Small business: Fast growth

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Ben Clark of Benjamin Black Goldsmith.
Ben Clark of Benjamin Black Goldsmith.

It seems the main concern for small businesses when they have a big growth spurt is cash flow. A reluctance to take on good staff to help you along the way, can also cause problems. There is only so much one person can do no matter how many hours they put in.

Angus Ogilvie from Generate Accounting helps businesses going through growth pains and he cautions businesses to do their due dilligence before accepting a big new order. Does your business have the maturity and the systems to handle it, he asks?

Young master jeweller, Ben Clark of Benjamin Black Goldsmith, set up his business to be online purely but demand was so great, he has had to open a boutique in Nelson. It wasn't part of the plan, it's completely changed the shape of the business, but he is enjoying the ride and keeping things under control with the help of some good advisers.

Jonny Mole from Chilli, obviously revels in extreme growth - he is bored if his business isn't growing. And fortunately his business is "growing ballistics" as he puts it. In the early days he cheerfully admits to chaos reigning.

Perceptive's Chris Prescott admits to times when strong growth has felt like almost too much and is grateful for times of consolidation. In his column he warns the easiest way for strong growth to have a negative impact on your business is for you to forget about your customers. Thanks Matt Bellingham of Bellingham Wallace for the recommendation of Prescott and his story.

And with precious customers in mind, next week, our topic of discussion is going to be customer service. What can SMEs do better and why do they sometimes do it better than their corporate competition?

- NZ Herald

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