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Seven characteristics of fast-growth businesses

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4. Be ready to grow: It’s not just access to capital that can hamper growth. Not having the right people, with the right skills, or even the physical space you need to grow the business can also be a barrier. It’s not always possible to pre-empt exactly when the opportunity for growth will arise so putting in place a scalable business model will enable you to move quickly when the time is right.

5. Know your strengths – and weaknesses: Start-ups tend to be pretty lean organisations, often with one or two key people taking on the majority of tasks. Entrepreneurs are adept at turning their hand to whatever task is necessary but as a business begins to grow that soon becomes impractical and can also hamper progress. A successful business will try to have the right balance of skills and expertise within its workforce to support growth and a savvy business leader will recognise when it’s time to hand over the reins in certain areas.

6. Keep on moving: Successful businesses keep moving forward. It’s easy to get stuck in start-up mode and not take the leap to the next level. Flexibility is also key, sometimes a change in direction or adjustment to the way the business operates will help push you in the right direction.

7. Be willing to take a risk: The most successful entrepreneurs and the leaders of growth businesses are willing to take calculated risks. Failure to take calculated risk can be just as damaging as taking the wrong kind of risk. The key is to assess risk against opportunity and put in place a plan of action to get it right.
Each of these characteristics plays a vital role in enabling a business to make the leap from promising start-up to established and successful business.

John Holden is CEO of Tinderbox Working Capital, providers of single invoice finance

Related: How to manage extremely rapid sales growth

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