4 tips to make your business R-O-A-R

4 tips to make your business R-O-A-R

“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!”

I feature this powerful quote from Maya Angelou on the home page of my new website because it encapsulates the approach I take when I’m speaking to business owners or entrepreneurs wanting their latest idea to come to fruition.

I also like it because it’s true – if we are willing to work hard enough, and build relationships with a great network of people, we can make pretty much any dream a reality.

So, what is the secret to achieving your goals when it comes to business? I help all sorts of people from successful small business owners who want to scale their operations, to entrepreneurs needing angel investments for their embryonic business idea. There are a few things which hold true whatever the situation and whatever the customer.

I call them my “4 tips to make your business ROAR”

Tip #1 – R is for Resources

When you embark on a business startup, success becomes all about what you have at your fingertips. Money is likely to be tight, even if you have funding, and time is of the essence so having resources to hand is essential to getting yourself up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Resources could be anything from people you know to lessons you have previously learned from. They could be educational, training programmes you need to fill any gaps in your knowledge, or physical such as buildings, materials and tools to start work with.

Resources aren’t just relevant at the start of your business journey, of course. They’re something that needs planning right the way through the lifecycle of your work. From knowing the right time to upskill or recruit additional people, to having the capacity in terms of space and/or materials to deal with the success of your marketing.

Tip #2 – O is for Optimisation

I’m talking about efficiency and accuracy. The quicker you can nail your business processes, ideally automating as many of them as possible, the quicker you will be in a position to make money. That’s because the admin doesn’t just drag us down, if it’s not addressed, it can actually drag us under. Paperwork: insurance, accounts, invoicing, contracts – if we don’t get these things right we are welcoming risk into our business.

Many start-up businesses fail to survive beyond their first 5 years and this is likely because while lots of energy went into the idea, the brand design, the launch and the business development, nobody really thought about the steady-state. What needed to happen once the orders were rolling in on a regular basis? Did the systems exist to keep on track? What aftercare or customer experience work has been done? How do we keep people loyal to our brand?

Tip #3 – A is for Access

Often, ideas – even brilliant ones – never get off the ground because those that come up with them simply haven’t got access to the right people. This is when your network comes into its own. I’ve spent years building a network of people with the right skills to help businesses get off the ground. In part, this consists of subject matter experts, marketers, branding experts, financial planners and more. It also consists of a strong network of investors.

Finding someone willing to put their money where your mouth is can be tricky if you don’t have the right contacts. Often, these angel investors will only consider business owners who come with a personal recommendation. It makes absolute sense to tap into the right network even if it’s not your own – doing so is a surefire way to ensure a sound investment, with a strong business footing and boundaries which help everyone measure progress.

Tip #4 – R is for Review (and refocus)

As a business evolves, it’s easy (especially for those of us who are over-excited entrepreneurs) to get distracted and start tweaking the business to cater for every enquiry. This can lead to a business that isn’t scalable, has no consistency in its offering and ultimately confuses its prospective client base.

It’s important to pay attention to that business plan you spent so long compiling. Stick to your aims, follow your goals and, if you do veer off centre, don’t be afraid to refocus.

An important element of any business is the ability to scale what you offer. Having bespoke processes and offerings for every client isn’t going to give you that option and you’ll then be very unlikely to meet your growth targets, not to mention killing any chance of ever getting your money back out of the business. Of course, there will be times when you need to change tack but this should happen as part of a conscious change program, carefully managed and implemented to ensure the necessary improvements are realised.

 

As a business consultancy that offers business advice, strategy, funding and planning services to start-ups and scale-ups, Streamlion Consulting has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs get their business journey right and realise their dreams.

A one-stop-shop for helping businesses to roar, Streamlion can help with everything from accessing funding and angel investments through to building, and exiting, a successful and sustainable business.

Find out more at www.streamlionconsulting.com

 

 

Why you should plan your business exit strategy carefully

Why you should plan your business exit strategy carefully

At Streamlion, we’re well known for getting business owners started and business ideas up and running.

But, did you know, it’s just as important to give some thought to how you leave your business when the time is right?

An exit strategy is a plan for how you will end your involvement in your business. The business will continue, perhaps with new ownership. You may go on to start something new or you may be retiring. Whatever your reason for wanting to exit, it’s important you get a good return on your investment of time and hard work over the years.

Exiting your business – where (and when) to start

The first and most important consideration is to leave your business in the very best shape. That means good turnover and profits, yes, but it also means your admin needs to be up to scrutiny. Processes need to be documented, your books must be up to date and accurate, and so on. As you can imagine, some of these things take time to put in place so it’s never too early to start planning.

Apart from increasing the likelihood of your business lasting long enough for you to need an exit plan, putting in this planning and preparation will almost certainly get you a better price when you come to sell it.

The Main Ways to Exit a Business

For an entrepreneur or small business owner, there are several ways you could consider as your exit plan:

  • Merger & Acquisition – you might join forces with a similar business to create a larger or more wide-ranging business and then make yourself redundant as a result, or, you might look to be acquired by a larger organisation who operates in the same space as you.
  • Initial Public Offering (IPO) – this method looks to bring in shareholders who buy up your shares and effectively repay you and any other investors. However, this get-rich-quick scheme of old is less lucrative these days and no longer the preferred approach.
  • Sell to an individual – this is different from a merger or acquisition because there’s no other entity in the deal, you’re simply handing over the reins for an agreed sum of money. Your ideal buyer would be someone who can take the business to the next level.

The method you choose will depend upon the type of business you have and the outcome you want from exiting. There are, of course, a myriad of other options, such as selling to your management team, passing the business on to family or simply shutting up shop and liquidating. It’s important to get good advice and consider every option carefully before committing to a plan.

Exit Strategies – Keeping It Real

We’d all love to be the next ‘Innocent Drinks-becomes-Coca-Cola’ type of success story but, in the real world, exit deals are often more modest. The most important thing, as a business owner, is to decide what you want from your exit and then engineer the best opportunity to achieve it.

Making sure your business is as automated as it can be is important, not just because it can drive a higher sale price. According to growthbusiness.co.uk, a massive 83% of entrepreneurs end up staying involved with the business they chose to exit. Now, in some cases, this will be part of the plan, as entrepreneurs reportedly continue in advisory or shareholder roles.

However, it’s clear that entrepreneurs still love the ‘art of the start’ as an incredible £108bn was made in sales during the 5 years to 2019 and, according to FreshBooks, 61% of baby-boomers say they would work through retirement by choice.

If you’re keen to explore exit strategies further, why not pick up the phone to Streamlion Consulting?