at it again and again and ask himself, do I really need to spend this money.
“Cash is king”, a phrase that is used all the time, couldn’t be truer. Our business doesn’t rely on credit, loans or leverage, but being able to afford your sustainable growth is what really counts.
Do it today, look through your expenses and ask yourself if you REALLY need them all. If you don’t, save money, increase cash flow and look for your development and growth opportunity.