Is The Thing Stopping You Going Big … You?

Through my work originally as a Chartered Accountant - and now as a Financial Mentor - growth and expansion are common goals for my visionary clients.

But before we consider more - more stock, more sales, more products, more services, more marketing - it’s important to check in with yourself NOW. This is about assessing the systems supporting your current financial and energetic outlay before we go filling the pipeline up. And the systems I’m talking about are both external to you (this financial data management, ordering, inventory) and internal to you (the mental roadblocks you may be creating for yourself).

C’mon, you didn’t think you’d get outta here without some woo-woo first, did you? 😏

If you don’t address the systems, structures and data management at THIS size, you may be creating a bigger knot - that requires more painful detangling - if you dive in headfirst. 

Expansion can be both exhilarating and terrifying. Now is the time to take a deep breath because Liz has got your back! I’m going to walk you through the key points to consider so you can sustainably scale towards that big, hairy, audacious goal of yours. 

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Product-based VS service-based businesses

Depending on what it is you are selling (physical goods vs provision of a service) your challenges are going to look a little different:

  • Product-based business:
    • Stock management is a whole beast of its own. 
    • The system you choose to use for it can make a huge difference to your sanity down the track
    • Working out how much do you bring in versus how much do you anticipate moving is essential!  It's also like trying to predict the weather in a constantly changing climate. 
    • Then there’s cashflow to get the ball rolling. Your instincts might be telling you that the wind is blowing in your favour, but being ready to take out a loan or using equity from other assets might have you second-guessing yourself.  
  • Service-based businesses:
    • Scalability might be seen as your superpower after all you can keep working more hours right?. Increasing prices is actually more important because if you need to employ another you - chances are you will pay them a lot more than you are paying yourself.
    • Are you hands-off enough to handle the growth you're after? Are you able to afford an extra set of hands during the period of growth? You don't want to find yourself drowning in orders you can't fulfil. That's a one-way ticket to Burnout City, population: you. 
    • You may have also invested in a suite of apps and tools to streamline your processes. Which is great IF they’re working properly. The question is: are they? (More on that below)

Every individual is different - some have savings or a redundancy to invest - others have nothing saved but “ boot-strap” it anyway. In either case, it’s clear that knowing both your numbers and your systems from start to finish is going to give you the confidence you need to move forward. Vague anxiety can trip you up; coming back to the hard facts is the best way to dispel it. There are many unexpected landmines that “content media” forgets to mention in the growing of your business.

Best first steps: 

  • Reacquaint yourself with your balance sheet, as well as your profit and loss statement, to work out exactly where your threshold for risk lies. 
  • When it comes to your daily financial data, ensure everything has a place. Set aside some time to work with your bookkeeper, reviewing how they are storing data on your behalf and tidying up any grey areas where they may be making some executive decisions (the dangers of which I’ve written about in this article

Amidst the chaos, there are opportunities. You've got more chances to iterate and course-correct than you realise. 

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Taking the plunge & diving deeper

Knowing your systems is one thing: testing them from the front end, from start to finish, is a whole other ball game. 

I saw this recently in my own marketing manager. She has proposal software set up to automate the flow of putting together a tailored proposal, creating a contract, gathering signatures, generating invoices and collecting payment. Pretty cool right?

Well, that is until the length of the contract changed, which didn’t flow through to the payment plan assigned to the contract template. Which meant the monthly fee didn’t quite make sense, and then the invoices didn’t line up. 

Thankfully, we’ve been working together for many years, and we had a good chuckle together about how this would make for great content later (and here we are!) But imagine if she was counting on that workflow to land a NEW client? What if all that confusion had made a new client throw the whole thing into the too-hard basket?

I talk a lot about blind delegation to both people AND systems in our businesses (which you can read more about here and here). Delegation should be a mindful process of handing over a workflow or responsibility that you are already familiar with. It should also be handed over in ‘good working order’. 

Before pressing go on your masterplan, you need to be confident that whatever automations you are relying on are in fact structurally sound. 

Side note: going through your subscriptions on a top-level, what-stuff-have-I-signed-up-to-anyway perspective is a great way to clean up some financial clutter! Many platforms rely on your signing up for a small enough monthly fee that, even if you don’t end up using it or forget about it, the cost is so small it slides under your radar anyway. Drilling down into the detail of your subscriptions line in your profit and loss statement could be a quick win towards monthly savings. 

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Finally: the Inner Critic

The most powerful voice in the story of our success is our own. And it’s not always our biggest cheerleader. 

This topic is one of the key reasons why I left the accounting space - no one was willing to speak to the big feelings that can hold us back from our own brilliance. 

The issues here can be two-fold:

  • Anxiety around your ability to effectively manage others as they support you. That could be showing up in your relationship with your accountant and bookkeeper where you don’t trust yourself to own that conversation. Or you may not fully trust others - like contractors and key staff - to support you in the delivery of your goods and services, thus limiting your scalability. 
  • Anxiety around just how ‘bad it is’ could be stopping you from seeking the help you need to rectify the situation. Shame around the notion of ‘I should have a better handle on this’ could be shutting down the opportunity to create more productive relationships with people who can help (Like me!)

In both of these instances knowledge of, and confidence in your financial data is an essential foundation. Anxiety is obscure, numbers are reality. When organised accurately and practically, they simply are. Anxiety can often be overcome by information that has been at your fingertips all along. 

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Word of the Week: Ownership

You've built something amazing, and you’ve decided that now IS the time to take it to the next level. But staring down the barrel of tough decisions about stock, cash flow, and scalability is enough to make anyone break out in a cold sweat. 

This is the time to step back and question whether it’s the fear of the unknown that is holding you back. 

So your mission, should you choose to accept it:

  • Familiarise yourself with the reports that will give you the birds eye view you need to make clear, confident, and financially informed decisions around your growth. 
  • Ensure all the data feeding into those reports is accurate and well-organised. 
  • Put your systems through their paces, checking for snares and roadblocks that might deter those new sales you want. 
  • Reflect on how you interact with those who will be supporting you - have you set appropriate boundaries for trust, decision making and responsibility?
  • Make time to turn inwards: are you allowing self doubt to cloud your judgement?

And sometimes, you just need someone to hold space for you and guide the way. 

We’ve all made apologies for our messy houses. We claim our busy lives, our kids or just a lack of time have impacted on the state of our house. I’ve dealt with enough business owners to know we make the same apologies for our business. As someone who’s seen a lot of “messy” businesses, nothing shocks me at this point. Your financial mess? Child's play. I’ve seen it all, and I can help you find your way through the chaos.

And the best bit? Getting started is ridiculously simple. If you're ready to take the leap (or even if you're not), book a Financial Power Hour with me. I'll help you find the reasons and the courage to go for it anyway. Go big AND go home—with a smile on your face and a spring in your step. You've got this!

Disclaimer: These are yuck and boring but unfortunately a legal requirement for professionals in my industry. So just a reminder, the information contained here is general in nature and you should seek financial and business advice tailored to your own personal circumstances. Which, by no small coincidence, I can help you out with. Head over to my website and book a free 15 minute chat with me:

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