Growing pains of the SME
One of the key issues facing the SME is how to maintain high standards of delivery whilst achieving growth.
Not an easy one to manage it has to be said. Cost implications of growing too quickly like taking on the additional manpower, a new office space and the time spent finding these key ingredients can be taxing to say the least. And then there’s the risk of losing clients because you’re just not giving them the attention you used to. So what do you do? I’ve decided to start a conversation regarding some of the obvious challenges the small to medium sized business out there faces.
In the case of my client, lets call him company X, he has built up a nice little tech business and now employs a team of 4 engineers full time. Up till now they’ve been sharing office space but have outgrown it and need to move. This however does come at some cost as you can imagine. Desks, chairs, phone lines etc. all need to be acquired and as he’s the driver he’s the one that’s coordinating all of this.
So what happens to his real job in the meantime? Customers still need to be looked after, projects and deadlines still need to be met and of course he, as the manager, still needs to provide the support his team have come to rely on. I can see some of you nodding as you read this, no doubt you’ve been there! In addition to all this, company X also has aspirations of growing, gaining more clients and becoming a bigger player in the market. But how is all this going to work?
Company X have a few options. The smart move (in my humble opinion) would be to look to outsource. Of course I’m going to say that as its exactly what LVR provide, but its more that that. I truly believe in the shared / outsourced model of working as a tangible and affordable means of growing your business.
Sales and marketing is a must have component but if you’re focussing on your core business, how can you possibly manage this funtion as well as everything else? I believe that the sales and markeitng activity for any company needs to be an ongoing function, not just a one off push to get a quick return.
Not an easy step to take for any Entrepreneur / Small Business Owner – the lack of control can be a lot to digest initially. You’re used to having control over all your business processes and the idea of an outside company coming in and representing your business can be daunting. However as daunting as that might seem its important to remember that the methodology behind outsourcing is tried & tested. Simply put it WORKS!
Here’s what you need to look out for…
1. A good synergy between you and the potential outsource company…its important that you speak the same language
2. Check their references to make sure they deliver on what they promise
3. Make sure you know what outcomes you expect
4. Be prepared to take a punt (as it were) and invest in a small trial project to test the water
5. Ensure you have sufficient resources in place to deal with the new inflow of leads & enquiries
I found this really useful checklist on ‘eHow’