Business Growth and Complexity

Anecdotally a recent small business survey asked respondents if they wanted to grow their business and the majority responded negatively.  I suspect that if the survey had asked the same small businesses if they wanted to grow their profits and cashflow the majority would have responded affirmatively.

My conclusion is that small businesses equate growth negatively with increased complexity.

Growth in top line revenue often requires more stock, working capital and staff.  HR is often the most problematic function for small businesses to get right.  Indeed, some business owners choose not to grow their business beyond a couple of team members, because they want to keep their business simple to run.

Fair enough.

So how do you increase business profits and cashflow while keeping the business simple to manage?

It comes down to a clear business strategy and efficient processes and systems.  A business owner will need to invest time planning what they want the business to look like, how it should run, and then building efficient processes and systems to make that happen.

However, because micro businesses are operationally reliant on the business owner, the owners are usually too busy to proactively plan and build the very systems needed to keep the business simple and profitable.

This classic chicken and egg syndrome results in micro businesses that underperform because they lack good systems and processes, have inefficient work practices, poor quality controls, pricing mistakes, inadequate marketing, and an over reliance on the busy owner.

By not investing the time to plan and design simple systems and processes, the micro business becomes a tangle of complex problems resulting in stress, poor profitability and cashflow.  What a shame, and it doesn’t need to be that way.

Register for Q2’s webinar “Planning For Business Growth” to learn how to plan and design simple systems and processes to improve business profits and cashflow without creating complexity.  Register here to kick start 2021.

“Complexity is your enemy.  Any fool can make something complicated.  It is hard to keep things simple.”

Richard Branson

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