There is a major difference between what is required to simply run a business versus what an owner or CEO must do to grow a business, according to The Growth Gears, a Book authored by Art Saxby and Pete Hayes of Chief Outsiders™. To run a business, one must focus on operations, employees and daily tasks.
To grow your business, you must take a strategic approach to management accounting, improving your workforce and creating successful marketing campaigns. In order to grow, you not only need to manage well but also take a proactive approach and maintain a constant focus on your business's future.
Implementing actionable strategies for business growth, however, is not easily done. We have compiled a list of the best resources for business growth, focusing on accounting, your workforce and marketing strategy.
Strength in Numbers: 6+ Accounting Resources for Business Growth
- Outsourced Accounting - Most SMB owners and CEOs are not experts in accounting; they are too busy being experts in their company's industry to become well-versed in intricacies of bookkeeping and accounting, let alone to keep up with ever-changing tax law and government regulations. This leaves many businesses exposed to potential lost revenue, penalties and fines due to costly financial oversights. Take a look at this article to determine whether an outsourced accountant is right for your business.
- Growth-Driving Back Office - Driving growth outside of your customer-centric operations (sales, marketing, products and services) is possible. Your back-office (bookkeeping, accounting, IT and networking) capabilities are just as important for your business to grow as the rest of your company's operation. Shoring up your back office will improve efficiencies in every other aspect of your company. Take a look at our eBook on using QuickBooks and web-based tools to strengthen your operations.
- Management Reporting - Management reporting takes accounting beyond tax planning, payroll compliance and tax filing; it allows you to generate reports for internal, strategic business planning use. So, as owner or CEO, you can make decisions based on data found in information such as trailing 12-month cash flow charts, your break-even analysis and customer acquisition costs (CACs). Management reporting allows you to proactively manage your company by scoring your performance based on the key performance indicators found in management accounting reports.
- Set Goals - The act of actually writing down your company's goals will help you drive performance. Doing so not only helps you establish goals and stay focused, but also aligns motivation across your company's various departments. In addition, when you meet these defined, measurable goals, you will be better able to recognize and reward the achievements. Visit SCORE to access free templates for business plans, balance sheets and growth projections to help you put your business goals down on paper.
- Increase Profits and Reduce Operating Costs - A robust accounting system will allow you to access data that can help you strategically automate, consolidate and integrate your operations to drive growth. Use management reporting to identify key areas where operating costs can be effectively reduced to increase your profit margins. You can also increase profits by improving your pricing, job costing, time tracking, employee compensation structure and more.
- Overcome Plateaus - Learn to recognize the four stages in a business cycle (expansion, peak, contraction and trough) to create proactive business plans and strategies to avoid plateaus by mitigating the risks and challenges each part of this cycle presents.
Building Your Team: 4 Personnel resources for Business Growth
- Increase Workforce and Save Time - Taking on more employees does not have to mean devoting more time to payroll and other necessary responsibilities associated with human resources. Consider using a professional employer organization (PEO), or outsourced human resource department, to handle the burden, while you benefit from a competent, motivated staff. According to the full-service HR company, Insperity®, strong human resources help your company maintain momentum by providing a clear organizational view of the company's structure, well-planned workforce changes, detailed job descriptions, qualified and motivated employees, well-defined company policies and established employee goals.
- Improve Management Skills - Your skills as a manager directly affect the efficiency of your business operations and its rate of growth. Visit Hyper Island® for an entire toolbox of strategies for management, team building, energy generation and leadership.
- Use Your Personnel to Grow - Your staff should never limit your company's potential. Rather, a workforce should be exactly that – a force which compels your business to grow. Check out Issue 9 from Insperity's online magazine to create a positive company culture, learn how employee metrics affect your business's success, avoid potential legal issues and even obtain advice on growth through mergers and acquisitions.
- Never Stop Learning - As the CEO of an SMB, if you are not facing challenges, then your business has probably reached a plateau. Find more tools and interactive training on creating a positive workplace, strengthening your sales force and improving your management skills at the Trailhead.
Spreading the Word: 6+ Marketing resources and Tools for Business Growth
- Market Focus - According to Chief Outsiders, CEOs running SMBs who choose a market-centric approach to growth achieve greater success and growth than CEOs who focus on operations for growth. They recommend taking a three-part approach to zeroing in on your market by leveraging insight to create a strong marketing strategy and acquiring the resources needed to execute that strategy. Start collecting data and valuable insights into your company using Google Analytics, and Website Grader from HubSpot.
- Compelling Value Propositions - Learn how to convert more leads into sales with this free eBook from Chief Outsiders.
- Split Test Strategies - Use tools like Optimizely, Unbounce or KISSMetrics, to test your online strategies for success by using actual user data..
- Analyze Content - Get a comprehensive look at what content works to decide how to best promote your business with a comprehensive content analytics tool like BuzzSumo.
- Well-Spent Marketing Dollars - Learn how to analyze your contribution margins to determine whether or not you are spending your marketing dollars in the right place. When you can pinpoint which marketing strategies increase contribution margins, you will be able to leverage these strategies to increase profits and growth.
- Manage Customer Relationships - Organize, track, manage and cultivate your company's leads with an all-in-one customer relationship management (CRM) tool. You’ll need to decide between the power of the big dogs like salesforce.com and smaller more focused CRMs like HubSpot, Pipedrive™ or Insightly.
A great CRM program grows your company by encouraging repeat clients with a great customer experience, drumming up new business and by proactively safeguarding your business's number one asset – its customers.
Work Directly with a Management Accounting Expert
Growing your business by setting goals, optimizing your back office, improving your numbers, motivating your workforce and implementing strategic marketing campaigns can be overwhelming. The foundation of it all is your numbers and having financial data at your fingertips in order to make better strategic decisions.
The only way to get that data is to move beyond basic bookkeeping to full service, management accounting for your company. At GrowthForce, our experts focus on transforming your business financial operations into a platform for actionable financial intelligence that allows you to drive performance profitability and growth.