Growing business

Dear Doc

I have a great wholesale business that is growing faster than I can handle!!!! I am just feeling nervous as I have some experience, but do not know if I have sufficient experience to handle a larger concern. I need help! Is a business coach the answer? If so where do I find one?

Answer:

“The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.” Denis Watley

You are quite right to be concerned, as one person cannot be expected to do everything in a growing business. If you are excited by the potential of your growth, then you also need to stand back and give yourself short, medium and long term goals. Once you have them and know how to take the road to achieving those goals, then you can enjoy the journey and smell the roses as you progress.

A growing business has many tasks to carry out, buying and selling your produce, managing a warehouse, doing all the administration and bookkeeping. As your business grows, you need to focus on the four most important management skills, those of planning, leading, organising and controlling your business.

If as you suggest you are running the business alone, then you have a number of options. One is to outsource some of the jobs, such as the bookkeeping and delivery of the goods. Next you can employ help to carry out sales, organise product for invoicing and prepare goods for collection. Then concentrate on what you are best at such as purchasing. By having other people come to do some of the work for you, it is possible to oversee what is happening and take back control of your firm.
I believe that if you really want to grow your business and have a decent quality of life as well, then you should not try to do it all yourself. It could help if you had a competent mentor to work with you, to plan and implement your growth strategy.

Find someone who has an arms-length view of your business (not a partner or equity holder), who can dispassionately discuss all the activities being carried out. The right person can help you grow your business with a strong foundation and keep your cash flow manageable.

Be aware that not all consultants are able to help you, so be wary that the consultant you choose understands where you are and where you want to go. Do not let them give you extra and unnecessary work in the guise of a learning experience, nor should you accept the one-size-fits-all type of advice.

There are three main places to find competent consultants. First speak to other business owners who use a mentor themselves. Second contact your local Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, which offers advice, grants and a mentoring service with volunteer consultants. Third contact the Institute of Business Consultants who vet people before they are allowed to join their ranks.


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