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Navigating growth: Five top tips from a scaling entrepreneur

Five top tips from a scaling entrepreneur

Scaling a business can take various forms, from expanding existing products to exploring new markets or embracing innovation. However, understanding these common pitfalls and having practical solutions at hand is crucial for steering the business towards success.

Here, Boost business adviser, Jonny Slater, who co-founded his own high-growth startup business, dissects some common pitfalls faced by scaling businesses and offers practical solutions to overcome them.

Five common pitfalls in scaling a business

1. Lack of proper financial planning

Problem: Failing to develop a comprehensive financial plan with realistic projections and assumptions.

Solution: Create a detailed business plan outlining financial projections, cash flow forecasts, and funding requirements. Seek expert advice to ensure accuracy and reliability.

2. Inadequate cashflow management

Problem: Poor cashflow management leading to liquidity issues and financial instability.

Solution: Implement effective cash flow forecasting, monitor receivables and payables, and optimise working capital management. Develop contingency plans to address cash flow shortages and maintain financial resilience.

3. Failure to plan for growth expenses

Problem: Underestimating the costs associated with scaling the business, resulting in budgetary constraints.

Solution: Conduct a thorough analysis of growth expenses, including hiring costs, marketing expenses, technology investments, and operational upgrades. Develop a realistic budget and allocate resources strategically to support growth initiatives.

4. Ignoring customer feedback and market trends

Problem: Disregarding customer needs, preferences, and market dynamics, leading to product-market misfit.

Solution: Prioritise customer feedback and market research to identify evolving trends, consumer preferences, and competitive landscape. Adapt your products, services, and strategies accordingly to stay relevant and competitive in the market.

5. Lack of strategic planning and execution

Problem: Failing to develop and execute a coherent growth strategy, resulting in directionless expansion efforts.

Solution: Develop a clear and actionable growth plan with well-defined objectives, milestones, and performance metrics. Continuously monitor progress, adjust strategies as needed, and stay agile in response to changing market conditions.

Unlocking the full potential of Lancashire's entrepreneurial ecosystem

Reflecting on my own journey, I’ve encountered numerous challenges and made my fair share of mistakes. From managing cash flow to forecasting with incomplete information and navigating talent acquisition, each hurdle taught me valuable lessons that shaped our growth trajectory.

Scaling a business is an exhilarating yet challenging endeavour, fraught with obstacles and uncertainties. However, by dissecting common challenges and finding practical solutions, entrepreneurs can navigate the path to growth with confidence.

As we embark on this journey together, let's unlock the full potential of Lancashire's entrepreneurial ecosystem and drive sustainable growth for years to come.

About the author 

Jonny Slater head shot 2024 webJonny Slater is the co-founder of a high-growth startup CAPSLOCK, which raised £1m+ in investment and scaled to £3m revenue and 30 employees in just over two years. 

He is experienced in using and teaching the lean startup methodology for fast-growing businesses, raising equity, writing and winning grants projects, and securing and delivering government contracts.

As a Boost business adviser, Jonny provides Lancashire-based scale-ups with tailored growth support and mentoring. He enjoys learning about new businesses and working with them to find new avenues of growth.

If you’re looking to grow, scale or start your business, use Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. We offer a range of funded business support services. Call our Business Support Helpdesk on 0800 488 0057 to find out more or complete our enquiry form.

 

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