Growing Your Business

I spent last Friday at Cranfield School of Management, sitting on a panel reviewing business plans prepared by participants of their Business Growth Programme (BGP). Followers of Prism will know that I have a long association with Cranfield and BGP, and BGP appears to be going from strength to strength.

There were three very different, but interesting businesses on the panel. All exhibited the hallmarks of the entrepreneur – a profound belief in their product/service and persistence in the face of adversity. It is difficult to pull overall themes from different business models but one strategic objective was excellently captured in the phrase:

“Better Before Bigger.”

I thought this was something that many SMEs should consider before embarking on rapid growth. If their core systems and processes are lacking, putting more sales through the business is likely to lead to problems and, at worst, chaos. Acquirers rarely buy a business to maintain the status quo, so a good platform for growth is often a pre-requisite.

Peter Watson