Managing a growing company

It is easier to manage a growing company if you have a coherent growth plan. You may also need support in areas such as networks and skills development.

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It is particularly important to ask yourself what your aim for the company and its growth is. Is your main motivation the desire to earn more money? Or is growth key to survival in a tougher market? Will you achieve growth by increasing production or by purchasing other companies?

It is important to be aware that a growing company needs a manager with the commitment to be a large-scale leader. It may be time to hand over control of some parts of the business to others in order to ensure growth.

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Working in networks

Growing companies have much to gain by cooperating with other companies. This may involve joining a local network, which you can find by approaching your local industry association, for example. Local cooperation may be highly advantageous, as meetings are easy to arrange and knowledge about local conditions is shared.

Depending on the type of industry your company operates in, a national network may be a good idea. There are likely to be other entrepreneurs with similar needs to yours, and you will be able to benefit from their help.

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Engage experts

To manage a growing company you must also appreciate the importance of engaging expert help. You may be able to engage someone with specialist knowledge in your sector for a few months, to build up a network or set up computer programs, for example. If you do your own book-keeping for your business, it may be time to engage an accounting consultant or auditor as the company expands. Depending on your sector, you may find different types of experts invaluable, either on an ongoing or periodic basis.

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Get mentors

Expanding businesses which are sole traders or partnerships often choose to become limited companies. In a limited company, you are able to welcome new partners who can contribute skills, financial muscle and valuable contacts.

If you choose not to bring in partners it might be a good idea to appoint a board consisting of experienced individuals who may be of benefit to the company's development. A good mix of board members ensures you have mentors in different growth phases.

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