Lots Of Effort; Not Much Profitable Business Growth?

We’ve never met an SME business leader who isn’t keen to achieve profitable growth. However, many would admit to a great deal of effort yet not much real progress; a few steps forward, a few steps back. Attempts to grow have just resulted in more challenges emerging; you may recognise some of these typical signs:

  • An increase in your executive workload
  • Too much executive involvement required in day-to-day operational issues
  • Everyone still looking to you for the answer
  • Less time to produce quality work
  • Poor work/life balance
  • Less time and patience for people
  • Less fun than it used to be
  • Escalating costs, diminishing profits
  • Challenging cash flow
  • Diminishing standards, service and responsiveness
  • Increasing errors due to reduced attention to detail
  • Delivery deadlines pushed back or missed
  • Over-reliance on sales from old customers
  • Recruitment and retention issues

In these circumstances, the worst thing a business can do is grow! It certainly does not simply mean recruiting (or trying to) additional resources on a “just after we need it” basis to do the increasing amount of work.

The fundamental issue is often that there isn’t a strong platform for growth.

This is usually due to one or more of these three reasons:

  1. You don’t have managers in place (as opposed to Directors) with clear ownership, responsibility and accountability
  2. You haven’t provided your managers with the right tools to do the job through formal training. (Our research indicates that over 80% of managers have never been trained in management; unsurprisingly, we often find there isn’t much management actually going on!)
  3. You realise in hindsight you may have recruited/promoted the wrong people into management roles i.e. their attitudes/skills/behaviours don’t match the demands of the job

Why do these occur?

Well one thought is that you may be the problem. Many executives admit that subconsciously, they still like to be involved in doing the things they like doing and are good at. They also admit to not have a job description which would clearly reveal that they shouldn’t be doing those things!

If executives have to get involved then it’s an indicator that you don’t have the right, properly trained managers in place who are willing and able to accept ownership, responsibility and accountability. If this is the case then frankly, you will always be making up the shortfall e.g. having to go out and win more customers, resolve customer issues, sort out day-to-day operational issues, do all the recruiting, etc, etc.

How do you break this cycle?

In summary, building a strong platform for profitable business growth depends on building a strong management team that you can trust and rely on. This allows you as an executive to step away from the day-to-day issues and spend quality time ON the business not IN it. It creates time for you to think and plan; time to explore ideas and opportunities; time to see things more clearly; time to act rather than re-act.

However, there is a great deal more than people imagine to identifying, recruiting/promoting and developing a “round peg into a round hole” – someone who is likely to be happy and successful in management.

Auricas can help you – we have over 40 years’ experience of helping companies to achieve predictable, manageable, sustainable, profitable, business growth. We offer an affordable and entirely bespoke consultancy and coaching solution tailored to your situation, budget and desired outcomes plus some exceptional training for managers of all ages/experience.

If you would like some initial advice or to explore a few ideas and options without cost or obligation (except for a decent cup of coffee) then please contact us.


Management Development
Strategic Business Planning
Change Management

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