We will analyze the main aspects that a medium-size company must plan to reinforce its growth process:
Technology is a great help from which we can strengthen the company projects. Traditionally, the most important challenge, when your company is growing, has been the use of information; actually, the development of information technology is simplifying these tasks.
The fear that the framework, organization and operation of the company be unstable is one of the main causes that many medium-size companies suffer, the fear of the company growth. Proper planning can remove a lot of doubts and fears. It is convenient to focus the attention on some important things to reach a more sustainable and consolidated company growth.
1) Knowledge management
The first thing is to know our strengths. We have to analyze the past experiences of our business and establish what is special about it, even unique. After all, we have to know what we do right and why, and this requires a competence analysis that would be useful as a reference point.
Then, we have to ask ourselves about the replicability of our knowledge. We will value it if we can do the same in other places, sectors, or for other people, etc. Normally, this will require adaptation and we have to study the way to make them feasible.
Finally, we have to find out which is the knowledge that we do not have, but we can reach. In this part, it is convenient to be realistic. If our plans are made from very complicated quotations, the adventure of the growth may turn into a nightmare.
2) Third-party submission
Growing involves convincing third parties. You have to explain the project to possible partners, external financing vendors, the vendor from who we need to trust to share a specialized key service, the new and old clients, the employees, etc.
Each client has his/her language, which is clear. Some clients need large reports by handwriting, and other clients need a short one to one presentation. You have to be ready to transmit the project in different formats. The anticipation is the key. If we know the different types of communication, it will be easier to adapt to the requirements of the other part.
3) Investment and finance
The investments promote 2 critical advantages for the company growth: the increase of capacity and the inclusion of newer technologies. In addition, it provides better human resources equipment, and this results in greater labour productivity.
Nevertheless, the investments are not free, they have to be financed. You have to study the opportunities to choose one or the other, value the risks and expectations, analyze their organizational impact in the processes and make a detailed analysis of the financing possibilities, and its cost and accessibility conditions.
In addition, the own financing alternatives have their risks, like the ones related to changing environment, particularly, the currencies (foreign currency financing) and the types of interest. On the other hand, you have to study the proper level of financial leverage to face the projects.
4) Treasury management
In the financial sector, the treasury deserves to be mentioned. It is not rare to detect corruption in its management that limit the business growth capacity with good reason. Some companies keep an excess cash flow. In other companies, the personal assets of the partners settle the cash flow crisis because of the lack of foresight.
As the company grows, having proper professionals and technology solutions is more necessary to control the cash balance of the company and manage the bank transactions, like the payments and receivables that depend on the business. So, you have to prepare the quotations and check their proper fulfilment and performance.
5) The processes
Before growing, you have to establish predictions on how the growth will affect the processes. Among the most distinguish impacts, you will find:
6) The technology role
The company is not an inert being. It does not receive the growth impact like anything, you have to know how to shape them. It is important to study the technology options that may help to better use of the opportunities and a risk’s limitation. Among many others, nowadays, we find:
In addition, you have to consider not only the current technology condition but also the expected different backgrounds for its development. You have to consider that the growth processes take time, and it is possible that the one that is the best technology answer today for the challenges you have may not be the right one in a not too long time and may be replaced by other options. In that way, it is important to have certain technology flexibility
7) The restructuring of the organization chart
It is very complicated to grow with the same number of employees doing the same things. In general, you have to think that the staff of employees and the organization chart will be larger (with more hierarchical levels), wider (with a greater number of departments) or both things.
A lot of challenges take place in this regard. In the first place, you may need to promote people and that they will have to take greater responsibility. At the same time, you may need to hire new people. So, you will need to improve your knowledge about the workers' characteristics and the positions to be taken. You need to have solutions that facilitate work information management and that they provide advanced analytics tools.
In a second place, you have to analyze the motivational dimension of the growth, particularly, of the changes in the organization chart. Not only the function of the position of each worker may change, but also of their colleagues, bosses, and subordinates. All of this has its challenge, opportunity and uncertainty for the employees that you have to know how to manage.
In a third place, a new organization chart must involve, normally, a new way of managing the orders and information flows. That´s why the progress of information technologies is currently being one of the most important control parts in the growth.
The technology boost gives you growth opportunities, and this was not known by the SMB until recently. Using these opportunities is not only profitable, but in many cases, it´s also important for the long-term survival of the company.
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