Your business questions answered

“Because my company is growing, some employees are complaining that they are having to spend too much time on tasks that aren’t part of their job description. I don’t want to invest in hiring more staff just yet, but I want to keep my people happy. What can I do?”

It sounds as though you’re not making best use of your most valuable resources – your employees and their real competencies. You may find that outsourcing will provide the solution to your problem.

Companies of all sizes are improving profitability and powering growth by outsourcing tasks that are less strategically critical, and for which there are no special capabilities within the business.

The benefits that outsourcing could bring you include:

  • maximising the returns on your internal resources
  • being free to develop your company’s core competencies to a level where they provide formidable barriers against present and future competitors
  • making full use of external suppliers’ investments, innovations and specialised professional capabilities.

For more information on this topic, see our outsourcing guidance and tips.

You may also find it useful to carry out an assessment of your company’s core competencies.

For further advice, email us or call us on 020 7099 2621.

My business is doing well, but I’m keen to see further growth. Would buying another company be a good route to take?

While acquisitions are a legitimate growth strategy, they do carry a high degree of risk. However, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk and maximise your chances of success.

First, you need to evaluate all your growth opportunities, including those for organic growth. Then, if you choose the acquisition route, you need to select a target company that will bring you the benefits and synergies you are looking for, and carry out due diligence before making an approach.

Once the deal is complete, careful post-acquisition integration must be your priority: without it, you won’t see the full benefits you envisaged.

For more information on this tricky subject, see our guidance on:

Smaller businesses that don’t have enough internal resource to handle the crucial processes mentioned above often find that our Commercial Due Diligence and Post-acquisition Integration package meets all their needs.

For further advice, email us or call us on 020 7099 2621.

“I’m thinking about setting up a partnership with another company in order to extend the geographic range of my business. Are there any potential snares I should be aware of?”

The type of partnership you describe can indeed bring the benefit you want – and many more, including access to advanced technology, faster product development, better quality control, cost savings and a stronger negotiating position. But you have to choose your partner carefully, as such an alliance requires deep, organisation-wide commitment from all involved. If your partner’s goals or cultures differ radically from your own, the alliance will most likely fail.

You must also make sure that a relationship with your business is seen as an attractive proposition. So you need to articulate the competitive values that will make you a good strategic partner, and show your prospective partners how your own core competencies could solve an existing business problem. Have a look at this information on strategic alliances.

Here are some more tips that may help you with your expansion plans, particularly if you want to target overseas markets:

For further advice, email us or call us on 020 7099 2621.

“I’ve just been appointed to my first CEO post. What are the biggest pitfalls I should look out for?”

As there are so many variables, we can’t give you an answer that will cover your particular situation. But don’t let the fear of getting things wrong hold you back. Mistakes can be productive – so long as you are willing to admit them and learn from them. For more information on this, see our recent Snapshot A leader’s guide to being wrong.

Here are some more insights that will help you develop your leadership abilities:

For further advice, email us or call us on 020 7099 2621.