Roger Aust, Managing Director of Close Brothers Asset Finance Print division gives his advice on expanding your business.
It’s an exciting time when your business is growing. You’re winning new clients, developing products, relocating to bigger and better premises and acquiring new equipment. All this will require more people to grease the wheels – so it’s time to get recruiting.
But knowing how and when to expand your business is a key component in its success. Hire too soon and you’ll run into cash-flow issues; too fast and you risk hiring the wrong people, while failing to adopt a strategic approach to recruiting could risk undermining the current success that your business is enjoying.
Identify the need
You know you need more people but it may not be obvious where the gaps in delivery/performance are happening. As a start-up it was easier to identify what needed doing, but as a growing business you run a complex operation with roles that must work effortlessly in tandem with each other.
Creating an extensive job specification based on the business need is a good place to start. What parts of the organisation will suffer if you don’t hire, how are your existing employees coping and what are the specific tasks that must be addressed?
Talking with all interested parties throughout your current work force will inform the process. Current employees are the best source for truly understanding what a job requires, and they are the best aid in writing the job spec.
Know what you are looking for
When you buy equipment, you never settle for a piece of kit that does 80% of the job. The same should be true when you hire new people. Your research into the business’ key requirements will shed light on exactly what you need. The ideal candidate will fulfil the whole brief.
Settling for someone capable of doing part of the job risks creating more problems than it solves. It will leave work incomplete or, worse, done wrong and the knock-on effects could impact staff and client morale.
Maintain the company culture
Most growing businesses have a great company culture. Consider your core values, what do you care about and what are your ultimate goals. Long-serving employees will understand this vision, but new recruits need to get it too.
Knowing the business goals and objectives helps to motivate and inspire staff, promote cohesiveness and help team spirit. To keep growing yet retain the core values of your successful business will be hard, but essential.
Get the cash you need to expand
A major hiring drive is an expensive business. You may have won a series of lucrative contracts, but if the money isn’t in the bank then you could face a funding gap that must be filled in order to deliver promised work.
The Close Brothers Asset Finance Business Barometer recently discovered that just under a third of SMEs in the print sector are looking to take on new staff over the next 12 months. On top of this, the barometer also revealed that well over three quarters of these businesses are looking to hire permanent staff, with only a fifth looking to hire apprentice’s to help them increase their workforce. With these figures in mind, it is vital that firms have the appropriate plans in place and funding options to equal their growing workforce.
Asset finance is a good option for businesses in this position. It doesn’t tie you up in complex agreements and releases vital cash to help SMEs handle major costs such as new or bigger premises, higher payroll and more complicated operations.
If your business is expanding in 2016 then congratulations, it’s a nice problem to have. But with asset finance from Close Brothers you could have your cake and eat it, enjoying the benefits expansion brings without the growing pains.