Ah, spring. Growth is in the air. All of our business owners are eager to expand.

Look, we like growth just as much as the next person – okay, more than most! But, before you kick it into high gear, lay the foundation.

  1. Quality, quality, quality.

Nothing kills your business faster than hiring subpar staff – or forgetting to invest the time and cash needed to train your new hires.

A business owner, for whom I had the utmost respect, lost a little of that last week. In response to a customer’s question about the terms of a contract, Mike, his new hire, replied with “all you have to do is sign your name.”

Don’t be that business owner. The fastest way to lose business is to take your eye off quality. Train your new hires, already.

  1. Cash is still king.

Investing money wisely in your business is critical to growth. If you haven’t forecast your P+L and cash flow, you’re a little behind. If you haven’t talked to your banker about access to more cash, it’s time to pick up the phone.

When it comes to bankers, we play favorites – we send our clients to those who have proven they’ll ask the tough questions, tell us exactly what the business owner needs to do (like it or not), and go to bat for the right amount and type of financing. Let me know if you need Sydnee’s number.

  1. Widen that pipeline.

When a business is in its early stages, it’s common for one person – you – to generate the lion’s share of sales. Or, perhaps you’ve been in business long enough that your base feeds you a steady level of leads.

That’s not enough to grow.

To grow, you need a well-structured sales process, a concrete, persuasive value proposition, and more than one person trained to close a deal. The easiest way to stall growth is to hire the wrong people, or to hire good salespeople without providing the right support.

April 10, 2014