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Scaling up your business – Q&A

We sat down with Thinc's Head of Sage, Gary McKnight to discuss the big questions for scale-ups.

As a business leader, it’s good practice to regularly ask yourself: can my business do more? If the answer is yes, then your business will struggle to reach its full potential.

In many cases, this means increasing sales. You might know the demand for your products or services exists. But all too often, organisations are held back if they don’t have the capacity or sales channels to make the most of that demand.

You’ll face many challenges as you scale up to deliver more sales, generate more product lines and operate in more markets. It’s not just more space and staff that you’ll need – you’ve also got to make sure you have greater visibility and control of the company’s operations, financial performance and stock levels.

At Thinc, we work with businesses at different stages of their growth journey. Some are confident they can grow and have already invested in resources and just require our support to improve processes and streamline operations. Others will need our help to understand and analyse sales trends and realise growth opportunities.

Head of Sage, Gary McKnight, has worked with the some of the country’s fastest growing businesses, including Swiscot and Specialized Security with scaling up typically the key priority.

We recently caught up with Gary to discuss scalability and unlock invaluable insights for growing businesses.

1. Scale up essentials  

What are the most crucial business aspects that a company with growth potential should consider before investing in scaling up?

If a business has the potential to grow, the most crucial aspects you need to consider fall under the three Ps – People, Process and Procedure. We work with businesses to develop processes, enhance procedures and improve efficiency. In turn, this reduces repetitive administration so that they can focus on unleashing the potential of their people.

Through constant review and revision of your processes and procedures, you can identify areas to automate, streamline, and ultimately make more efficient and profitable.

Quite often, businesses have the resources to scale up but are not always sure how to use them to their full potential. We’ll show you the right technology solutions to get the most out of these resources so you can realise your opportunity for growth.

2. How can a business know they are ready to scale up? 

Drawing on your experience, what guidance would you give businesses who know they can scale up, are confident that there is a demand for their products and goods, but are still unsure about the best approach to move forwards?

Take the time to review and reflect. Very often, it’s the simplest of things that can bring real value to a business. You can implement these quickly and speed up the rate of return.

Make sure you have the right tools to plan and execute on these plans too. Whether it’s financial planning, forecasting sales or communicating new products to existing customers, your business systems need to be robust so that you’re getting all the information you need to make realistic plans.

3. Overcoming challenges

Some of the main challenges for scale-ups include:

• Cash flow management
• Responding to competition
• Keeping up with market changes and realising buying trends
• Accurate stock control
• Learning when to delegate

In your experience, what can help business owners with these challenges?

Not all challenges faced by businesses are driven by their systems. But obviously, with the right system in place, businesses can save time, increase efficiency and improve performance. That gives business owners more time to take on the jobs needed to develop the business from within.

One of the most common ways we can help free up time is through document automation. That’s the ability to scan, archive, attach and retrieve inbound documentation within a system, saving both time and filing space.

Purchase invoices are a classic example. Technology has rapidly developed in the last few years when it comes to invoice automation. Now, it can be as simple as asking suppliers to send invoices to a generic email address, where a cloud service can interpret the document and prepare it for posting into the system.

4. Accurate forecasting 

How can businesses make accurate forecasts to help them realise which investments are going most profitable?

As your business grows, you need to fully understand and accurately analyse your company’s performance. Legacy methods, such as tracking sales information on Excel, may no longer suffice.

To prepare accurate financial forecasting, you need accurate data. Having a fully integrated system, with cash flow provided within, allows you to easily and reliably plan for your forecasts.

Another example is warehouse automation. While it sounds like advanced robotics, this can be something as simple as barcoding or QR coding your goods. Whether they are stored as pallets, boxes or cartons, we develop systems to help businesses track and trace goods as they come in and go out, improving your services for customers.

5. Why sage 200? 

Sage 200 is a modular solution. Like a buffet at a wedding, you take your plate and select the pieces that suit your business needs. As your business grows, we help grow the system in terms of users and modular functionality.

You no longer have to just buy these systems upfront either. Everything is subscription based so that you only pay for what you need, when you need it.

Ready to scale with Sage 200?

At Thinc, we want to understand your challenges and show you a range of modular solutions to suit your needs today and allow you to grow tomorrow.

Contact us for a free consultation today.

Why choose Thinc?

We're an award-winning Sage partner

We’re a longstanding Sage Business Partner, Sage UK’s “number 1 partner for service excellence” and have helped over 400 businesses successfully scale their businesses through Sage 200. Our extensive knowledge of Sage accounting software, the Sage 200 professional modules, as well as the extensive range of Sage 200 add ons allows us to take a consultative approach and only ever recommend what is right for your business. Having worked with Sage 200 since it was first introduced to the market, we’ve seen the product evolve as the needs of SMEs have progressed.

We don't do 'one-size-fits-all'

Your business is completely unique, so we know that you need a completely unique solution to match it. That’s why we take the time to properly get to know your business, the problems you face and the way you work. That means we can create a tailored solution that exactly fits your needs and can grow with your business.

We're here to help

Our friendly team of experts are on hand to fix whatever IT problems you’ve got with clear communication and long-lasting solutions. We work closely with you and act as an extension of your team, not just another outsourced IT team – so you get complete collaboration instead of quick fixes.

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