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Planning for Business Failure - Your Success for Growth

Planning for business failure – Your Success to Growth

Ever thought about how you could make your SME fail? Ever thought about how quickly this could happen?  If you are like the thousands of SMEs across Victoria and Australia this is probably a question you have never really considered, at least not in some detail. Why on earth would you want to think about how to collapse your own business? 

Well, the answer is, if you aren’t thinking about every way in which your business could fail, you aren’t undertaking a risk analysis on your business and thereby providing your business with a robust strategy to counter adverse business impacts & provide yourself with the means to ensure business success & longevity.

We are going to look at the Top 5 Ways in which you can collapse your own fast growth SME.

Number 5 – Don’t establish a Board and Advisory Boards. It’s not so much a case of do I need a Board, as to how can I survive & grow without one. The Board needs of SMEs are different from those of larger corporates. How do you best institute and leverage a Board to your advantage?

Number 4 – Never think about financial forecasting. The lifeblood of SMEs is cash-flow. Without a positive and sustainable cash-flow your business dies. Yet so may Founder Directors find the financial aspects difficult to master & deal with competently on a regular basis. This is not their strong point or focus. What if this aspect of your business could be greatly simplified and made engaging so that you positively sought that information and put yourself firmly in control of finances without having to be trained as an accountant?

Number 3 – Leave Social Media to the Gen X and Gen Y kids. For those who haven’t grown up using Social Media, it is hard to see the relevance to their businesses. However, those companies that embrace the use of Social Media are securing for them a sustainable competitive advantage & those that don’t are losing their competitive edge, without realizing what is happening.

Number 2 – Don’t protect your intellectual assets, property and name. Your brand is probably your single greatest asset, after your people. And it’s not only your brand, but other key pieces of intellectual property that provide you with key points of ongoing business differentiation. Neglect those and you seriously impair your ability to compete & rise “above the pack”

Number 1 – Don’t plan for team development, incentivisation and recognition. You know that your team is your greatest asset. But how are you planning to retain them, improve their performance & satisfaction levels & shape them for a growth future. Key employee loss at a critical stage in your company’s growth could cause your company to stagger in its growth phase.

Now think about your company again, and think about not applying any of these strategies to avoid failure and alternatively to promote growth. Regardless of your current size, you will surely get to the point where one or more of these factors will impact on your ability to compete, or it will become an essential part of your growth (or in this case, your anti-failure) strategy.

Luckily, there are companies out there that want to share their stories, good and bad; and there are organisations and forward-thinking governments that are trying to intervene to help.  The MasterClass for Growth program being delivered by Small Business Victoria (SBV) aims to reduce company failure rate, but more importantly, provide fast growth SMEs with the platform to accelerate their business growth, both nationally and internationally.

Whether your business is in IT, agribusiness, manufacturing or retail, or a host of other industry sectors, the same lessons apply, albeit at different levels of urgency. Understanding the fundamentals of business growth, and undertaking your own risk analysis of failure will in fact help you to achieve future growth, happiness and satisfaction.

The Victorian Government’s MasterClass for Growth Program is a business program for small to medium sized businesses.  If your business is poised for expansion, the program will assist you to understand, prepare and implement plans to fast-track growth.  You will attend four group masterclasses together with individual and group coaching sessions over eight months.  Topics covered in the group coaching sessions may include marketing, sustainability, social media and financial management.

To find out more about this exciting program see www.business.vic.gov.au/masterclass or email masterclass@dbi.vic.gov.au or call 132215.