Every business will have its own personal barriers to growth, but many ambitious businesses fall off the expansion track because they suffer from the same common ailments.
A risk-averse mindset – Fast growth can lead to unwillingness to exploit further growth opportunities because of fears it will jeopardise early successes.
Lack of a growth strategy – When the money is rolling in during those early days, it’s easy to focus only on the short term.
Doing rather than delegating – Many business owners find it hard to hand responsibility for day-to-day operational aspects to staff members, getting bogged down in detail, rather than focusing on strategy.
The emergence of HR challenges – Businesses that grow quickly find themselves spending more time looking after employees and dealing with issues such as appraisals, grievances, pay and so on, limiting their time to work on growing the business.
A lack of financial support – There comes a point when all businesses need access to finance to be able to reach the next stage in their development. This can be a major barrier for businesses that don’t have a coherent business plan.
A reliance on old processes – Expanding businesses can quickly outgrow established processes, or require a more structured approach to stay focused.
The ‘we know best’ culture - While it is important to recognise and respect the contribution of more experienced employees, leaders shouldn’t fear challenging opinions or attitudes that may be stifling the business.
I dare say that the vast majority of growing business owners will be only too aware of these problems, but the very nature of their fast growth prevents them from addressing these issues head on.
In developing Boost Business Lancashire, the county’s £7.2m Business Growth Hub, we have worked with a wide range of business experts to come up with solutions to some of these well known growth barriers.
Our range of funded and part-funded programmes, which are backed by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), cover areas such as:
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To start your growth conversation with Boost, complete our online form or call us 0800 488 0057.
Andy Walker, Head of Business growth & innovation, Lancashire County Council