What’s Growth Got To Do With It?
Fact: Businesses are the closest to consumers
When there are concerns about consumers (pretty much a full time occupation for the business owner) those concerns translate to any concerns about the long term outlook – there is a connection between business’ consumers (customers) and forecasts of upward trajectory – it’s the running a successful business fundamental – there are few who ever take their eye away from concern, or never have a long term outlook aim of upward trajectory. And, it’s a fundamental applied to before the 2008/09 crash and during the recession; and it will continue to be for as long as there business owners running successful businesses – healthy economy or not.
Do moderate improvements in economic data mean moderate improvement in the intentions of business? Is it upward trajectory time?
Without getting into the nitty-gritty of different indexes and surveys; or differing business sectors’ economic pressures, aspirations and challenges, it seems with the notion of being in a bad BUT improving place there comes an ability to pull out ideas that had been put away for a lengthy hibernation. Published data which kick-started the New Year continues to seemingly remain optimistic for the near future; there’s an encouraging, in general positive, economic outlook as we enter what is (for some) the final part of Q1 territory and for others the exit of Q4.
Business owners want to grow but without adequate support and resources and a healthy strategy….?
Ever the proud wearer of my sceptic’s badge (I’d like to think held firmly in place with balanced thinking), from my perspective and the conversations I’ve had with small business owners (not just in this Q1, or the last Q4, but anytime), any louder platforms’ (media) increased frequency to the noise surrounding economic outlook can skew perception of reality. A recent ‘telling’ strategy is when something gets more headlines than banker’s bonuses during bankers’ bonus season. Compared to past usual headlines at this time is there any wonder I question if something is lying deeper behind the new kid on the headline grabbing block, when, what for some seems a recent conversation is a common conversation for others? Independent businesses’ talk about the long term outlook never stopped because it’s not a recession that’s dangerous – it’s the recovery that’s dangerous.
So, I’m with the guy who said ‘if you’re too open minded your brains will fall out’, as is the business owner (the one I mentioned before filtering concerns, taking aim at upward trajectory for long term outlook with one eye whilst using the other to watch the customers) , the one who isn’t under an illusion about the reality of reality.
Weigh up all the variables and strategize
A common strategy which can support a business in aiming for upward trajectory is to remove (if there are any) some of the profits which, considering the aim of business is to make a profit and that successful businesses are seen as profitable, seems in conflict. However, this isn’t the ‘removal’ of profits in accountancy terms (relating to any drawings or deferrals), this strategy is about responding and managing a business in a balanced manner by not letting it get stagnant. The long term outlook and potential growth is planned with balanced expansion, is sustainable, allowing margin for ‘error’, uses a combination of internal finance (reserves used reservedly) and raising external (bought in) cash flow products, equity funding or business loan as working capital finance.
Those who have implemented this are likely now enabled to feel encouraged by their strategy. And, those who remained stagnant might want to swap cynic’s badge for sceptics; pin a sign of caution with cautious optimism.
To be able to calculate a trajectory
Investment in a business has to be balanced, resources and facilities for growth have to be factored in at the right time; placed for opportunity and shrinkage buffering. Put some sustainable working capital with a pro-active business owner, whose willing to pop a few of their pounds back into capital expenditure and you have a business that understands interdependency.
With general business conditions continuing to be up and down, investing enough to fill the holes without constraint enables a business to operate and continue its transition. Its takes away being powerless and can look away from the headlines and far enough ahead to think about growth.
Image credits: Mike Krzeszak, Dell Inc., Lisa @ Sierra Tierra Article credit: Copyright SUF 2014 ©