Welcome to my new series ‘The Next Steps’. Every business owner and director, at every stage of a business’s life, should always be considering the next steps. If it is not constantly changing and adapting, and considering how to take the business forward, then the chances are very high that the business will fail.
The Next Steps
Kevin R Smith, of Boom & Partners brings us a new series; ‘The Next Steps’. Every business owner and director, at every stage of a business’s life, should always be considering the next steps. If it is not constantly changing and adapting, and considering how to take the business forward, then the chances are very high that the business will fail.
Some very interesting statistics were released this week relating to trade over the past twelve months. What was so interesting about these two particular sets of statistics is that both of them were unique to looking backwards from spring 2021, and this period will be studied in schools and universities for many years to come.
A week after the next steps out of lockdown were taken the differences are palpable. A very large percentage of the population have been shopping in ‘non-essential’ shops, sat outside a coffee shop, eaten outside at a pub or restaurant, or had their hair cut. In fact, almost everyone that I have spoken to has already done more than one of these.
Systems and procedures are crucial to the running of every successful business. Some company structures are inevitably simpler than others, and the complexity of the business does of course dictate the type of systems and procedures required, as well as the level of need. But whatever the size and complexity of the business, procedures are always needed.
Business, and the economy as a whole, can be very much like the English weather – sunshine and showers. We all know that long range forecasts are less accurate than short range ones, simply because there are a greater number of unpredictable factors to try and consider, and a small variable in any one of them can change the final outcome quite considerably.
Almost every business owner wants to scale their business in one way or another, at one time or another. But that is when the questions start: How do I grow my business? How do I maximise my limited financial resources? What should I do first – hire more staff, spend more on marketing and PR, get bigger premises? So many possible next steps, but which ones are best for you to take first?
Many things in businesses are reliant upon achieving the right balance. Sometimes this balance can be easy to achieve and other times it can be much more difficult to obtain. Sometimes it is a statutory requirement and other times it is more of a yin and yang thing that improves the business in many different ways. But all are important.
Sometimes in life it can pay to watch, observe, and to take no immediate action. But there are also many times in life, and in business of course, where by far the best thing to do is to seize the moment. No action, can itself become an action, as events are taken out of your hands or the situation has moved on and left you behind.
In anthropology, psychology, and psychiatry, one of the theories that is often discussed relates to whether certain actions and activities are the result of nature or nurture. In so many ways, this ‘nature Vs Nurture’ question is also the same in business, and how it affects the next steps taken by any business – especially early stage ones that are growing.
The famous Chinese proverb stating that 'a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step' is often wrongly accredited to Confucius, but whether it was him, Lao Tzu, or it is simply used in everyday life, does not alter the fact that it is, of course, true. And it is just as true that little steps normally lead to big steps.
What exactly is an Advisory Board and why is it so important to growing your business? This is a question that I am often asked by founders of early stage businesses. Thankfully, as questions go, it is one of the easiest to answer and, indeed, one of those topics that can make a fundamental difference to your business.