Your company may be experiencing great growth. As an executive, you are a key element in sustaining this growth. Nevertheless, do most of the following statements seem accurate to you ?
You have everything to finance your growth.
Your internal structure is transparent and does not need to be challenged. Prevention and control of risks are priorities in your company.
A performance review discussion is organized with each of your employees on an annual basis.
You are recruiting employees to cope with growth, the vast majority of whom are ambitious and dynamic young professionals.
If these statements seem accurate to you, you may not be a true leader working towards growth…
Two major issues can become pitfalls for a company that is growing or wants to grow: financing and organization.
Companies often make a syllogism: raising funds when the WCR is not optimized. Even before seeking external financing, the manager must regularly review his customer, supplier, and stock processes.
Among other things, they must ask themselves the following questions :
Can I review my contracts and general sale terms (particularly regarding payment deadlines) without harming my customer relationship ?
Is it relevant to differentiate these conditions according to customer risk? Is recovery monitored by dashboard ?
Are my sales representatives assessed on delayed payments ?
Should I limit the use of tenders for purchases? Are we victims of abusive overcharging ?
Are my inventories well-stocked – minimum with no risk of stock shortages ?
In addition to their WCR, the manager of a growing company has to find financing resources. This is often a sensitive matter for the owner-executive who fears the dilution of their capital.
The manager can generally raise up to €1 million via key employees, business angels, state support (sectoral or regional), and bank debt.
A significant challenge is often presented to executives whose project requires between €1 and €2 million of financing, as most large funds invest a minimum of €2 million. The only solution is to raise €1M and reach a new level of growth needed to raise more money.
It is recommended to call on intermediaries for this type of operation, bearing in mind that they are compensated between 2 and 5% of the sum raised.
Build an adequate structure
The second crucial topic for growth: people and structure.
Companies that are growing often started up with a small, close-knit team. When the company needs additional collaborators, the manager favors the recruitment of dynamic and ambitious young people, drawn to the entrepreneurial challenge.
Setting up middle management
Yet this recruitment must be combined with that of more senior profiles, with strong skills and experience, which will provide the company with the middle management that is often lacking.
This will help structure the company, balance internal power struggles, and promote sustainable growth.
Similarly, the rapid recruitment of an HR manager is crucial. Many managers consider them as secondary, even though they can relieve them of some of the recruitment responsibilities which are very time-consuming in periods of growth while maintaining a strong corporate culture.
With growth also comes frustration for the initial management teams, who might feel that transparency and communication with the managers are weakened.
Adjusting individual goals to growth
“Alongside the early phase of affective management, there is a need for structure, associated with processes, control panels, and reports,” comments Hubert Reynier, CEO of VISCONTI.
Individual goals have to be updated much more frequently than once a year: management has to keep pace with growth. Faced with these changes, the presence of a resourceful and empathetic HR manager will be the necessary binder to the fast- moving company. A growing company must be able to regularly challenge its structure, it cannot be set in stone.
All the company’s activities are driven by two watchwords: adaptation and rigor.
Brave, disciplined, and attentive, the manager of a growing company must remain alert, as to not let himself be “put to sleep” by growth, as intoxicating though it may be, but never self-generated.