A view from...

Andrew Finley, Commercial Director, Oxford Innovation

What causes a business to be high growth?

This is a question considered at length during the design of many business support programmes and by investment professionals. The simple answer is that there are numerous factors but key to it is the acceptance that a state of high growth is not fixed, it is transient, can be triggered by events both within and outside of the business and is often followed by periods of flat line sales or regression as the position is stabilised before being ready for further expansion.

High growth can occur at any stage in a company’s development, and contrary to popular opinion, statistically, it is more likely to happen in mature companies than in Start Ups.

Whilst an essential characteristic of accelerated expansion, high growth can be a risky time for any business with the demands on management building significantly. What is certain is that careful stewardship is needed to both maximise opportunities and to guard against the risks of over trading with associated cash flow implications.

The work undertaken in developing clear strategy, establishment of core values and internal stakeholder buy in all will be tested as uncertainty and doubt can arise from the seismic shifts in workloads, roles and relationships caused by a rapidly changing business.

It should be remembered that, above all, accelerated growth is exciting, challenging and opens opportunities for stimulating and rewarding experiences for all concerned. In our role as specialists in high growth coaching we encounter varied scenarios, all with their individual demands. This is where, a non-formulaic approach pays off and the benefit of support from experienced professionals who have worked with management in similar situations before really pays off.

Wednesday 30 July 2014