At the start of things, many businesses seem to run purely on intuition. They may have been borne out of a surge of personal energy or the white heat of a brilliant idea.
“At first there may not appear to be a right answer or best way to do things, because it’s about seeing if your dream can get off the ground. But without the right processes in place, your business is likely to be built on shaky foundations.”
What Matters, and When?
Launching a business requires more than analysis and calculation. It requires inspiration and passion.
However, these qualities are not guarantors of business growth and success.
“At the point that you want to grow, you need processes and clear, strategic ways of doing things. The vital thing is to have these processes in place earlier rather than later”
The issue for many small businesses is building on the right foundations at an early stage to enable them to focus fully on growth.
“How you set up your business will largely determine how much time you can then make to focus on the things that made you want to launch it in the first place. Passion and commitment only work if they are focused in the right areas, at the right time.”
Processes form the cornerstone of sustainable business growth. Processes also help businesses project accurately, so that they can plan for growth.
“At a certain stage, a business may make ad hoc decisions and take impulsive actions, but this is setting it up for a jittery progress, if indeed it makes progress at all.”
The danger with ad hoc decision making and actions is that they turn out not to be repeatable, and lead to inconsistency.
“If you leave gaps in how you build your business, these will widen over time, until they become deep fissures.”
Putting processes in place should be part of an overall business strategy to support objectives. These can help support business growth, but also help manage it.
“As a business grows, it must ensure that it has systems in place which will grow alongside it. Without these systems, its operations can become stretched and its focus distracted”
A business might need to add new employees or teams. Its leaders will need to delegate responsibility, and will need to put processes and procedures in place that others can clearly follow.
“Effective processes are designed for scaling up from the very start. They anticipate the demands of growth and are then ready to meet them.”
Initiating business processes and setting up scalable solutions sounds less exciting than following gut instincts and surviving in a cut-throat world of competition on your wits, but in terms of business sustainability, pragmatism wins out.
“That initial, intuitive rush of inspiration has value in giving you your original impetus,” concludes Hywel. “Without a sense of strategic, systematic order, you risk failing to capitalise fully on your ideas.”
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