Finally, we’re forecasting growth

forecasting growthA recent report commissioned by Bibby Financial Services and reported in Bdaily has shown that 71% of Yorkshire’s smaller businesses are forecasting growth over the next 3 months.

Many firms have been trading cautiously but since late last year there’s been a strong wave of confidence envelop the country.

There has been a strong rise in recruitment with a quarter having already taken on more staff and half saying they have invested in their current workforce or premises.

It would be interesting to know the type of person the companies have taken on and whether it was planned or reactive.

It’s hoped the firms that survived the recession have come out leaner and smarter. Particularly as it’s still a lot more difficult to obtain finance. In my mind that’s a good thing as it challenges you to make better use of what you have.

Do you need Permanent Staff?

The default route for most businesses when faced with higher volumes is to employ more staff.

Why can’t your existing staff absorb the increased volumes? Are they the right people to have if your business doubles in size? Do you have skills gaps?

 invest in an apprentice for a functional role

Rather than taking another person to deal with the volume, would it be more cost effective to invest in an apprentice for a functional role, or a graduate who can be moulded to fill the skills gaps that perhaps existing staff cannot do?

Investing in Technology

An investment in people and premises deals with the increase in volumes and sales in the short term. What about investing in technology for the future? There are many good cheap solutions that include interfaces to bolt them together.

The leanest most profitable businesses in the future will be those that have made best use of technology.

a graduate to deliver a project

One solution is for a graduate to deliver a project to identify your requirements, find the right solution, get buy in from your staff and implement it.

Long Term Business Plan

For businesses that are growing, it is certainly worth considering the Growth Accelerator programme, part funded by the Government. Within it is a neat mechanism for visualising how you will grow over the next 3 years then mapping the steps to take.

Having this in place allows you to see where the short term investment in people and premises can fit.

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