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Making the Jump from Small to Large

(May 2007) posted on Sat May 12, 2007

Growing your business requires attention to production processes, accounting systems, and management

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By Marty McGhie

Dealing in hard facts and numbers
The second area of focus when trying to tackle growth is your accounting systems. First and foremost is managing cash: Rapid business growth consumes cash very quickly and can create significant difficulties in managing your business. Cash management should be, at minimum, a weekly agenda item for upper management and probably a daily discussion at the accounting level.

Our own controller has a cash-management meeting with her accounting personnel each morning. The meeting may only take 5 or 10 minutes, but it's crucial in managing the daily demands of cash. Our senior-management team then has the opportunity to review the cash-management reports every week.

As your company grows, you also must become better at utilizing your financial statements in a timely manner. Management and overall business decisions will need to be made based on the hard facts and numbers generated from your financial statements-you can no longer afford to run the business based on your "gut feel.' While this type of 'from-the-gut' strategy may have worked in the past, the more you grow, the more you will need to rely upon accurate financial data to make critical decisions in developing your business.

Another point: If your monthly books are closed several weeks after the month ends, you will always be too far behind the data, and the decisions you make will not consider the relevant financial facts of the business.

Building a management team
The final critical area to consider is your management team. One of the most challenging times in the life of your business will be when you add the next level of managers. You can no longer keep track of every job, manage every employee issue, or solve every production problem yourself. Many of you, of course, have already passed that point.

Building a strong management team is really the key to successful business growth. Before anything else, you must make the mental jump to a management-team philosophy. Once you realize that you can no longer handle everything yourself, you can begin to assemble the right team.