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Business at a Crossroads: Growth or Status Quo

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Mary found her successful business at a major crossroads.

Her already lengthy client list had grown substantially, resulting in more contracts than she could handle. She had already sub-contracted with two smaller independent contractors to handle the day to day routine aspects of the agreements. The backlog of uncompleted and overlooked work continued to grow, and was forming a stack on her already crowded desk.

To complicate matters, her mail order and internet sales of her CDs, DVDs, ebooks, and other informational products had grown dramatically as well. Mary no longer had the time to write her blog posts or prepare her always popular newsletter. Unfortunately, the growth didn’t generate enough cash flow to hire full time staff or increase the number of sub-contractors. The inflow of cash was too large for the current business size, but not large enough to justify a major expansion, without taking out a substantial loan.

Mary was at a loss as to what to do next. Perhaps your business has experienced a similar dilemma to Mary’s company. Caught between too much work for one or two people, but still not large enough for expansion to the next level, many business people choose to cut back their client contracts, or stay the course, hoping things sort themselves out for the better. It doesn’t have to be that way.

It happens to every company at some point in its evolution, so you definitely aren’t alone. Perhaps there is a middle way that will solve most of the problems, while maintaining cashflow and the client base. If the goal is to avoid debt, then the business cash flow must be self sustaining. A loan is an option to consider, however.

One obvious solution to the problem is to sub-contract all of the routine office duties to a virtual assistant. Invoicing, accounts payable and receivable, and other office necessities consume large amounts of time and energy. The question is do they justify adding a virtual assistant to the team. Let’s say your productive time returns $75.00 an hour. Obviously, spending your valuable time on tasks valued at far less than that amount is inefficient time management. Get the assistant and concentrate your time on productive activities.

Perhaps the growth that appeared overwhelming to one or two people is not a burden at all for three to six people. While it might take a leap of faith, it might be best for your business to increase your marketing efforts and add even more clients to the fold. Along with the increased business revenues, additional staff or sub-contractors can handle the load. Remember, you did sub-contract your routine office duties to free up your time.

Many business people are often too busy working in their business to spend time working on growing the business. Additonal marketing and a strong pro-active public relations program can readily add new customers and clients. The extra cash flow will go far in solving the problems created by growth.

Time formerly spent blogging and writing newsletters can filled by professional bloggers and freelance writers. All sales orders can be automated, as can everything involving the newsletter. Always keep in mind the real value of your time. Anything that can be hired or contracted, for less than the true worth of your time, should be considered for delegation. While it’s often hard to let go of a job, out of fear of lower quality, it’s essential that you do so. Give your staff and contractors a chance to shine. They will probably surprise you in a good way.

A loan is always a possibility, for maintaining cash flow. Your own financial status, collateral level, and revenue will determine if that’s the course to take. Keep in mind that money borrowed for a productive purpose pays dividends in the form of higher company revenue. Don’t mistake a business loan for the more familiar and unproductive credit card debt.

If your business is at a crossroads, don’t panic. There are many more creative solutions than the ones presented here. A bit of thought will generate many new and exciting problem solving ideas. They will help your company, those of your clients and sub-contractors, to grow and prosper.

Everyone wins in the end.

Wayne Hurlbert provides insigtful information about marketing, promotions, search engine optimization and public relations for websites and business blogs on the popular Blog Business World.

Check out Blog Business World for yourself.

Business at a Crossroads: Growth or Status Quo
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