Changing Plans for a Growing Company

Former IBM chairperson Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. had a favorite small-business comment: “I've never met a small company that didn't want to become a big company one of these days.” Most business owners nod and smile when they hear this bit of wisdom. The goal of starting your own business is usually to have the business grow to the point that you can quit your other job, hire people to maintain the day-to-day aspects of your business, and have the time and resources available to pursue your own dreams, whether that's traveling, resting, or starting more businesses.

As your company grows, you realize that the same processes you used when your company was small don't truly apply to a bigger business. You can't run your expenses by using pen and paper any more, and you need to consult or hire a CPA or an accountant — or maybe even a chief financial officer (CFO) — to coordinate your finances and file all the appropriate paperwork. Your inventory systems have to become more formal because pen and paper and mentally keeping track of your products don't apply to a 20,000-square-foot warehouse full of products that are selling at hundreds of orders per day.

The same concept applies to your marketing strategies. At first, your goal is probably to raise brand awareness of your company, find some initial cash flow to sustain your business, and gain more customers and market share. After you start seeing sustained results — after you're achieving a certain ...

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