As a small business owner, there may come a time when you realise your company is growing into a medium business. This is a make-or-break moment. It’s easy to launch a company when you have passion and determination, but not everyone has the skills and knowledge to take the business to the next level.
With growth comes growing pains. The company culture changes, and the rising number of customers and team members make it difficult to control and oversee everything. Complex issues start to emerge, such as cash flow management, talent management and financial organisation.
How can you achieve a smooth transition from a start-up into a medium business?
Find and retain the right people who will be crucial to your future success. As your company expands, you’ll need to fill some gaps. Aim to get to know the next two people you recruit, and make sure these are strategic hires rather than rushed decisions. Alternatively, if budget is an issue, consider freelancers with the experience and skills that your company needs.
Entrust your business’s accounting to a professional. If you want to avoid serious tax and legal consequences, ensure you have expert financial advice. Simplify processes such as invoicing, banking and payment collection to ensure that your finances are organised and don’t have a knock-on effect on your cash flow.
Cash flow management is critical to a successful transition. Small and medium businesses are often under constant cash flow pressure, whether from suppliers or customers. Forecasting cash flow will help you make more informed decisions when negotiating payment terms with new customers or timing your expenditure.
There are also alternative finance options available to small and medium businesses, such as invoice finance, which allows you to receive an advance payment on unpaid invoices, or fintech solutions that help you draw capital against unpaid invoices quickly without the need for long-term contracts or guarantees.
Ensure you have the right systems and processes in place to guarantee that your company’s activities are at peak efficiency and comply with local regulations. Today, you can choose from a wide variety of affordable business management solutions that encompass all functions – from customer relationship management and internal communications to HR and payroll.
Before choosing your software, consider the right architecture for your budget and business processes, such as security and data protection. Keep in mind that a cloud-powered solution will enable you to access your business system anytime, anywhere. Ultimately, if you have a small business with ambitions to scale up further, opt for a solution that will serve you in the long term and can seamlessly grow with your company.
By Mansoor Sarwar, Regional Technical Director at Sage Middle East