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Growing Smart: Scaling Your Business for Success

Written by: Mathew Hein, Director of Business Banking, Firstrust Bank

Billionaire businessman John D. Rockefeller once said, “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” Often, small business owners get too caught up in the daily routine to recognize opportunities for growth. However, on the other side of the spectrum, some business owners can’t wait to open new storefronts or offices, add new technology, products and services or build out their teams. No matter the industry, for many, the thought of navigating the scaling process can be daunting.
 
Despite this uncertainty, when looking at today’s industry giants–Starbucks, Amazon or Apple, just to name a few­—it is clear that taking the time to scale a business the right way at the right time can lead to tremendous growth and more importantly, increased profitability. So, how does a business owner know when to say “go” and how to plot a course?
 
Mathew Hein, Senior Vice President and Director of Business Banking at Firstrust Bank, suggests talking to a trusted banking relationship manager as a good first step. From advisory services to lending and treasury management products, “We can provide all the products and solutions that will help business owners through that process, and initiate the right conversations to see if this is the right time to expand and what the financial impact will be on the company.”
 
Often, thoughts on scaling for growth are prompted by the successful automation of some services or a change in the market. These changes have given the business an opportunity to grow or even start succession planning conversations. Once they start thinking expansion, business owners should consider three things, Hein said:

 
  • What is the growth goal?
  • What challenges are standing in the way of achieving it?
  • What changes in resources and investments do you need to accomplish this? 
Like running a business, when it comes to scaling for growth, there are many moving parts to consider. A business banking relationship manager can help a business owner navigate that process by evaluating their situation and assisting in planning their expansion from beginning to end. Some of these factors can involve scaling operations, beefing up a business’ sales team, raising capital, changing the management structure, moving from or expanding within the business’ existing space and managing fiduciary responsibilities, among others.
 
“We serve as a partner throughout the process and finance the cost of scaling up,” said Hein. “If there is a financing need, we are there to help business owners with that, whether it is for hiring more people, automation, renovating a building or something else.”
 
Different products suit different needs. For example, a small business looking to automate may want to consider a technology investment with the help of a term loan or equipment loan. For a company looking to expand its marketing strategy or bring on more employees, they may be a good candidate for a working capital line of credit.
 
For a company looking to buy another business, they may seek financial advisory services where a relationship manager sits down with clients to evaluate their current situation. They will help determine if a business owner has enough capital to support the purchase or if they prefer to structure the purchase with an acquisition loan or by bringing in a business partner, among other options.
 
Further, business owners can enhance operational efficiencies by adding new technologies to manage more customers with the same amount of employees. If so, they may want to consider treasury management solutions. In this scenario, a business owner may need to manage their cash more efficiently. Digital payment capabilities like remote deposit capture or same-day ACH can reduce manual, paper-based activities and give the business owner access to their working capital in a shorter period of time.
 
When considering scaling for growth, seek advice from a specialized financial services professional to discuss your options and help you grow smart.
 
 
Mathew Hein is Senior Vice President and Director of Business Banking at Firstrust Bank. He can be reached at mhein@firstrust.com.