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Fueling Growth-875910-edited.jpgI don’t know if it hit everybody this way, but when I flipped my calendar over to June and realized that the next time I turned a page half of 2017 would be gone, I was a little shocked. We’re heading into a key time of the calendar year, when executives look at the 6-month numbers and start to get a clearer picture about the forecast for the end of the year. It’s time to ask some important questions about your first-half results and your second-half projections:

  • Will your business meet or exceed growth goals?
  • Are your goals and your progress toward them understood by the people responsible for meeting them?
  • If you’re ahead, how do you stay there, or increase your advantage?
  • If you’re behind, what can be done in the remainder of this year and in the plans for next year to improve your position?

At this key turning point in the calendar, we’re going to look at some strategies to get you focused on growth for the remainder of this year and the next few years to come. Here’s a look at the topics we plan to cover:

  1. M&A (and IPO) Readiness

For many businesses, growth strategies are tied to plans for mergers or acquisitions. Some businesses will go the initial public offering route. Are you clear on how either of these options will factor into your growth in the next 6 months-2 years? Is your business ready to take action quickly if an opportunity should arise?

  1. How Will You Fund Growth?

It’s no big secret that it takes money to make money. Do your plans for growth include specifics on how it will be funded? Cash is king, and it’s always good to fund growth from profits earmarked for that purpose. If you don’t have cash on hand, do you have financing lined up that will meet your needs? If not, where will you find the money you need to grow?

  1. Keeping Up the Pace of Growth

If you’ve started a new venture, are costs and revenue on track, or even ahead of schedule? Or will you need to find additional resources to keep the project going? The analysis of borrowing v. internal reinvestment gets a little trickier when you’re in progress on an improvement and revising things on the fly.

  1. Striking a Balance Between Stronger Growth and Improved Profitability

Funding growth is not something you do in isolation. The world continues to turn as you work to figure out which growth plans to fund and which require more analysis. Many businesses have investors who are more interested in how much this year’s distribution will be and when it will hit their bank accounts than they are in hearing innovative new ideas for better future results that might reduce this year’s payment. How do you overcome this kind of resistance? That depends in part on whether you’re in a smaller family business or a larger, publicly traded one. But either way, the answers are never easy.

As always, I hope you’ll share your questions and comments with us as the series progresses. Here’s wishing you even more success in the second half of 2017 and the years that follow.

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THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY Patrick C. Gough

Patrick C. Gough, CPA, serves as an assurance partner for HORNE LLP. He joined HORNE in 2002 and has more than 15 years of experience in public accounting serving public and middle market clients in a variety of industries including manufacturing, real estate, government, telecommunications, technology and agribusiness. Patrick also has a significant level of experience in assisting clients with Sarbanes-Oxley, Section 404 compliance and other internal control consulting engagements.

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