Any first year MBA student can write a business plan, and it’ll probably be a good one – in theory. But a business is much more than strategy, numbers and the bottom line. Your business is a collection of people; and while some may be motivated by the basic numbers, many more want to feel part of something bigger; something meaningful. We’re talking about company culture.
While our health is critical to our feeling of wellbeing, so is our diet critical to our health. The 21st Century diet of pre-processed packaged convenience foods and fast food on the run tends to be high in unhealthy fats, sugars and salt.
This is leading directly to people becoming overweight and suffering with health problems. Intensive farming with the use of fertilisers and pesticides has taken a lot of the nutrients out of the soil so that even much of our fresh fruit and vegetables are lacking a lot of the goodness and nutrition that were present 50 years ago.
Whatever your business, whether it’s commercial or a charity or not-for-profit, if you grow significantly there will be major implications on how you fund the growth and manage the cash.
VIstage Speaker, Jo Haigh, puts it like this: “You can trade profitably for ages, but you can only ever run out of cash once.”
James Nicholson-Smith, Director, FD Centre also warns: “Unless you’re really determined you need the funding and have a really good reason for it, this whole funding bit can be a massive distraction to the business. Go into it with your eyes wide open, knowing that it’s going to take a big, big chunk of your time.”
The Scale-Up Institute figures quoted in a recent Vistage whitepaper report show that fewer than 4% of all UK start-ups have 10 or more employees 10 years into their lives, this demonstrates that the majority of start-ups fail to scale – Why is this?
Guy Rigby of Vistage partner Smith & Williamson sees lots of businesses that start with a visionary flourish, only to stall after failing to add more customers because they haven’t innovated or got their marketing right. They lose their way, unable to see how to get to the next stage and become one of the ‘living dead’. These businesses are going nowhere, having lost their vision and reason for existing.
Scale-up is an entirely different business environment, it’s more than just entering an accelerated growth phase. The difference with scale-ups is that the game changes so fast and often simultaneously in all these areas, when growth accelerates. And as we have seen, the price of failure is larger in a scale-up.