Is Your Business An Infant – Or An Adult?17th August 2016
If you’re like most business owners, the holiday period has been rather stressful.
Taking the family away was wonderful. But you had to spend an equal amount of time – if not more – working like a dog, to make sure all loose ends were tied up in the office before you went away.
You burnt the midnight oil to finish off several important projects…. Held extra meetings to give your staff everything they need to forge ahead without you….
And even then, you spent some of your holiday on the phone to the office.
Lying on that deck chair, exhausted, you couldn’t help but fantasise about how your business is going to look in five years’ time – when you can get up and go on holiday at just a moment’s notice, confident that everything will run like clockwork without you. Your wonderful staff will take care of everything.
Heck, they won’t even notice you’re gone.
Of course, that doesn’t have to be a fantasy. Many businesses work just that way, and yours can too – if you take it through a period of transition.
You see, there are three key business stages. The first, in which the business is highly dependent on the owner, is called “infancy”. Many business owners are perfectly happy to stay at that stage, because they enjoy the work and get a nice income.
Others want to reach the other end of the spectrum, a “mature” business which functions well without the owner. Indeed, they’re not dependent on any one member of staff. People come, people go, and the work still gets done.
This is a business which can be sold, because its value isn’t tied up with any individual. It’s inherent in the business.
In between, just as in our own lifecycles, you have that awkward, messy, exhilarating stage called “adolescence”.
It’s typically associated with companies turning over £1-£10 million. It’s the period when you make a deliberate decision to break with infancy, and equip your business to function well as an “adult”, and go out into the world without you.
You decide need to learn to let go, and allow other people to do the jobs you did right at the beginning – so that you can concentrate on the really important, strategic decisions.
You need to put in rock-solid systems, so that everything’s done exactly the right way – the way you want it to be done – no matter who’s doing the job. You need to ensure the right technology, approaches and high standards are in place, and professionalise.
This applies in every area: Marketing, service delivery, customer service….
You see, an infant business can stumble along while you do some of the bookkeeping yourself, take financial decisions without really referring to your financial reports, and put up with basic or old-fashioned accountancy software.
But can you imagine the owner of a £10 million company doing any of those things?
No. Experts manage their money day-to-day, using industry-standard accountancy software, delivering reliable financial reports, forecasting and planning. The owner uses all that information to take important financial decisions about the future of the business, based on real data – not intuition.
Their financial management is professional.
The secret is that you don’t have to wait until you’re a £10 million company to have all those things.
In fact, if you ever want to reach maturity, you need to put them in place now. It’s part of the journey of getting you there.
If that’s your vision, hit ‘reply’ and let’s talk. We can professionalise your financial management, and help your business grow.