Accelerating growth after funding: delivering your post-investment plan


A lot of effort goes into getting your business ready to apply for and achieve funding – and that is only the first hurdle. Once you’ve got your funding in place, how do you make sure you are optimising the opportunity? South Eastern Regional Director Daniel Broome shares his advice on turning your growth plans into a scalable reality.

You’ve gone through all the right steps and secured your funding – so congratulations! This is an achievement in itself, so it’s important to celebrate. But what happens next with your team and people plan? While the exact plan is likely to depend on the arrangements in place with your investor, there are plenty of areas growing businesses need to focus on to ensure a sustainable business future. You may well have had to scope out a lot of the planning in principle to successfully get the funding in the first place, but implementing that plan is a different challenge altogether.

Receiving investment is a transformative milestone for a growing business. It is often what allows a you to take that next vital step, to ramp up growth and accelerate towards your vision. Therefore, it’s vital to get the right strategy, structure and deployment plan designed and deployed in order to ensure ongoing success.

Your application no doubt required a lot of planning, but keeping the plans aligned and on track requires significant focus. For many businesses, this is the perfect time to bring in some additional resource on a flexible basis to help while you’re going through your transition. Choosing an expert, or team of experts, who have significant experience in delivering growth plans and business transformation post-funding can make a significant different to cost and timings of delivery.

Here are just some of the people and team areas where you are likely to need additional focus.

Strategic planning: sense check you’re still heading in the right direction

It is likely that in order to receive funding in the first place, you will already have spent some time clarifying your business vision and strategy. Once funding has been received it is important to start by revisiting your business plan. External funding signals a significant change in your company’s trajectory, and it’s essential to align your strategies with your newfound resources. Identify clear growth objectives, both short-term and long-term, and chart a roadmap to achieve them.

Organisational structure: the right people in the right seats

An injection of funding will often lead to team expansion, which is likely to be game changer for your business. But before bringing new people on board, it is essential to map the structure of the business so that is equipped to manage its future growth. To do that, you need to assess and design the organisational structure, making sure you know what seats or roles you will need and then getting the right people aligned with those roles. Sometimes this can be a tough process but it is so important to go through it to lay the right foundations for sustained growth.

Employer value proposition: be a business the best people want to work for

Part of ensuring you are set up for growth is by attracting and retaining the right people. This could be (and in fact is) a blog post all by itself, but it’s important to assess how attractive your business is to applicants. Supporting equitable, diverse and inclusive culture is a vital part of it, but every part of your brand plays a part, from your stance on ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) to your pay and reward structures, career scope and development opportunities.

Technology and infrastructure: set up the systems to support ongoing growth at scale

Evaluate your existing technology infrastructure. Upgrading or implementing new technologies can streamline operations, improve efficiency, and enhance customer experiences. Investing in robust IT systems and software can have long-term benefits. Whether that’s addressing your ERP system or your HR information system or ATS (Applicant Tracking System), having the right technology in place is hugely important. (And if in doubt – get an expert in to advise you.)

Communication: it’s not just good to talk, it’s essential

Expansion is complex and to keep people on side, engaged and pulling in the same direction, good communication is required. And it doesn’t stop at your internal communication. Working cohesively with your marketing and sales teams to ensure consistent external communication which reflects the business values and direction is key, as is good communication with your investors and stakeholders.

Even when there are challenges to be faced, generally people will feel more confident and engaged when they feel that they are being kept in the picture. A lack of communication leads to speculation and can be quite damaging, so it’s important to get this right.

Analytics and reporting: monitoring and measuring how things are going

Do you know what success looks like? Have you defined what great culture feels like? Are your KPIs clear and regularly sense-checked for relevance and progress? Having a plan is just the beginning; how you implement it and evaluate its success is something else. And however robust the original strategy, with challenging market conditions and a fluctuating economy, it’s important to be responsive and to know when and how to pivot if required.

Leadership and Management Development: bring your people with you

Development is not just for senior leaders. In fact, one of the most common issues in businesses we hear week in, week out, is around development of mid-managers. Managing people is not straightforward and particularly today, with more emphasis on diverse and inclusive culture and a coaching mentality in leadership, it is absolutely essential to develop your people and get them ready for new and evolving responsibility.

Deploy resources wisely

Whether you’re consider financial management or IT infrastructure, your legal resources, your sales or marketing approach or your internal people processes, jumping straight in with full time hires is not always the best option.

The rise of fractional executives in recent years demonstrates that a part-time expert can have more impact, especially in a period of rapid growth or change. Unlike consultants who tend to used for more short-term deployments, fractional HR directors can work with a business in the mid- long-term to design and embed the right processes and structures to support sustainable business growth. There is less risk and a faster visible impact when working with seasoned professionals in this manner than there is in developing people internally, so it’s worth considering whether this is an approach that could work for your business.

Big picture thinking: be in it for the long haul

What got you here is great, but it’s not always what will get you to where you want to be. And as market expansion, changing customer expectation and developing products or service offerings affect your business, it’s important to keep ahead of the growth and be clear about where you are going next. Funding is just the beginning: growth requires sustained focus and a plan that remains a step (or several steps) ahead so keep asking “what next,” and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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