Golden rules for small businesses

Elliot Cooper has advice for those who want to go from two staff to two hundred, and it all starts with your business systems.

Most of the successful businesses that I see have one common element: they have business systems that can readily scale up to serve a much larger company.   

In practical terms, they have an operational plan focused on the next year and a strategic plan looking further into the future – usually at least five years.

When you are commercialising an idea, part of the business plan is to put business systems in place that can grow with the business as it progresses from start-up.

So that's my first golden rule for growth: get your business systems in place early.

I have found that doing this makes it easier to raise capital or debt to fund business growth. If a liquidity event (like the possible sale of your business) presents itself that you want to take advantage of, it makes it easier to transition from entrepreneur to the new structure. This removes the need for long lock-in times, enabling you to exit the business cleanly.

Raising money to expand your business is easier with sound business systems because they help demonstrate to investors and financiers that you are a risk worth taking. When investors and financiers – including banks – set the rate of return they expect, they will want a larger return for evaluating the business risk. Good systems can provide them with the information they need. You are more likely to obtain the funds at a lower rate.  To read full article please click here. Article first appeared on

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