Scaling Up Your Business – Q&A with Thinc Head of Sage, Gary McKnight

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 refers to the opportunity to increase 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.

Business owners face many challenges when scaling up to deliver more sales, generate more product lines and operate in more markets. As well as the possibility of needing more space and staff, greater visibility and control of the company’s operations, financial performance and stock levels are needed too.

At Thinc, we work with businesses at different stages in their growth journey. Some are confident they can grow and have already invested in resources, requiring our support to improve processes and streamline operations. Other businesses we partner with require support 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 – that’s 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 that could be automated, streamlined, and ultimately made more efficient, smarter, and therefore profitable. 

Quite often, businesses have resources to scale up but are not always sure how to use them to their full potential. Using the right technology solutions, we can help you realise opportunities for growth and work out the most effective ways to make the most of them.

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. These can be implemented quickly and therefore 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 can extract the information you need to make realistic plans.

3. Overcoming challenges

Some of 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 tactical, physical activities 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 moved on a lot in the last few years when it comes to invoice automation. This could 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, the need to fully understand and accurately analyse your company’s performance is vital for its successful growth. Legacy methods, such as tracking sales information on Excel, may no longer suffice.
To prepare accurate financial forecasting, you need reliable data in the system. Having a fully integrated system, with cash flow provided within, gives you the ability to plan with accuracy. 
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 the business grows, we help grow the system in terms of users and modular functionality.
People no longer have to buy systems upfront either. We understand that the capital expenditure related to an ERP system no longer exists as far as the software is concerned. 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 put forward a range of modular solutions to suit your needs today and allow you to grow tomorrow.

To find out more, arrange a consultation with our dedicated head of Sage, Gary McKnight.

Tel: 0808 168 8922

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